What's on at DETOUR 2010 in Hong Kong

What's on at DETOUR 2010 in Hong Kong

With "double the space and double the money" DETOUR 2010 promises two weeks of artistic debauchery
Detour Hong Kong
More space, more money, more cool artists.

Detour is back and bigger than ever. From November 26 to December 12, the musty old rooms and labyrinthine corridors of the old Victoria Prison and Central Police Station will be revived by a two-week extravaganza of art, design and music.

Last year’s edition of Detour was a breakout event that made ingenious use of the former Central Police Married Quarters on Aberdeen Street.

“Now we’ve got double the space and double the money,” says Alvin Yip, Detour’s co-director and a member of the Ambassadors of Design, the non-profit group that organizes the festival.

Detour’s signature has always been its diversity, which is especially true this year as it features a mix of large-scale art installations, small exhibitions, a design market, public workshops and one-off events like concerts.

“It’s not something top-down that celebrates masterminds,” says Yip. “It’s from the streets. It’s people who gather together to create something.” 

Here are five things not to miss at Detour 2010. Check out the festival’s online program for even more great events and stay tuned for more Detour-related features.

detour 2010Design mart

1. Design Mart

Last year’s art and design market was a weekend-only event featuring 50 vendors. This year, the market will be open every day, with 76 vendors sprawling through the alleys that run between the prison buildings. Expect plenty of great handmade items.

Pinhole photographer Martin Cheung will be running a pinhole photo booth where you can have your photo taken. 

2. Takafumi Hara

Two eye-catching installations by acclaimed Japanese artist Takafumi Hara will greet visitors at both of Detour’s entrances, on Hollywood Road and Old Bailey Street.

Hara has covered the windows of the police compound’s century-old buildings with hot-pink panels bearing the words of Sheung Wan residents interviewed about their neighborhood’s life and history.

On Saturday, November 27, Hara will invite the public to write their thoughts on their own pink panels, which will then be photographed and integrated into a digital slideshow.

detour 2010 hong kongUnderground HK brings rock to Victoria Prison.

3. Listen and dance

It wouldn’t be a festival without some music and Detour refuses to disappoint, despite its problems with noise complaints last year.

This Friday and Saturday Japanese performance space SuperDeluxe will take over the prison courtyard for an evening of music, DJs, sound art and films.

The following week, on December 4, Underground HK stages its first acoustic set in the courtyard. 

4. "Hong Kong - Tokyo" Pecha Kucha Night

Creative types from Tokyo and Hong Kong share the stage on November 27 at this design show-and-tell, in which presenters tell their stories with 20 slides lasting 20 seconds each.

The list of participants is still under wraps, but considering Tokyo is the birthplace of Pecha Kucha, we’re probably in for a treat.

art in detour 2010Making beehives for Hong Kong's urban beekeepers.

5. Eat Local by HK Honey

Hong Kong artist/bee-obsessive Michael Leung is bringing the urban beekeeping outfit HK Honey to Detour. He will take over four prison cells every afternoon from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. to introduce the public to locally produced honey and the benefits of eating food that isn’t shipped halfway around the world.

Candle-making workshops will be on offer as well as information about how to become an urban beekeeper.

Bonus! Hong Kong Photo Festival 2010

Detour will be sharing space this year with the Hong Kong Photo Festival, which is kicking off with a month-long exhibition of old Hong Kong photos in the Central Police Station.

Take a look at the first photo ever taken in Hong Kong as well as an interactive exhibit of then-and-now photos. The photos will be mounted on specially designed pedestals that showcase the police station’s historic architecture.


Christopher DeWolf is a writer, photographer and self-styled flâneur.
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