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Hong Kong museum launches 'arts corridor' in the city

Liang Yi Museum houses one of the world's best-curated Chinese antique collections.

A Hong Kong museum has launched an ‘arts corridor’ which it hopes will unite the city’s art and design industry.

The Liang Yi Arts Corridor initiative has been unveiled by Liang Yi Museum and will provide an opportunity for galleries focusing on design, craftsmanship and heritage to open in a prominent location on Hollywood Road, a neighbourhood with a rich history as an arts and antiques destination.

Liang Yi Museum holds one of the world’s best-curated collections of antique Chinese furniture. Its connection with Hollywood Road dates back more than 30 years when the central collection of the museum was sourced primarily from the dealers located in this part of town.

However, Hong Kong’s second oldest road has in recent years undergone ‘gentrification’, with trendy cafes and dining spaces springing up where a century ago dealers bought artefacts and antiques collected in China by foreign merchants and sailors on their way to Europe. In those days Hollywood Road was much closer to the harbour than it is today.

But two years of turmoil in Hong Kong have meant many of these dining spots have now been forced to close, leaving the neighbourhood something of a ghost-town.

Liang Yi Museum has seen this as an opportunity to create a social impact on the local community by launching the arts corridor concept. Nine, street-level retail spaces directly underneath the museum will be offered to galleries and design retail concepts at half the market rent and with short-term, flexible leases. To maintain the integrity of the corridor, applications are open only to tenants in arts-related fields.

“The Covid-19 crisis… has forced us to think out of the box and question what will make our stretch of Hollywood Road the most attractive to art-lovers,” said Lynn Fung, museum director. “We hope to be able to curate an exciting group of tenants who will offer visitors the opportunity to visit a world-class museum, go to an old-school antique shop and view some contemporary art all in one afternoon.”

Art gallery Rossi & Rossi is the first to sign up to the concept. “We’re confident the corridor will become a destination for art and design lovers in Hong Kong and beyond,” said gallery founder and director Fabio Rossi. “In the new space, we aim to foster a dialogue between art and artists from wide-ranging backgrounds, continuing our commitment to presenting inspiring exhibitions.”

The four-storey museum houses one of the world’s largest and best-curated collections of Chinese antique furniture from the Ming and Qing dynasties. The museum was started in the 1980s and has now grown to a collection of more than 400 pieces which have been exhibited all over the world, including at the National Museum of History in Taiwan and the Palace Museum in Beijing.

The museum’s artefacts embrace West as well as East and include the world’s premier collection of jewelled clutches, compacts and powder boxes from design houses including Cartier, Boucheron and Van Cleef & Arpels dating from the 1880s to the 1960s.

Liang Yi Museum, 181-199 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.


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