Tai Kwun Contemporary

Tai Kwun Contemporary is the non-profit visual art programme of Tai Kwun. Realising five to eight exhibitions a year and curatorially driven, Tai Kwun Contemporary presents and commissions artists from Hong Kong and beyond, while offering an extensive range of public programming as well as an extensive Asia-centred Artists’ Book Library. With the aspiration to contribute to and transform the experience and understanding of contemporary art in Hong Kong, Tai Kwun Contemporary is devoted to inspiring the Hong Kong public with an inquisitive attitude and committed to offering a conducive platform for learning and experimentation.

Tai Kwun Contemporary’s five to eight exhibitions a year frequently involve close collaborations with other art institutions and organisations. With an earnest commitment to the highest standards of exhibition-making, Tai Kwun Contemporary contributes to an expanding art and cultural discourse in Hong Kong, which in turn affirms the city’s position as a leading international art hub in Asia, all the while steering free from the commercial art world.


Gallery Information

Tai Kwun Contemporary’s exhibitions are showcased in 1500-plus square metres of museum-standard galleries, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, over three storeys. Located in the new building JC Contemporary as well as the F Hall heritage building, the gallery spaces connect the new and the old, much like the spirit of the entire site. The façade of the new building is moreover inspired by the brick patterns found on this historic site, while the new circular staircase has become one of the main attractions of the entire revitalised compound.

The exhibitions are primarily held on the first and third floors, while the second floor hosts the Artists’ Book Library (more below). Additionally, all over Tai Kwun there are numerous public artworks specially commissioned by Tai Kwun Contemporary, with works by the artists Nadim Abbas, Gaylord Chan, Ceal Floyer, Izumi Kato, and Lawrence Weiner.

Opening Hours and Location

Tai Kwun Contemporary is open every week from Tuesday to Sunday 11am-7pm*. Near the corner of Old Bailey Street and Chancery Lane, on the Prison Yard, Tai Kwun Contemporary’s art galleries are located within JC Contemporary and F Hall in Tai Kwun.

*Subject to exhibition schedule



Exhibitions

Tai Kwun Contemporary’s curatorial focus combines an enduring commitment to the local artistic ecology with a connection to regional and international artists and art worlds. From its “Open Call” programme, which is committed to supporting Hong Kong artists and curators, to collaborations with external curators and partner institutions from around the world (including UCCA, Beijing; The National Museum of Art, Osaka; Singapore Art Museum; Wellcome Trust, London; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; among others), Tai Kwun Contemporary delivers a high calibre of exhibition-making that seeks to face the future and provoke curiosity. Tai Kwun Contemporary also curates exhibitions with its in-house curators, exhibitions that push the boundaries of exhibition-making as well as nurturing local curatorial development.

One important aspect of the exhibition programme involves including artists who respond in some ways to the history or structure of the historic heritage site in which Tai Kwun Contemporary is located (the historic Victoria Prison, the Central Police Station and the Central Magistracy)—be it directly in terms of the site’s history, or indirectly through the exploration of all manners of structures, from architectures to social relations. In this respect and also in other cases, Tai Kwun Contemporary, with its forward-facing perspective, supports artistic creation with new artistic commissions in its exhibitions.


Education and Public Programming

Tai Kwun Contemporary is dedicated to offering the best arts experiences to Hong Kong, bringing people and art together by designing a wide range of formal and informal programmes for various audiences to experience contemporary art and culture in different ways. We redefine art learning and experience through dialogues, creative expression, and active engagement between art, artists, partners, and audiences, exploring the role that contemporary art and art institutions can play in society. Here you will find our programmes for schools, families, youths, and adults:

—Schools, Teachers, and other Educators

We introduce Tai Kwun Contemporary’s programmes to teachers/educators with different backgrounds from schools or educational institutions. We create a far and wide-reaching network to engage in platforms for discussion, sharing and networking with peers and developing engaging learning projects together.

Through events like Teacher’s Morning, school tours, and artist-led workshops, we invite schools and teachers to expand the classroom to Tai Kwun Contemporary and work with school teachers or partners on more in-depth and long-term programmes.

