HONG KONG’S WEST KOWLOON CULTURAL DISTRICT
Long known as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Asia, Hong Kong is looking to foster and showcase its arts and culture scene for residents and the world to appreciate.
Hong Kong’s 21st Century Vision
The West Kowloon Cultural District is still in its infancy, as much of the future landmark is still being constructed or under development. However, once completed, it will be the largest district of its kind in the world, encompassing nearly 100 acres. Over half of the area will be a carbon-neutral public park with sculpted terrain, dense trees, and outdoor terraces and promenades — all of which will provide a link to 17 cultural venues spread along the waterfront with views looking out toward Hong Kong Island. These new buildings will include a museum of modern art, opera house, exposition center, and a concert arena, as well as education and arts facilities to nurture local artists.
Venues Coming Soon
The Xiqu Centre — A grand opera house to showcase Chinese opera (known as xiqu) is slated to open in 2018. The purpose of the space is to both preserve and reinvent the art form with the hope of developing a new audience to ensure its relevance into the century ahead.
Freespace — A combination indoor and outdoor concert venue, this flexible concept theater will feature both standing and seated events for up to 10,000 people. Opening in 2019, it will also be able to extend its space out into the open air of the adjoining park.
M+ — This world-class museum of modern art is scheduled to open in 2019. With nearly 200,000-square-feet of floor space, M+ strives to revolutionize the art museum concept by embracing all forms of visual culture. Overlooking Victoria Harbour, the museum will include educational spaces, a restaurant, a diverse collection of gallery spaces, and a unique “found space” reserved for large-scale art installations.
Other buildings, such as the sprawling Lyric Theatre Complex and the M+ Pavilion, are set to debut in 2021.
What to Experience Now
Nursery Park Tree Tour and Workshop — This walking tour introduces visitors to the trees and plants selected to be a part of the developing park. Guides share interesting facts and stories and a workshop at the end includes drawing, pot planting, as well as other arts and crafts.
Rent a SmartBike — Prefer something a little more free form, then a bike ride along the cultural district site and Victoria Harbour fits the bill nicely. This bike-sharing program has a rental station at the Nursery Park.
Yes, there’s much to see in glamorous Hong Kong, but be sure to reserve some time to visit the West Kowloon Cultural District, soon to be one of the most talked about, and visited, sites in the city.