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Move over Surry Hills, these are Sydney’s new cutting edge districts

City's Chippendale and Redfern districts are the new places to see and be seen.

Kings Cross has cleaned up its act, Surry Hills has lost its cutting edge, and Newtown is, well, still happily bohemian, though slightly more polished than before. The city’s creative spots have shifted to Chippendale and Redfern. These two districts at the southern fringe of the CBD are positively buzzing with matchbox bars, hidden eateries and world-class galleries.

Redfern is the grungier of the two – think London’s Shoreditch in the 2000s – while Chippendale is sleeker, shinier, though still industrial around the edges. New developments are popping up all the time, such as billionaire arts philanthropist Judith Neilson’s upcoming A$32 million (S$33 million) gallery and performance venue, Phoenix.

There’s a Singaporean connection, too. The new Central Park, a mixed-use urban renewal project, is developed by Frasers Property’s Stanley Quek. Just across the road is Unlisted Collection’s Loh Lik Peng’s first Australian property, The Old Clare Hotel, which houses three of Sydney’s hottest new tables: Automata, Kensington Street Social and Silvereye (more on this in our May issue). The best way to explore the area is on foot, so be sure to pack your Yeezy’s.

 

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01: MOP PROJECTS

MOP (Modes of Practice) Projects was among the forerunners of Chippendale’s revival when it moved to the area in 2010. An artistrun initiative, it champions up-and-coming names, as well as mid-career artists. 2/39 Abercrombie Street, Chippendale T: +61 04 1205 4438

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02: GALERIE POMPOM

Established in 2012, the focus here is on the best of Sydney and Melbourne’s artists across various media – painting, sculpture, performance, sound and video. Pop in for a chat with friendly proprietor George Adams, a walking Wikipedia of the local art scene. 39 Abercrombie Street, Chippendale T: +61 04 3031 8438 

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03: WHITE RABBIT GALLERY

Spread across four floors, Judith Neilson’s flagship gallery houses one of the world’s largest – and finest – collections of Chinese contemporary art. Overwhelmed? Pop by the ground-floor teahouse for handmade dumplings and traditional Chinese tea. 30 Balfour Street, Chippendale T: +61 02 8399 2867

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04: WELLINGTON STREET PROJECTS

An artist-run space with an emphasis on contemporary art by emerging Australian talents. Come here to suss out (potentially) the next big thing in the Aussie art scene. 19-23 Wellington Street, Chippendale

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05: LP’S QUALITY MEATS

Tucked away in a garage space, LP’s Quality Meats is the brainchild of Luke Powell, former head chef at Tetsuya’s and Mary’s. This is his take on the American Smokehouse, with favourites like smoked beef short ribs and porchetta. Do try the grilled octopus as well. Suite 1, 16 Chippen Street, Chippendale T: +61 02 8399 0929

 

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 06: THE COMMERCIAL

The Commercial represents mid-career and internationally acclaimed artists. Owner/director Amanda Rowell, a veteran of the Sydney art scene, is more than happy to offer keen insights into who to collect and why you should collect them. 148 Abercrombie Street, Redfern T: +61 02 8096 3292

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 07: THE RABBIT HOLE

Not quite Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, though tea lovers will think they have stumbled onto paradise. This organic tea bar is a great spot to refresh and recharge, as well as stock up on unique in-house blends. 146 Abercrombie Street, Redfern T: +61 02 9310 2207 

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