Join our teacher’s network now to receive the most updated event information.* (coming soon)

—Family and Children

Tai Kwun Contemporary provides various ways for families and children to experience our galleries and explore contemporary art. At Tai Kwun Contemporary’s Family Day, we host a range of gallery activities and children’s workshops in collaboration with artists and educators. We hope to spark creativity and joy for family visitors, who can be fully engaged with the artworks through interactive discussions and visual references in the form of an in-depth tour guide booklet as well.

—Interpretation

Tai Kwun Contemporary creates spaces and formats in our gallery or digital platforms to share artworks, information, and stories from exhibitions with all our visitors.

Hi! & Seek on the second floor is a space of dialogue and exploration. We are delighted to share with you the stories behind the exhibitions and artworks; visitors will be encouraged to share their insights and ideas, or questions and creative thoughts for curator(s)/artist(s).

—Art After Hours

Art After Hours is an evening presented by Tai Kwun Contemporary where we will introduce new music, film, lecture, and performance formats. We welcome all visitors to experience contemporary art in Hong Kong live. Furthering our commitment to expanding our ‘art family’, we will invite artists, writers, public intellectuals, and curators to engage in talks, performances, and screenings.

—Artist’s Choice

Artist’s Choice is Tai Kwun Contemporary’s programme where an invited artist will share his or her favorite artworks by other artists (be it a film, a piece of music, or a literary passage etc.) in the span of a night, followed by an artist’s talk or presentation. It is a platform that encourages the artists to reveal their personal thoughts and tastes. Through the prism of individual choices and in-depth conversations, Artist’s Choice aims at providing a unique, intimate perspective in understanding the artists and their practices.


Artists’ Book Library and BOOKED: Hong Kong Art Book Fair

Tai Kwun Contemporary is equally committed to the overlapping interstices between contemporary art and book publishing. This can be seen from Tai Kwun Contemporary’s publishing programme (with a number of commissioned artists’ books), along with the Artists’ Book Library and BOOKED: Hong Kong Art Book Fair.

The Artists’ Book Library, on the 2/F of JC Contemporary, is an ongoing collection of Asia-centred artists’ books and constitutes an integral part of the arts programme of Tai Kwun Contemporary. As publications that are usually created in multiples (not unique editions) and created with the attention one bestows on artworks, artists’ books are an important medium of expression for artists and bookmakers, while challenging the idea, content, and form of traditional books. Freely accessible for all gallery visitors, Tai Kwun Contemporary's Artists' Book Library is open and welcoming, to the public, serving as a source for inspiration, learning, and research, and filling an important niche in book collections in Hong Kong.

In addition to the Artists’ Book Library, Tai Kwun Contemporary organises BOOKED: Hong Kong Art Book Fair. The annual art book fair welcomes local, regional, and international exhibitors—including artists, publishers, booksellers and more—with a programme of talks, live events, displays, editions, workshops and special projects. BOOKED: Hong Kong Art Book Fair provides a platform for creative practitioners and publishers who are invested in books as a medium of artistic and intellectual expression to share their work with public audiences.


Artist Residencies

With artists’ studios and residency apartments in the historic Married Sergeants’ Quarters (Block 06) and Single Inspectors’ Quarters (Block 07) of Tai Kwun, Tai Kwun’s Residency Programme hosts visual and performing artists, art practitioners, curators, architects, researchers, writers, educators, and academics. In parallel with Tai Kwun’s diverse educational and public programming, the Residency Programme expands the depth of programming and fosters a wide-ranging network connecting artists, professionals, and the public, with the aim of spurring interdisciplinary collaboration and contributing to a flourishing art and cultural scene in Hong Kong. The goal is to enable artists and professionals in the creative spheres to develop their artistic and creative practices and to benefit from Tai Kwun and its partners’ networks; moreover, hosted guests also actively contribute to Tai Kwun’s engagement with the public.


Past Programmes

2021
2020
2019
2018