The shifting spaces of creativity in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-141
Journal / PublicationCities
Online published4 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018



This paper focuses on the development of Hong Kong's cultural economy and its translation into urban space. On the one hand it focuses on recent economic development and planning strategies to develop a post-colonial identity based on the international cachet of attracting creative industries. On the other hand, it considers the development of grassroots initiatives that herald the potential articulation of Hong Kong as a culturally dense global city. These grassroots initiatives are analyzed from the perspective of their problematic relationship with urban space, and how urban planning both supports and hinders cultural development. The paper argues that top-down planning is in large part catalytic, yet at the same time can run counter to the development of genuine artistic expression. It stresses the importance of 'middleground' actors in facilitating the development of spaces for artistic creation, particularly in their productive interlocking with different forms of artistic expression and public policy initiatives. The middleground can be conceived of as a relational space produced by various processes, actors and structures operating at different scales between institutional actors and the interests of 'underground' creativity. The article concludes by problematizing the role of middleground actors and underlines the value of 'unpacking' the middleground in order to account for the contested and negotiated processes it embodies. Renewed attention to these processes will contribute to enhancing the development of sites of artistic expression in Hong Kong and other emergent contemporary contexts.

Research Area(s)

  • Creative spaces, Cultural economy, Hong Kong, Middleground

Citation Format(s)

The shifting spaces of creativity in Hong Kong. / Charrieras, Damien; Darchen, Sébastien; Sigler, Thomas.
In: Cities, Vol. 74, 04.2018, p. 134-141.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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