If there’s ever a good time for exploring Hong Kong’s flourishing arts scene, it’s in March, when the annual Hong Kong Arts Month takes place. Events range from world-class art happenings and international performing arts shows to more unique offerings in local communities. Not so bad for the land of milk tea, are we right?

Acclaimed international headliners are coming down

Whipped Cream by the American Ballet Theatre

The 46th Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) will be the premier event that kicks off the month. Running from now to 24 March, the festival features over 1700 international and local artists in 130 performances, including Whipped Cream by the American Ballet Theatre, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande staged by the legendary Welsh National Opera, and National Theatre of Great Britain’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Another highlight, Art Central Hong Kong, makes a return from 27 March to 1 April to the Central Harbourfront Event Space for its fourth edition, bringing with it over 100 international galleries, 30 of which are participating for the first time. Then, it’s time for the sixth recurrence of Art Basel at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 29 to 31 March, boasting 248 galleries from 32 countries and territories showcasing historical materials and cutting-edge works by established and emerging artists.

Savour authentic arts in local neighbourhoods

Arthome in Fo Tan

Not to be missed are the local gems, as inspiring works sprout up in heritage-rich Sham Shui Po. Here, you’ll find the HK Urban Canvas community project, which brings talented local artists and students together to create 10 shutter artworks that tell the stories of local shops in the area.

Visiting Art Basel? Consider gallery-hopping in the nearby Wong Chuk Hang, an upcoming arts hub in the South Island Cultural District that will open its doors to exhibitions and performances across 16 art galleries and studios.

If you’re game to head to the New Territories, look for Fo Tan, another up-and-coming arts neighbourhood that’s lesser known to tourists. It’s formerly a predominantly industrial district that has since been transformed into a vibrant artistic community – filled with pottery, sculpture, Chinese calligraphy, and contemporary art pieces. On 31 March, Fotan Open Studios will offer a fantastic opportunity for guests to meet and exchange ideas with local artists.

A comprehensive range of fringe events not to be missed

Blindspot Gallery in South Island Cultural District

All across the island, there will be plenty more to explore in key arts and cultural spaces like PMQ, the Fringe Club, and hotels and malls like K11 and Pacific Place. Make your way to the Harbour Arts Sculpture Park – Hong Kong’s first international sculpture park – for museum-quality pieces from now to 11 April, putting the spotlight on over 18 renowned contemporary artists. Elsewhere at Taikoo Place, check out ArtisTree’s Notating Beauty That Moves — Music at an Exhibition from 3 to 29 March, which will present musical scores in a series of artworks, as well as concerts by top-notch musicians.

For more information about Hong Kong Arts Month, click here.