Exhibition: Art In HKSAR Government Collections Abroad. 9am-6pm daily. Mezzanine 1, Phase 2, HK Convention and Exhibition Centre. Tel: 9451 1097. Until Aug 6. While visitors to the Convention and Exhibition Centre are usually drawn there by a spectacular event, such as a film premiere or high-society ball, a look around reveals some hidden attractions. Upstairs, overlooking the red carpet, visitors can calm themselves with a stroll along a quiet walkway to look at how others will be viewing Hong Kong. The centre is the host of an exhibition, Identities: Art In Hong Kong SAR Government Collections Abroad. Not perhaps the snappiest title or one calculated to have the hordes charging over for a peek, the exhibition is nonetheless notable for two reasons. It's the first time the centre's naturally lit, vast open spaces have been used for displaying artworks. And it is an interesting insight into what people abroad will expect of the SAR's artscene. The idea for the exhibition started when works by 21 artists were bought by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices (this show includes 18 of those) to be displayed in their Washington, San Francisco and Geneva bases. The artists were whittled down from an original 45. 'It occurred to me it would be good to show a local audience what images were being associated with Hong Kong,' said curator Jonathan Thomson, a local arts consultant. The Government set a tight budget for the overseas project so some of the SAR's more established artists did not submit works, but there are still plenty of familiar names on the HKCEC's walls. Some of the more didactic material apparently was cut, but among the more traditional works, there are some challenges. To Thomson, putting together this show has been something of a revelation. 'I've been struck by how many artists in Hong Kong create abstract images, as opposed to somewhere like the mainland where much of the art is figurative,' he says. Hanging the works by artists like Cheng ka-kay (Hong Kong Harbour 5, pictured) Lam Tian-xing, Warren Leung Chi-wo and Kith Tseng Tak-ping, was a challenge too, with no possibility of drilling into walls, and with toilets, offices and signs to work around on the convex wall, not to mention a dazzling reflection on the paintings thanks to those Victoria Harbour views. Although that all tends to create difficulties in viewing the works - it is impossible to see all the pieces together - Identities is still an enlightening exhibition.