Palace of Year: One year in, the Hong Kong Palace Museum has forged its own identity as a world-class cultural landmark

Enchanting and enriching 1.3 million visitors in its first year, Hong Kong Palace Museum is an unmissable addition to the Kowloon cityscape. From afar, the grandeur of its distinguished façade draws the eye. Inside its breathtaking space, 12 outstanding exhibitions have held court in as many months, each displaying a wealth of multimedia components, an innovative approach to curating, and a distinctive cultural perspective.

Also Read: Colour Harmony: Andrew Yuen’s Evolution From Boyhood Treasure Hunter To Guardian Of Culture

art and culture

On the occasion of its first anniversary, the HKPM is well into its stride and looking confidently to the future. Since it opened its doors to the public on 3 July 2022, the museum has cultivated strong partnerships in the areas of academic and cultural exchange, in addition to showcasing some of the finest artefacts from its namesake in Beijing and other significant cultural institutions around the globe. Its presence has strengthened the dialogue between world civilisations and Hong Kong’s status as an East-meets-West cultural hub.

art and culture

We are delighted to celebrate this important milestone. In the past year, the museum has brought moments of delight and amazement to the viewing public. We would like to express our deep gratitude to the Palace Museum for loaning such precious objects for display in Hong Kong, and to our donours and patrons for their generous donations and support. Kudos must go to our curatorial and operational teams for their professionalism and dedication. The museum has been empowered by the overwhelming support of the general public and visitors from around the world,” says Winnie Tam Wan-chi, Chairman of the Hong Kong Palace Museum Board. “We vow to continue to present exceptional exhibitions and programmes at the HKPM with the aim of promoting Chinese culture to a global audience, in accordance with the National 14th Five-Year Plan to develop Hong Kong into an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange.”

art and culture

Beijing Assistance

The Palace Museum in Beijing, which houses an immense collection of classical Chinese art and artefacts, and the West Kowloon Cultural District joined hands to create the Hong Kong Palace Museum in 2015-16. The cooperation was announced in December 2016 and billed as a gift from the central government to mark the upcoming 20th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to China.

As a result of the partnership, the Beijing museum lends items to the Hong Kong museum for both long- and short-term exhibitions. For those counting, a total of 914 items from the former’s 1.86-million-strong collection were secured for the HKPM’s inaugural shows.

The loan is the biggest granted by the Beijing institution since its founding in 1925 and features pottery, jade, bronze, costumes, jewellery, paintings, calligraphy and other national treasures – the majority showing in Hong Kong for the first time. The most priceless pieces appear for three months before being returned home to rest in accordance with established exhibition practice.
Hong Kong Exclusive

art and culture

Despite the connection between the two organisations, the Hong Kong museum has forged its own identity. The HKPM team arranges loans from other esteemed institutions besides the Palace Museum. Upon its opening in July last year – one day later than planned due to a typhoon – more than 100 works borrowed from other museums and institutions in Hong Kong, as well as 13 pieces on loan from the Musée du Louvre in Paris, were invitingly in situ.

Multimedia creations from six local contemporary artists were also presented in its first exhibition, and ongoing efforts have been made to attract young people and foster an understanding of Chinese culture on a global scale.

The HKPM’s 84,000 square feet of exhibition space are spread across nine galleries over the seven-storey building designed by local architect Rocco Yim. Each gallery has a different topic, such as life, architecture, design, or art in the Forbidden City, where its Beijing counterpart is housed.

hong kong palace museum

Now Showing

In the fifth three-month rotation of treasures on loan from the Palace Museum, 51 splendid works will be exhibited in Galleries 1, 2 and 5 until September 2023. Most pieces in this impressive display have not been seen in Hong Kong before and they aptly mark the HKPM’s first-anniversary milestone. They include two Grade One national treasures: a Ming-dynasty ewer resembling a pine tree and a Qing-dynasty brush pot shaped like a Chinese cabbage by renowned bamboo carvers Pu Cheng and Feng Xijue respectively. These extraordinary works headline the must-see show ‘The Quest for Originality: Contemporary Design and Traditional Craft in Dialogue’ in Gallery 5.

A recently acquired scene from The Grand Imperial Wedding of the Guangxu Emperor called “Presenting the Empress’s Investiture Book and Seal at the Hall of Union” is one of the highlights of ‘Entering the Forbidden City: Collection, Architecture and Heritage’, the presentation in Gallery 1. It is joined by the only surviving gold seal of an empress in the Palace Museum collection.

hong kong palace museum

In Gallery 2, ‘From Dawn to Dusk: Life in the Forbidden City’ includes “The Maze”, a print from the Twenty Views of European-style Mansions in the Garden of Perfect Brightness series that showcases the magnificent scenery at Yuanmingyuan Park (the Old Summer Palace). This set of Qing-dynasty prints of the famed imperial garden reflects the integration of European and Chinese painting styles and landscaping features at the time.

