Fotan art district grows in Hong Kong's industrial area


Forty five minutes from Central on the MTR brings you to a bleak warehouse area housing industrial storage and artist studios close to the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Don’t be misled by the lack of galleries and coffee houses lining the street, there are more than 70 artists in studios in seven or so mid-rise blocks. Without a guide it would be hard to find these non-commercial strictly working studios says Conor Purcell in Silkroad magazine.

The first artists started arriving in 2001 and in October 2007 Blue Lotus Gallery was set up by Belgian, Sarah Van Ingelgorn who not only promotes the work of the artists but also acts as ad hoc adviser to the artists,  ” The artists are not commercially minded at all” she says. “I sometimes have to push them to show their work”.

In January each year the Fotan Open Studio event, sponsored by Sino Group, is held and January 2008 saw 6,000 visitors descend on the area over two weekends. There’s no need to wait til January though and the relaxed easy-going atmosphere means you can explore for yourself, take a beer, have a chat with the artists. And if you see something you like, ask if it is for sale.

There is an enormous diversity of work produced in the studios from Danny Lee whose works are displayed at Hong Kong International Airport and Elements Mall to new unknown graduates. Painter and art devotee Christopher Ku is one of Fotan’s long-time residents.

For more information www.bluelotus-gallery.com

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