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Dive into Sham Shui Po’s art, culture and coffee scenes

Time Out Hong Kong
  • Written by Time Out Hong Kong
Dive into art, culture and coffee

From being the centre of Hong Kong’s textiles industry to now one of the hippest neighbourhoods in the city, Sham Shui Po has undergone huge transformations over the past century. Today, in the midst of its historical buildings and traditional restaurants, an ever-expanding community of contemporary shops, art studios, and coffee spots have begun to flourish, instilling new life into the district. Whether you’re in search of hip concept stores and secret art hubs, or just dropping by for a cup of coffee, Sham Shui Po will always impress you with its variety, heritage, and creative energy.

 Joseph Luk

Originally an online content and e-commerce site in New York City, Womanboss opened its first concept store in Hong Kong in the latter half of 2020. “We hope to build an innovative brand and bring positive energy to the people of Hong Kong,” shares Joseph Luk, who manages the store. Setting up shop in the hipster neighbourhood of Sham Shui Po, the store is a combination of a shop, cafe, and exhibition. Seeing the area’s charm and its unique blend of old and new, the team thinks Sham Shui Po is perfect for the brand due to its “genuine, diverse, and creative community.”

For Luk, art is an integral part of constructing ‘The Good Life’, the brand’s motto since the very beginning. Despite common misconceptions that art is often inaccessible and out of reach, Luk thinks that art can represent one’s personal style and characteristics, and hopes that more Hong Kong people can be connected to art through Womanboss and the Sham Shui Po neighbourhood. This is also the motivation behind the curated works displayed in the shop. Whether it’s the price, style, or the artists themselves, everything is designed to cater to a younger generation aiming to make art accessible for all.

Having undergone a transformation in recent years with the help of a booming art and culture scene, Sham Shui Po is home to places like Mudheytong Gallery, which provides regular ceramic workshops that encourage the public to get crafty and let their creativity run free. The neighbourhood has also welcomed a string of hybrid cafes that blend together an exhibition space with a coffee shop, supporting local talents and also offering a great cup of coffee. These include venues like Bonding Coffee, a space dedicated to connecting with the community through coffee and art, and, of course, Womanboss, a multi-sensory shop that promotes slow living by infusing a touch of art and creativity into daily lives.

As Luk shared, everyone can pursue the ‘Good Life’ through different facets, from products to artworks to dining experiences, making Sham Shui Po the perfect place for culture vultures to freely explore and immerse themselves in creativity.


Muze Pens

Stop 1: Muze Pens

Established in 1958, Muze Pens is one of the oldest pen shops in Hong Kong. From fountain pens and inks to papers and other accessories, this specialist shop has it all. In efforts to promote the art of penmanship and encourage more people to put pen to paper, the shop also provides professional advice and recommendations, repair and maintenance services, as well as custom nib-grinding and engraving services. Whether you’re looking for bespoke gifts or just curious about the inks and calligraphy, drop by Muze Pens to discover the beauty of penmanship today.

Aurora Leathercraft

Stop 2: Aurora Leathercraft

Founded in 2011, Aurora Leathercraft is a local wholesale and retail company specialising in imported leather goods, leathercraft tools, and materials. Aside from being the authorised distributor of Kyoshin Elle, a famous Japanese leathercraft store, Aurora also offers customisable goods, as well as repairing and gifting services. Dedicated to the cultivation of the leathercraft culture in Hong Kong, Aurora hosts DIY workshops and trial classes too. Beginners can start off with making bracelets and keychains, whilst more advanced learners can tackle items such as clutches, long wallets, and handbags.

Mudheytong Gallery

Stop 3: Mudheytong Gallery

Denoting ‘clayware space’, Mudheytong is a gallery founded by three local ceramic artists committed to exhibiting and promoting contemporary ceramic art in Hong Kong. Aside from holding regular exhibitions, Mudheytong frequently runs public workshops, courses, and lectures in their studio space to engage the wider community. Those looking to dabble in the medium can take part in one-day trial classes, or commit to a four-session regular workshop, to get hands-on with wheel-throwing, trimming, building, and glazing. Kids are also welcome to attend.

