Asia’s Art Cities According to Collectors: Adrian Cheng on Hong Kong

Adrian Cheng
ART Power HK

Editor’s Note: There are many sides to modern Asian metropolis, and just as many ways to visit them. For collectors and art lovers, the best way to explore new urban scenarios and learn about a country’s cultural, social and political situation is certainly through contemporary art. However, the question for those who set foot in a new city for the first time is always the same: where do I start my artistic adventure from?

Here at CoBo we have a few, very exciting cues; for our Asia’s Art Cities Guide we have asked the most authoritative local collectors to share their best kept secrets about their own city’s art scene. Whether it is Kim Camacho’s Manila, the Jakarta art scene through the eyes of Tom Tandio, Adrian Cheng’s recommendations about the new cultural districts in Hong Kong, Disaphol Chansiri’s anticipation of the two new biennales in Thailand, Ivan Pun’s exploration in Myanmar, Ichrio Fukano’s highlights on art and lifestyle in Tokyo, the exclusive insights of Tarana Sawhney on Delhi, Higgin Kim’s insider’s take on Seoul, or Zheng Hao’s all-time favourite Shanghai, we want to give you a foray into what these Asian fast-developing cities have to offer.

In conjunction with our collectors art tours, we want to bring you straight to the galleries, art spaces, or informal hangouts that will influence trends for the Asian art scene to come, to see by yourself in which direction the artistic stream is going. If it’s true that exploring the Asian art scene means getting off the beaten path and taking an unconventional look at these vibrant hubs, then wearing the lens of these bunch of top-notch insiders is the best way to do it.

Adrian Cheng – Hong Kong

Adrian Cheng


Hong Kong is the playground of entrepreneur Adrian Cheng, the executive vice-chairman and general manager of New World Development, and executive director of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group. In 2010, he founded the K11 Art Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes the development of the contemporary art scene in Greater China; K11, the world’s first museum-retail concept, and K11 Atelier, the first office building with a vertical creative city concept. A trustee of the Royal Academy of Arts, Adrian Cheng is on the boards of MoMA PS1 and M+, and he is also the recipient of Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.


How would you describe the art scene in Hong Kong?

I would say it’s “vibrant” and “multi-faceted”.

Without a doubt, Hong Kong is Asia’s art hub, which is still a relatively young market, but with a lot of exciting players in the game, including artists, curators, art organisations like KAF, gallerists and collectors, that make it extremely vibrant.

We are also ardently looking forward to the opening of M+. This world-class museum will definitely take Hong Kong’s art development and education to a whole new level. Another interesting project is Victoria Dockside by the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. The new art and design district will open fully in 2019, and include the redesigned Avenue of Stars, the new Salisbury Garden, Cultural Centre and the renovated Museum of Art and Space Museum. We’re also planning a lot of art and design happenings within this district.


We all know you are very popular on Instagram. Can you share with us one artsy spot in Hong Kong that you would put under your #acsecret?

The locals know it, but for travellers, Hong Kong’s nature is one of the most underrated artsy spots. I’d say Saikung is probably one of my favourites.


What’s the place to go for an artsy dinner in Hong Kong?

CoBo House in Sai Ying Pun is a hidden gem. It has an air of Notting Hill about it – a quaint neighbourhood, a mix of old and new, and a creative community. Also, its decor, art collection and food are all artistically curated. The food, in particular, is by Asia’s Best Pastry Chef Janice Wong, from Singapore.


Your favourite art district in town.

Before M+ and Victoria Dockside fully open in 2019, Central is still the art district because of all the galleries and art happenings. But I also like the West End, like Soho and Sheung Wan, as it’s a more intimate neighbourhood that’s brimming with art events.


When is the best time to have an art trip to Hong Kong?

Definitely in March during Art Basel. It’s the wet season in Hong Kong, but art lovers always brave the weather to join the fair and the many events and activities that are held during that hectic week. The galleries offer their best show of the year, as do the art spaces and institutions. Some artists also open their studios and make themselves available during that week. It’s the best time to see art, not to mention all the parties there are, as well as dinners and cocktails.


What should art lovers know and prepare for before they set foot in Hong Kong?

First of all, Hong Kong is a very friendly and safe city for international visitors, and it’s extremely easy to commute here, even on foot. What I’d recommend is that visitors do enough research to find out which hidden studios, art events (like pop-up art events in bars and art walks) are available, and then make an appointment before they make their visit.





Adrian Cheng is the art pioneer who founded the K11 Art Foundation (“KAF”), a non-profit art foundation in China to incubate young contemporary artists and curators to promote public art education. By providing young emerging artists with a local, regional and international platform to gain greater public awareness, Adrian is the new generation to represent the contemporary Chinese art scene.

Adrian is ranked among the ArtReview Power 100 list in both 2014 and 2015, and also ARTnews’ Top 200 collectors in 2015, as one of the contemporary art world’s most powerful figures. He is also a Board Member of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and member of the Interim Acquisition and M+ Museum Committee, a Board Member of the Public Art Fund of New York and MoMA PS1, Trustee of Royal Academy of Arts, Board Director of the National Museum of China Foundation, Director of CAFAM Funds of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Visiting Committee of the Department of Asian Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Member of International Circle of Centre Pompidou, Member of TATE’s International Council and Board Member of Asia Art Archive.

To follow Adrian Cheng on Social Media :
IG: @ac_kaf
WeChat : adrian_artdiary
Facebook Page: @K11 Art Foundation



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