Words and Photos by Joel Quizon
I dare say it, Hong Kong is one of the best countries for a holiday.
For one, it is a country that has fairly good weather for most of the year, making it an ideal destination for all sorts of outdoor activities like strolling, hiking or even a quick trip to the beach (in case you haven’t been, Shek O beach is only 20 minutes away from Central via subway and bus).
It also has some of the most amazing grubs this side of the world, what with Michelin-recommended joints in practically every district and street food that taste even better than the food served in some restaurants in Manila. And let’s not forget the shopping hubs. I can go on all day talking about where to find the cheapest sneakers, or the best tokens to bring loved ones, but that’s not what this article is about. It’s about the one activity we tried during a rainy day and fell in love with during a recent trip to this dynamic destination—Traditional Chinese Painting Workshop.
Now before you say, ‘boring’, hear us out. This is seriously one of the most fulfilling activities you can get your hands on while in Hong Kong.
Unlike western style, traditional Chinese painting is a lot simpler. But that does not mean that it’s easier or any less artsy. It’s just a lot less fancy, being one of the oldest forms of art that is still being practiced today.
I booked our traditional Chinese painting sesh via Klook (a.k.a. every traveler’s best friend), which unless you are bent on forcing a friend residing in Hong Kong to sign you up for this, is pretty much the best way to get yourself into this activity. I kid you not when I say that Klook is the most convenient app for this. You literally just choose the date you wish to attend the class, the timeslot, and the number of people participating. You then proceed to pay and you’re all set.
And for those who’d rather use their browser, you can find the activity here.
We walked from Exit A of Causeway Bay station for about 2 minutes to get to Aura Art, which is where the classes are done. Its address says 2F 18 Matheson Street, which for everyone who’s ever been to Hong Kong knows, is on the third floor.
We were then taught the basics of traditional Chinese painting. First of, the proper way to hold the brush, which is pictured below.
Then, we were taught about the five brush strokes and how to do each.
Next, it was time for a live demo. Zac, came in and did a very impressive job at showing us how to do the horse, all while explaining every step of recreating the artwork.
After this, we were left to try our hand on doing the horse. Every now and then, Zac would check on us to see how we’re doing and provide corrections. Other than that, we are left to our own, which is how most people trying their hand at art would prefer it.
After doing the horse, Zac allowed us to choose another artwork to replicate and taught us the basics of creating them. We were then left to finish the job ourselves.
Overall, we think it’s an amazing experience and one that’s perfect for when your feet are already tired from walking around the various shopping districts or when it starts to drizzle. It’s relaxing and allowed us to rediscover our love for the arts. It also gave us a better appreciation of this ancient art style.
For more information about this activity and other things you can do in Hong Kong, you may visit Klook.com or download the Klook app at Google Play or the App Store.