The Fringe Clubby 13thWiTCH on 05/22/2012
The picture is actually the back of the building (Wyndham St). It’s a sweet building that everyone walks by but hardly notices as they stagger towards the bars in Lan Kwai Fong. The building used to be an ice and dairy plant and the Hong Kong Fringe Club, a non-profit organization, acquired it in 1984 after the building was abandoned by the business owners when their company headquarters moved to London.
Major renovations were done in 1983 to prepare this building to house contemporary art. The fringe club has three exhibition areas (fotogalerie, Fringe Gallery, Anita Chan Lai-Ling Gallery) , a pottery workshop, two bars, rehearsal studio, a roof garden, two studio theaters, and a restaurant. Oh and did I mention that they serve the greatest Vegetarian Light Lunch and tapas (?).
The operation is supported by the Hong Kong Development Council and the building earn its income from food, beverage, and ticket sales, advertising, membership fees, sponsorships, and donations. If you are a student, membership is only $100 (no joining fee). Regular membership is $300 + a joining fee of $300.
In 2001, this building won the Hong Kong Heritage Award thus the reason for the building’s architectural preservation despite the vertical and horizontal extravagance happening in Central.
It has an open policy access for budding local artists and over the past two decades, around 500 art groups from different parts of Asia, Europe, Australia, and America, have used this building for cultural exchange works. It housed 6 festivals in 2006 and provided rent-free exhibitions and performance facilities to local and international artists.
Next time you visit Hong Kong, mark this in your tour map, have coffee at the roof garden, and be inspired — or if you are an artist, contribute to the cultural exchange and mount your own exhibition :)
To check what’s happening there visit http://www.hkfringe.com.hk/