HKwalls Street Art Festival Returns This May 2021 In Sai Kung
Hkwalls, the city's premier street art festival is making its long-awaited return following last year's cancellation due to the ongoing pandemic. Aiming to move forward from Covid-19, HKwalls' 2021 street art and mural festival will take place in Sai Kung from May 8–16. This year's edition will also have two new additions: the first-ever HKwalls youth mentorship program and the first thematic exhibition, Tools of Trade.
"We have always wanted to take the HKwalls festival to Sai Kung; we explored it a number of times over the past 6 years and met with various members of the community but it just never worked out. This year we felt the energy drawing us back again, but more than ever, and something just clicked; we are super grateful for all the people who have been so helpful and encouraging and really looking forward to becoming a small part of such a great community," says Jason, co-founder of HKwalls.
With the art industry and many local artists hampered by the pandemic, 2021 is a year of possibilities. The youth mentorship program is offering young artists the opportunity to embark on a learning experience to improve their artistic skills, try new techniques and learn how to transform their creative ideas into a painted mural.
Receiving over 60 talented applications, the chosen mentees and their respective mentors are: Julie Lai with mentor Bao Ho, Luna Wong with mentor Zoie Lam and Gwyneth Soriano with mentor Peter Yuill. These mentees are engaged in regular meetings with their mentors over a six-week period and will be given the opportunity to participate in the HKwalls 2021 festival alongside many other talented participating artists.
In addition to the mentorship, HKwalls is also hosting its first-ever thematic exhibition, Tools of Trade, from May 8 to June 6 in Sheung Wan. The exhibition will frame the history of street art and graffiti through the lens of the tools that artists use to create their work. Preparation for the exhibition began in 2019 and has continued through 2020 and 2021, with HKwalls collecting and cataloguing exhibition content with partners worldwide.
The inaugural exhibition will feature artists and tools dating back to the late 1960s in the US, starting with a piece from Cornbread, widely credited with starting the modern graffiti movement in the US. This piece will be juxtaposed with the images of King of Kowloon who started painting the street of Hong Kong in the mid-1950s.
Meanwhile, a major part of the exhibition will also put the spotlight on the work of acclaimed American photographer, Martha Cooper, best known for documenting the New York graffiti and hip-hop scene from the late 70s through the 80s. In 1984, Cooper and fellow photographer, Henry Chalfant published Subway Art, a book dubbed as the graffiti "bible" that helped spread the graffiti movement worldwide. Hong Kong artists are also part of the exhibition, showcasing an array of implements, mediums and their use such as markers, spray cans, homemade DYI tools, stamps, stickers and many more.
The HKwalls festival mural painting runs from May 8–16 from 10:00 am–6:00 pm in Sai Kung Town. The Tools of Trade exhibition runs from May 8–June 6 at G/F, Des Voeux Road West, Sheung Wan and opens Wednesday–Sunday from 12:00–8:00 pm.
See also: Where To Find The Best Street Art In Hong Kong