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Experience Hong Kong's local artisan culture at PMQ

Localiiz
  • Written by Localiiz
Experience Hong Kong's Local Artisan Culture at PMQ

With so many homegrown and small, locally-based brands, PMQ is the perfect place to experience Hong Kong’s local artisan culture. The site itself was first established as The Central School in 1889, providing Western education to the public at the upper primary and secondary levels. More than half a century later, it was transformed into the Hollywood Road Police Married Quarters, then finally in 2014, the complex was revitalised into what we know now as PMQ — a creative hub filled with design studios and workshops, showcasing a wide array of products, including fashion and accessories, gifts, and other lifestyle goods.

Aside from marvelling at the restored historical building, travellers can browse through a plethora of shops to get a taste of what Hong Kong artisans are inspired by. There are also plenty of opportunities to pick up unique gifts for friends and family — what better way to tap into the minds of Hong Kong locals than to explore the local arts community?


Where to shop

Absolute Vintage

Absolute Vintage

Absolute Vintage is a chic eyewear shop that launched in 2010 to elevate eyewear as an essential accessory to contemporary lifestyles. Focusing on iconic glasses and frames, Absolute Vintage challenges the notion of burdensome glasses by producing personalised and quality designer frames inspired by vintage aesthetics. You’ll find round frames, cat-eye frames, square frames, and more, available in bold colours, tortoiseshell, and gradients. Even if you don’t wear glasses yourself, the products here are a delight to browse.

Sau Lee

Sau Lee

Contemporary clothing label Sau Lee , started by Hong Kong native Cheryl Leung, offers romantic, feminine dresses for special occasions. Combining unique East-meets-West design aesthetics, it’s a great boutique to grab a stunning, figure-hugging dress for your next celebration while supporting local fashion designers.

tove-and-libra

Tove & Libra

Step inside Tove & Libra’s sleek boutique for a wholesome and eco-conscious spin on modern fashion. Specialising in timeless cuts and minimalistic designs that can be worn across various seasons and occasions, the Hong Kong-founded fashion brand believes in streamlining collections to provide shoppers with a sustainable option when it comes to dressing well. Putting quality above quantity, Tove & Libra uses ethical sourcing and production methods to create its clothing line, choosing natural fibres and upcycled materials like Tencel to reduce environmental impact. Browse from its selection of dresses, jumpsuits, cardigans, trousers, tops, and more for your perfect fit.

glue-associates

Glue Associates

Glue’s history is intrinsically tied to the revitalisation of PMQ as the brand was started in the historical building when it reopened to the public as a creative hub in 2014. Curating unique products from local and overseas designers, as well as producing its own line of lifestyle goods, a visit to Glue could see you walking away with patterned pillow cases, home decor, fragrant candles, T-shirts and jackets, quirky phone cases, and even handmade footwear. Behind the front-facing retail area, Glue’s in-house staff are hard at work, giving meaning to its multi-functional space where designing, producing, and selling go hand in hand.


Where to eat

Taste Kitchen

Taste Kitchen is a partnership between PMQ and local entrepreneur Twins Kitchen. The pop-up concept is an incubator that nurtures promising, young and creative food talents in Hong Kong, featuring a different chef and dining concept every month — the perfect excuse to drop by every time you’re in town.  Having use of such restaurant space, together with business guidance, is a unique opportunity, and past concepts like Wingman, Baked Bistro, and Roots Eatery have all gone on to flourish in the local dining scene after rave reviews during their time at Taste Kitchen.

gustaci

Gustaci

Stop by Gustaci for a spell to fuel up after your exploration of PMQ. Specialising in warm and welcoming Italian fare, this chic pizza lounge delivers generously on impactful flavours while keeping prices wallet-friendly. Inside a retro-inspired dining room decorated with abstract paintings, chef Angelo D’Ambrosio serves up authentic Neapolitan pies, made from naturally leavened dough that is baked to perfection in a Moretti Forni electric deck oven. Classic recipes like the margherita and four formaggi are always recommended, but creative takes on pizza, like the carbonara with mozzarella, guanciale ham, egg yolk, pecorino, black pepper, basil, extra virgin olive oil, is where Gustaci shines.


Things to do

oscary-art

Oscary Art

If witnessing all the artisans and crafters hard at work inside PMQ has inspired you to do a bit of creating yourself, head to Oscary Art, where a vibrant art jamming workshop awaits. In a guided three- to four-hour session, an art tutor will walk you through the basics of painting techniques, before giving you free rein to pour your creative energy onto the canvas! You could also choose to paint your masterpiece on a tote bag if you prefer to take away wearable art. Additionally, Oscary Art offers guided classes on Japanese preserved flower art and various kinds of build-your-own terrariums, so there’s plenty to get busy with if you want to continue your crafting adventure.

ABC Cooking Studio

For your mini Picassos in the making, 513 Paint Shop offers workshops where they can paint their own fabric canvases, Dyelicious gives your little ones the opportunity to learn all about tie-dyeing, while budding chefs can sign up for an international cooking class at ABC Cooking Studio. Read all about the history behind your favourite dish at Taste Library, Hong Kong’s first and only food-themed library, try your hand at designing your own bling at Loupe’s jewellery design workshops and industry seminars, or make your own organic lip balm with Bathe to Basics.

Throughout the year, PMQ has a jam-packed schedule filled with exhibitions by local and international designers and artists. Exhibitions such as Mademoiselle Prive Hong Kong and KAWS ALONG THE WAY have previously transformed the venue into massive interactive events. Huge annual music events like Hong Kong International Reggae Ska Festival and ALTN8, theme markets and green lifestyle fairs, as well as gin and whisky tasting festivals have all been held at PMQ. For an educational insight into the history behind the building, join PMQ’s guided heritage tours, and be sure to check out the PMQ calendar to find out what else is on during your visit!

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