With so many homegrown and small, locally-based brands,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?
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.
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.
For your mini Picassos in the making, 513 Paint Shop offers workshops where they can paint their own fabric canvases, while Dyelicious gives your little ones the opportunity to learn all about tie-dyeing. 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!