Summer in Hong Kong is notoriously hot, so exploring
the city’s treasures is best done indoors. But rather than visiting one of the
growing number of galleries and then partaking in some of the city’s excellent
food, there is a developing trend of doing both in one place.
Describing itself as a destination for those with an active appreciation
for the arts, Duddell’s in the
Central neighbourhood has become one of the hottest spots in town since its 3
June opening. Designed by award-winning interior designer Ilse Crawford, the
chic two-level space evokes the experience of being in an art collector’s grand
home. Downstairs is a fine-dining restaurant that not only serves great
Cantonese food (try the signature fried fresh lobster with scallion and
shallots), but also provides the setting for the exhibition, A Taste of the
Masters: Paintings from the M K Lau Collection (running until late 2013). More
than 60 paintings by 12 artists have been selected by entrepreneur Victor Lo
from his internationally renowned collection of 20th-century Chinese
art, and are on display throughout the restaurant.
Upstairs is a spacious salon and library serving superb cocktails and light
all-day fare, such as dim sum. Its walls are taken up with the Face to Face exhibition (running until 31 August), which presents a modern take on
portraiture, featuring the powerful works of 11 artists from around the world,
such George Condo and Nan Goldin, in a range of formats, including painting and
photography. Visitors wanting only to
view the art are also welcome, and the reception desk has exhibition guides.
Another space that is matching high-calibre cuisine and culture is toof contemporary. Opened on 21
June in Ap Lei Chau, the inaugural exhibition is by noted French photographer,
Antoine D’Agata. Running until 31 July, Position(s)
includes autobiographical images of starkly captured moments, emotions and
memories from the artist’s life; subjects are often friends or lovers as well
as D’Agata himself. From 16 August, visitors will be able to combine the
experience with a meal in artichoke canteen , a restaurant and bar with a spacious
terrace located off the gallery that will focus on contemporary organic
vegetarian and fish dishes from around the world. Toof’s aim is to show
visitors that art is everywhere – on the walls, on the plates and as well as in
the green hill and sea views outside.
Vicki Williams is the Hong Kong Localite
for BBC Travel. She also writes sybariteunlimited.com.