What really happened last week around the Art Fair in Hong Kong?
The first edition of Art Basel in Asia will debut in 2013. The Fair will take place from May 23rd to May 26th, 2013 (Vernissage, 22nd May 2013) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The Fair will be directed by Magnus Renfrew, Art Basel’s Director Asia. Applications will open on June 11th, 2012. Art Basel in Hong Kong will replace ART HK.
Recently Hong Kong has seen the openings of several international galleries and establishments from both Asia and the rest of the world, including the Asia Society, Gallery Emmanuel Perrotin, Pearl Lam Galleries, Sotheby’s Permanent Showroom, White Cube, Gagosian, Simon Lee Gallery, Platform China…
New galleries dedicated to emerging artists have also consolidated Hong Kong as a creative and forward-looking location for the development of the Contemporary Art scene, including Saamlung, founded in October 2011 by critic and curator Robin Peckham, and 2P Contemporary, the very first Hong Kong Gallery to be accepted into the LISTE fair in Basel, where it will be exhibiting this year during Art Basel.Well done Pui Pui!
Commenting on his experience at ART HK, Lars Nittve, Executive Director of M+, said: “It is really wonderful to see how ART HK puts the spotlight on Hong Kong and its artists. At the same time, besides being a marketplace, the Fair is developing into a major platform for discussions about the urgent questions triggered by the Asian art world’s rapid development. The Fair is an educational tool!”
Throughout ART HK 12 the city has hosted numerous gallery openings, talks, tours and debates – crucially timed to coincide with the Fair dates. Within the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre itself, Asia Art Archive, ART HK’s official Education Partner, presented for the fifth year “Backroom Conversations”, a series of discussions in which leading experts from the Contemporary Art field considered key issues faced by the art world. A highlight of the programme included the ‘Burger Collection Keynote Lecture’, this year given by curator and critic Okwui Enwezor.
Promising sales were reported at the fifth and last edition of ART HK. The 4-day event attracted 266 galleries from 38 countries worldwide. This year ART HK had a record 67,205 visitors, a 6% increase on last year’s Fair.
ART HK 12 included some of the best galleries from around the globe, with an even balance of those attending from Asia and those attending from elsewhere in the world. ASIA ONE, a section dedicated to showing solo shows of Asian artists by galleries from Asia and which debuted at last year’s Fair, returned for the 2012 Fair and was again well received. This year, the section was positioned on both floors of the Fair and throughout the centre of each hall, bringing Contemporary Art from across Asia to the heart of the Fair.
Hong Kong’s dynamic art scene has expanded year upon year since ART HK began in 2008. With the development of the West Kowloon Cultural District and its contemporary museum component, M+, the renovation of the Central Police Station heritage site to a mid-size exhibition venue and the significant work already conducted by organizations such as Para/Site Art Space, Asia Art Archive and Fotan Open Studios, Hong Kong’s cultural scene has developed rapidly.
Major sales of Asian and Western Contemporary Art at ART HK 12 included:
De Sarthe Gallery from Hong Kong sold No. 313, 1969 by Chinese artist Chu Teh-Chun for over US $3 million to a South East Asian collector. The gallery also sold Hans Hartung’s work T1966-H32, 1966 to a Singaporean collector for US $400,000.
Installation view of Daniel Buren’s From Three Windows, 5 colours for 252 places, work in situ, 2006
presented by Lisson Gallery
Photo: Kitmin Lee
The Fair drew a crowd of prominent individuals from the international art world. Notable artists who attended the Fair included Maurizio Cattelan, Paul Chan, Subodh Gupta, KAWS, Bharti Kher, Anselm Kiefer, Joseph Kosuth, Mariko Mori, Takashi Murakami, Pipilotti Rist, Luc Tuymans, Zaha Hadid and Jeff Wall. ART HK 12 was also attended by some of the world’s most influential museum directors and curators, including Lars Nittve, Executive Director of M+, the Contemporary Art museum in Hong Kong’s planned US$2.1 billion West Kowloon Cultural District; Charles Saumarez Smith CBE, Secretary and Chief Executive, Royal Academy of Arts, London; Dr. Melissa Chiu, Director of the Asia Society Museum; Elizabeth Ann MacGregor, Director of the MCA Australia; Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programs and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery in London; Klaus Biesenbach, Director of MoMA PS1 (New York); Philippe Vergne, Director of Dia Art Foundation (New York) and Sam Keller, Director of the Fondation Beyeler (Switzerland).
ART HK’s major highlights this year included the return of the Private Museum Forum, which debuted at last year’s Fair. The unique round table seminar brought together 40 major owners and directors of private museums worldwide to explore how to sustain and develop such innovative institutions. It offered participants the invaluable opportunity to share their goals and concerns in an open and supportive environment. This seminar will lead to the development of an active working group to explore how private museums can cooperate – sharing information and exhibitions in a way that public museums routinely do.