A Gift that Keeps on Giving

A portion of China’s imperial treasures is housed at the National Palace Museum in Taipei, having been removed from the mainland during the civil war in the 1940s. The HKPM has been looking into potential collaborations with the Taiwan museum, but due to the latter’s rigorous policies regarding the loan of artworks and artefacts abroad, there are presently no plans to share collections.

However, for the recently minted Director of the HKPM Board, Andrew Yuen, introducing Chinese arts and culture to a wider audience fits his broader vision. “My hope for the Hong Kong Palace Museum still is to be the bridge between the other two ‘Palace-tinians’, between China and Taiwan,” he says.

hong kong palace museum

Alluding to the museum’s genesis as an anniversary present to Hong Kong, Yuen adds: “I hope that Hong Kongers can make time to appreciate our rich Chinese culture. After all, the HKPM is built as a gift for us here in Hong Kong, so we should treasure it and feel special about having such a venue.

“From the moment you step foot in the museum, you will feel its grandeur and importance. This is really one of a kind. The plan, after all, is not to be a branch of the one in Beijing. The Hong Kong Palace Museum is really distinct from its namesake and we plan to keep it that way.”

Ultimately, the Hong Kong Palace Museum is a public venue that aims to incorporate art into everyday life rather than only being a place for those who study art and culture. It goes beyond.

Click here to visit the museum.

Step into peak luxury with membership in Hong Kong’s Most Exclusive Private Clubs

As one of the world’s most bustling and vibrant cities, Hong Kong’s social scene is renowned for its luxurious venues and exclusive clubs. With so many options to choose from, we’ve compiled a list of the most prestigious and affluent private clubs in the city. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax and network or a venue for some entertainment, our guide will help you discover the best private clubs that Hong Kong has to offer and how you can become a member of them.

The Hong Kong Country Club

hong kong clubs

Founded in the early 1960s, the Hong Kong Country Club was created with the sole initiation to create a space where people of different nationalities and races can come without being judged. As a result, the private club continues to host a diverse group of members who can all take advantage of the club’s facilities, including the different sports centres, recreation rooms, video library, restaurants and more. Besides, the club’s view of Deep Water Bay and its serene atmosphere make it the ideal place for people looking to escape from Hong Kong’s otherwise bustling scene.

Membership Requirements: Applicant should have been staying in Hong Kong for a minimum of three months.
Membership Process: A person who has been a member for at least three years should fill in the necessary forms provided by the club and submit them along with reference letters, after which the club will consider the applicant for membership.
Membership Fees: An entrance fee of HK$600,000 and a monthly fee of HK$2800.

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club

hong kong clubs

The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club exclusively welcomes members who are not just passionate about rowing and sailing, but also have participated in one of the sports. In addition to being able to take part in monthly rowing or sailing activities, a member here will also get to enjoy other perks such as getting swimming lessons, personal fitness sessions, taking part in scuba diving, and more.

Membership Requirements: Applicant should be over 18 years and have prior experience in sailing or rowing to apply for an ordinary individual membership.
Membership Process: Once the applicant shows their proof of experience, the club will consider them for membership. However, the club has currently reached its maximum quota so new applicants may have to wait for more than six months unless they are someone who has won trophies, then they will be granted membership without having to wait.
Membership Fee: An entrance fee of HK$109,200 and a monthly fee of about HK$2000.

The Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club

hong kong clubs

Another club which is in a primarily secluded location is The Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club which is known for its 18-hole golf course and other facilities such as the golf simulators, a large swimming pool that can contain up to 300 people, air-conditioned sports rooms and others that make the club a go-to place for golf enthusiasts. The golf course here has even ranked as one of the best in the world, even receiving appreciation from Olympic medalist Justin Rose.

Membership Requirement: Two existing members should recommend the applicant to the club committee.
Membership Process: The prospective member should attend an interview for them to be considered to join the club.
Membership Fee: HK$6 million.

The Dynasty Club

private clubs

Catering to an audience who strives to have the best of everything – wellness, sports, or gastronomy is The Dynasty Club which accordingly has some of the best sports facilities, including a squash court, an aerobics studio, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and more. For those who love to wine and dine, there is a selection of fine dining cuisines allowing its members to enjoy delectable dishes.

Membership Requirement: An applicant should be over 21 years old.
Membership Process: Applicant should fill in a form provided by the club and provide any other additional information the club may ask before the executive committee reviews the application.
Membership Fee: An entrance fee of HK$900,000 and a monthly fee of HK$2450.

