Hong Kong has never been regarded as an art and creative hub, but in recent years things are changing... aside from the annual Art Basel, new galleries (including international ones) are opening all the time, and the city will finally have its first world-class visual culture museum in 2017 ( it's about time). Now even the street art scene is getting more exciting!
After traveling to two highly state-controlled cities (Shanghai and Sinagpore) where the street art and graffiti is almost non-existent, it is thrilling to discover new street art pieces every week in certain areas (mostly Sheung Wan) of Hong Kong. Although some of these work would be painted over, new work would re-emerge very quickly, and this constant defiance towards authority makes Hong Kong more 'rebellious' than cities that choose to conform.
In Hong Kong there are a few types of graffiti that are utilized for different reasons. The face of artist Ai WeiWei is one of the more well-known caricatures in the region. Graffiti is often a mode of expression much like other artistic outlets. It can allow artists to vent emotions as well as their opinions on the politics or society around them. Unlike other places around the world, Graffiti in Hong Kong can be used as a way of advertisement for some companies. Similar to other countries however, graffiti is considered defacing public property and is technically an illegal act in Hong Kong. Though the government often will let it pass without punishment.