Thousands to visit Hong Kong's annual Fotan open studios event January 2009

Danny Lee Dancing Landscape

Danny Lee Dancing Landscape

FOTAN OPEN STUDIOS HONG KONG January 10, 11, 17, 18 2009

A forty five minute trip 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 can be hard to find these strictly working non-commercial galleries which is why the open studio event with its guided walks is expected to attract thousands of visitors again this year. To date heavily attended by local people rather than art aficionados, this underground event has been expanding every year and is poised for more international attention as interest in art from Hong Kong grows.

Christopher Ku

Christopher Ku

The first artists started arriving in 2001 and in October 2007 Blue Lotus Gallery was set up in the Fotan district 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 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.

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