The Aberdeen Marina Club

private clubs

Whether you want to get the most relaxing massage or break a sweat by participating in sports, The Aberdeen Marina Club is perfect for people of different activity levels. The club hosts regular events, that range from VR zones to ice skating sessions, thus ensuring that its members have something fun to do with their family.

Membership Process: An applicant can only apply if they are invited to do so by the club.
Membership Fee: An entrance fee of HK$4.2 million and a monthly fee of HK$2600.

Hong Kong Aviation Club

private clubs

If you are interested in taking flying lessons or aims to get a pilot license, then you may want to join this club that caters to aviation enthusiasts. The club has a selection of fleets that range from two-seaters to five-seaters so that its members can get private one-on-one lessons or take a private jet on a round. While other services such as dining, sports and recreation are available on all days, flights are available for flying only on weekends.

Membership Requirement: Two existing members should recommend the applicant to the club committee.
Membership Process: Applicant should fill in the membership form that is available on the club’s official website for the general committee to review.
Membership Fee: An entrance fee of HK$80,000 and a monthly fee of HK$2000.

Also Read: Private jet-setting in elevated style is the hot ticket across a reopened world

From Elegant to Extravagant: Hong Kong’s Best Cake Shops for Bespoke Cakes

Whenever there is a special occasion to be celebrated, we are always on the lookout for an extraordinary cake that will most probably be the centre of attraction, and we don’t even have to mention the number of photos that will be taken, so, of course, the cake should be aesthetically appealing and impress the crowd.

To match such visual requirements and the sort of deliciousness you would expect to enjoy on any special day, Gafencu has curated a list of the best cake shops in the city, renowned for their exquisite craftsmanship and ability to create bespoke cakes that are sure to impress. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or any other milestone, these cake shops are guaranteed to offer you a delightful and delectable experience.

Vive Cake Boutique

When it comes to deciding on the right celebratory cake, the best options are the ones the main person of the event would love – both looking at it and eating it. Vive Cake Boutique specialises in making such bespoke cake that matches whatever theme you want. Whether you want a cake that depicts your close ones’ favourite cartoon character or any other interest of theirs, this cake shop can make hyperrealistic cakes. To date, Vivien Lau and her team have designed novelty cakes and buttercream cakes of various themes including Kaws, unicorns, afternoon teas, golfing and many more. If you wish to get a custom cake for an upcoming event, the high-end bakery shop based in Central recommends that you order yours at least two to three weeks in advance.

For orders, email or call and pick up at 12 Gough Street, Central.

The Cakery

The Cakery’s custom range of baked goods doesn’t just stop with large-sized birthday or other celebratory cakes, they also make cupcakes with personalised toppers and other sweet treats like macaroons. The best thing about shopping for bespoke cakes here is the pre-available range of cake designs, that fall under different themes such as florals, cartoons, fashion and more, which can be customised to match your taste. They are best suited for people who can easily get overwhelmed with coming up with ideas for their cakes. But, if you want something completely unique, then, you can opt for that too.

For orders, call (852) 2816 1838

Baking Maniac

Baking Maniac is certainly a fitting name for this cake shop run by a mother and son duo, who are both baking aficionados with a combined experience of nearly 40 years in the industry. All you have to do is let them know your ideal cake design and they will deliver you a dessert that is visually appealing and very delectable, thanks to their use of the finest organic ingredients and a variety of flavour options that range from common ones like chocolate, strawberry and red velvet to rare picks like green tea, chilli bomb and bubble tea. To top that off, Baking Maniac donates 10 per cent of the price of your cake to local charities, making your celebrations even more memorable.

For orders, email or Whatsapp (852) 6699 8093.


Like all the aforementioned cake stops, this establishment also makes Instagrammable cakes but what makes them stand out is the range of custom-made alcohol-infused cupcakes and cakes they have to offer. Some of the many flavours they have made so far include whisky chocolate, gin and tonic, marsala wine and coffee, and Bailey’s chocolate. Of course, there are non-alcoholic options too.

For orders, email or Whatsapp (852) 6200 1093.

Ms B’s Cakery

Think luxury but in the cake world, that would be the exact way to describe Ms B’s Cakery which was founded by Bonnae Gokson with the determination to rise the bars when it comes to decorative cakes, and she was certainly successful with her goals as the cakery is now described as Asia’s finest. All the cakes from Ms B’s Cakery look so photogenic due to the choice of vibrant colours for the fondants. As impressive as their appearances, these sugar arts also taste fantastic with the cake shop making desserts using mouther-watering flavour combinations like Carrot Cake With Walnuts, Cream Cheese & Pineapple; Vanilla Butter Cake & Blueberry Marble Cake With Blue & Blackberry Jam; Signature Beetroot Red Velvet Cake With Cafe Au Lait Buttercream, Chocolate Chips & Pecan, and other pairings.

For orders, email or call (852) 2815 8303