Originally a government-owned slaughterhouse, Ma Tau Kok’s Cattle Depot Artist Village was renovated and reopened as artist’s studios in 2001. Home to around 20 such art groups, it was opened to the public in 2009 and occasionally hosts exhibitions.
Though a welcome rarity in a city renowned for its cluelessness with art and culture, red tape continues to inhibit artistic expression as resident artists cannot paint the walls, place works outside their studios, stay overnight or conduct any public functions without a Public Entertainment Licence. Only recently have the public been allowed to even visit.
GovHK’s short-sightedness, obstructionism and outright hostility towards any grassroots cultural or artistic expression will mean that we will inevitably continue to lose out to neighbours such as Singapore.