Bonding Coffee

Stop 4: Bonding Coffee

Marked by an eye-catching large-format Cambo camera by the door, Bonding Coffee was founded upon the concept of combining a coffee shop together with an art exhibition venue. Through occasional exhibitions and talks, shop owners Edmond and Ricky hope to build a community where coffee lovers and those with a passion for the arts can build lasting relationships. On the coffee front, visitors can take their pick from house blends with nutty or floral flavours and choose from a refined selection of black and white coffees, as well as specialty coffees such as crème brûlée cappuccino, espresso coconut, and pour-overs that are served with ceramic tea ware, allowing you to fully appreciate your brew through aroma and taste.

The Soulroom

Stop 5: The Soulroom

The Soulroom is a coffee shop that aims to help replenish the body, mind, and spirit of those who come by. Featuring a large hanging moon installation, coupled with botanicals aplenty and wooden fixtures, the cafe also offers astrology and tarot reading sessions on-site. Take your pick from a selection of coffee made from single-origin beans or locally roasted coffee beans.

Press The Button

Stop 6: Press The Button

Press The Button is a takeaway coffee shop owned by the founder of Japanese lifestyle store Midway Shop located right next door. Focusing on hand-drip coffees (and occasional seasonal specials), their coffee beans are seasonally sourced from different regions around the world, including Nicaragua, Columbia and Indonesia, amongst many others. Most of which are roasted in Japanese roasteries. Before you leave, check out the shop’s many exclusive products from Japan, including drip bags, coffee beans, and even cooking essentials like sauces and salad dressings.

Colour Brown x CoffeeGoOn

Stop 7: Colour Brown x CoffeeGoOn

Marked by a green gated doorway and a large spiral staircase in the middle of the shop, Colour Brown is a regular stomping ground for Instagrammers of all sorts. The cafe uses single-origin beans from Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Yunnan, and more, and offers signature drinks like the store milk tea and iced red bean coffee. If you’re looking for more than great java, however, the cafe often puts different pieces of artwork up on the walls of the ground floor. Or, you can make your way up to the first floor where the cafe’s exhibition space, CoffeeGoOn, holds monthly art shows and events, most of which will even be themed around coffee!

WOMANBOSS

Stop 8: WOMANBOSS

Opened towards the end of 2020 in Sham Shui Po, WOMANBOSS is a modern cafe and concept store that strives to empower female entrepreneurs and independent designers. From art and culture to wellness and sustainability, discover quality products made in collaboration with local brands, NGOs, and charities in the shop. Take a seat in the cafe area and recharge with a cup of WOMANBOSS’s special collagen-infused coffee, or try the healthy dining menu created by chef Phoebe. Art lovers should head upstairs for curated works and seasonal exhibitions by local and international talents.

CITY IN TIME – Tai Po Road Rest Garden

Stop 9: CITY IN TIME – Tai Po Road Rest Garden

Jump into a time warp and see the history of Tai Po Road Rest Garden come alive in front of your very eyes — or at least, in your mobile phones. Combining art with technology, the CITY IN TIME campaign features brightly coloured poles where panoramic scenery of days gone by can be viewed at specific locations around the city through augmented reality. Simply download the City In Time mobile app, point your phone camera at the AR clock on the poles, and move the slider on screen to instantly see the contrast of old and new. Head to Tai Po Road Rest Garden to see illustrations created by local artist Don Mak come alive. Other illustrations can be found at different CITY IN TIME poles around Sham Shui Po featuring works by local artists Flyingpig and Kinchoi Lam.

Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC)

Stop 10: Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC)

Constructed in 1977, JCCAC used to house many small, family-run factories. Although it was gradually vacated due to the decline of the light industries, the building was successfully converted into an artist village in 2008. Since then, JCCAC has been providing space and facilities at affordable prices for those who wish to set up their own art studios and exhibits, and is now the base for over a hundred artists and cultural organisations.

Information in this article is subject to change without advance notice. Please contact the relevant product or service providers for enquiries.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board disclaims any liability as to the quality or fitness for purpose of third party products and services; and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, adequacy or reliability of any information contained herein.

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