Hong Kong Feature
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Fringe Club. The pioneer of Hong Kong's alternative arts scene has been staging excellent independent theater, music, and art productions since opening in 1983. The distinctive brown-and-white-stripe colonial structure was built as a cold-storage warehouse in 1892. It was derelict when the Fringe moved in, and the painstaking renovation has earned awards. Light pours through huge windows into the street-level Anita Chan Lai-ling Gallery, with its small, well-curated exhibitions.
The Fotogalerie, upstairs, showcases photography and serves food and drinks. Downstairs, meat and cheese were once sold in the space that now houses the Fringe Theatre. The lighting box of the smaller Fringe Studio was once a refrigeration unit, built to preserve not food but winter clothes from summer mildew. Fringe productions are sometimes in Cantonese, so check the program carefully. All are closed Sunday. 2 Lower Albert Rd., Central, Hong Kong. 2521-7251 general inquiries; 3128-8288 Hong Kong Ticketing box office. www.hkfringe.com.hk. Galleries free. Central.
Hong Kong Arts Centre. A hodgepodge of activities takes place in this deceptively bleak concrete tower, financed with horse-racing profits donated by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. The split-level Pao galleries house year-round exhibitions of art and crafts. Thematic cycles of art-house flicks run in the basement agnès b. CINEMA! Community theater groups are behind much of the fare at the Shouson Theatre and smaller McAulay Studio, though international drama and dance troupes sometimes appear. Quality is hit-and-miss, so check newspaper reviews for advice. From Wan Chai MTR, cross the footbridge to Immigration Tower, then dogleg left through the open plaza until you hit Harbour Road: the center is on the left. 2 Harbour Rd., Wan Chai, Hong Kong. 2582-0200 or. www.hkac.org.hk. Free. Wan Chai.
Ma Tau Kok Cattle Depot. A former slaughterhouse in industrial To Kwa Wan has become a happening hub of independent art. It's divvied up into spaces run by different groups. The easiest way to get here is by taxi from Tsim Sha Tsui (around HK$55) or from Lok Fu MTR (around HK$40). Look out for specific events held here, such as Hong Kong's annual ArtWalk (April), for a taste of the site's full potential. In July 1997—as Hong Kong was handed back to China—a group of young local artists formed the Artists' Commune (Unit 12, 2104-3322, www.artist-commune.com, free) whose massive loftlike premises showcase offbeat works. Expect funky, well-curated pickings at 1aspace (Unit 14, 2529-0087, www.oneaspace.org.hk), a cool, sleek gallery. Both are open Tuesday-Sunday 2-8 with free admission. 63 Ma Tau Kok Rd., To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
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