Having lived in Chicago, a city with its vibrant art and theater scene; New York with well… it’s New York, and Beijing with the 798 art district, I can say with a degree of confidence that Hong Kong really, really lacks a decent art scene. And I miss that a lot. Jockey Club’s Creative Arts Center was like the breath of fresh air into the art community that I believe is so desperately needed in Hong Kong.
Shek Kip Mei is my neighborhood, as I lived there until 11 years old and went grocery shopping with my aunt every other week at the wet market. In the late 1990s, the district was known for the public housing estates which was made into existence after a massive fire in 1953 as a contingency plan by the Government.
Transformed from a 9-storey Shek Kip Mei Factory Estate, the arts center is one of the few multidisciplinary artist villages in Hong Kong. I visited during the weekend where they hosted an arts and crafts fair (see picture),which featured many small stalls of hand made leather goods, blow-glass art pieces, accessories and jewelry. Some of the cool ones, such as The Kamty and My little things, seemed popular with the university students that day.
Apart from the quarterly fairs like this one I attended, the center is home to independent artists and art groups, providing studio space in all floors and features an “Old Hong Kong” store by local design outlet G.O.D and many workshops for local community to attend.
Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre brings a nice youthful vibe to an area known for its aging population. As Hong Kong goes through a slate of urban renewal projects, I can see more of these projects that benefits local communities as well as invigorates new industries.
Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC)
Opening hours: 10am-10pm daily
Address: 30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon, Hong Kong
(MTR Shek Kip Mei Station Exit C, 5-8 mins walk)
Tel: (852)2353 1311
Email: [email protected]