Cosmopolitan and fast-paced, Hong Kong offers plenty in terms of nightlife, from open-top tram tours and bustling night markets, to world-class restaurants and entertainment outlets in areas such as Lan Kwai Fong, Soho and Kennedy Town. Beyond the usual touristy attractions, however, is a side of Hong Kong that is best seen after sundown or before businesses open for the day. 

Organised by the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation and powered by Standard Chartered Bank (HK) Limited, the HK Urban Canvas community art project was launched in 2017, with the aim of celebrating the city’s rich local history and collective memories, as told through shop front shutter artworks. 

To date, the project has involved 62 shop fronts, with 22 more added this year by nine groups of local artists, to reflect on the history of Kowloon City and Ap Lei Chau, as well as the personalities and histories of the shop owners.  

To explore the six districts and 10 tour routes, download the HK Urban Canvas mobile app, which has detailed stories and images of all shutter artworks produced since the project started in 2017. The app is supported by GPS location that makes it easy to locate check points. It also has an augmented reality (AR) function that allows users to view the artwork at any time, even when the shops are open and the shutters are not visible. The app also includes behind-the-scenes videos of the artworks, detailed 360-degree photos of the shop interiors, rare historic photos and more – providing a one-of-a-kind insight into Hong Kong’s unique local culture.