The ART HK Private Museum Panel, which invited six museum owners and directors to partake in a panel open to the public and discuss the subject of museum life across Asia was moderated by Philip Dodd and six speakers attended the Private Museum Panel: Wang Huangsheng, Li Bing, Dr Oei Hong Djin, Kian Chow Kwok, Wang Wei and Lars Nittve.
Installation view of Alexander Seton’s work at Sullivan + Strumpf Fine Art
Photo: Kitmin Lee
Private museum owners and directors, and collectors from across Asia and Europe attended the fair including Nigel Hurst, Director of the Saatchi Gallery in London; Ginevra Elkann, President of the Pinacoteca Agnelli, Turin; Wang Huangsheng, Director of CAFA Gallery, Beijing; Dr Oei Hong Djin, owner of OHD Museum, Indonesia and Wang Wei, owner of the Dragon Art Museum, Shanghai, which will open November 2012; Richard Chang (Beijing & New York); David Tang (Hong Kong); Budi Tek, owner of the Yuz Museum (Jakarta); Maja Hoffman (Switzerland); Judith and Paris Neilson of the White Rabbit Foundation (Sydney); Guy Ullens, founder of the UCCA – Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing; Uli Sigg (Switzerland); Eric and Suzanne Syz (Geneva); Thomas Ou (Shanghai); Monique Burger (Hong Kong); Dai Zhi Kang, founder of the Himalayas Art Museum (Shanghai); Zhu Tong, Director of the Sifang Art Museum (Nanjing) and François Pinault (Paris).
Li Bing, owner of the Beijing He Jing Yuan Art Museum and the Art Collectors’ Club in Beijing, as well as one of earliest participants in the ART HK Private Museum Forum, commented on the Fair: “I have seen the Fair improve year on year but this year the improvement has been dramatic, especially in terms of quality, which is very impressive. A really excellent event.”
As an extension of last year’s Forum ART HK introduced for the 2012 Fair a new and exciting element to complement the closed summit. This was the ART HK Private Museum Panel, which invited six museum owners and directors to partake in a panel open to the public and discuss the subject of museum life across Asia. Moderated by Philip Dodd, this free event welcomed six speakers who had attended the Private Museum Panel: Wang Huangsheng, Li Bing, Dr Oei Hong Djin, Kian Chow Kwok, Wang Wei and Lars Nittve.
ART FUTURES, another section which debuted at last year’s Fair, also returned for ART HK 12. This year’s ART FUTURES Prize was awarded to local Hong Kong artist Lee Kit, for his solo presentation at AIKE-DELLARCO, Shanghai, a project entitled Something in My Hands, 2012. Commenting on winning the Prize, artist Lee Kit said: “I am extremely happy. It is great to have a section like ART FUTURES, and a prize for the section. Its focus on younger artists and younger galleries looks firmly into the future, and as it is often through the solo booths that an art fair can show its character ART FUTURES is another exciting element of ART HK.”
Further cultural highlights at ART HK 12 included the ten works selected for ART HK Projects, a feature section which debuted at last year’s Fair. Selected projects included Flower, an installation of Yayoi Kusama’s distinctive large scale sculptures presented by Gagosian Gallery and SCAI THE BATHHOUSE from Tokyo with Tatsuyo Miyajima’s HOTO, 2008, a 6 metre high silver-mirrored tower with 3,287 LED digital counters over its surface. For the first time, ART HK Projects had an appointed Curator, Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo.
Commenting on the Fair and ART HK Projects, Yuko Hasegawa said: “The response to the ten ART HK Projects has been wonderful. It is an important element of the Fair as it offers the opportunity to see works of an institutional scale not usually seen on the stands of an art fair. ART HK has played an important role as a platform for Contemporary Art in Asia and its cultural importance of the to the art scene surrounding Hong Kong and into Asia is undeniable. I am thrilled to have been given the chance to be part of it in this way.”
Claire Hsu, Executive Director at Asia Art Archive, commented: “We are pleased to see that with the expansion of the Fair comes an increasing diversity and quality of works. The energy created around the fair attracts not only collectors and a large public eager to view the works, but goes further to bring together artists, curators, writers, and thinkers. AAA is delighted at the full attendance at its educational programmes – Backroom Conversations – an indication of the importance of this week in contributing to building a critical foundation around the Fair.”
Further talks and debates included the Royal Academy’s ‘In Conversation with Mariko Mori’ and the Intelligence Squared Asia debate entitled “Contemporary Art Excludes the 99 Percent”, which included Elizabeth MacGregor, and artists Paul Chan and Joseph Kosuth. Beyond the HKCEC, gallery openings throughout the week included Andreas Gursky at Gagosian, Anselm Kiefer at White Cube, KAWS at Gallery Emmanuel Perrotin and at Pearl Lam Galleries an exhibition of Chinese contemporary abstract artists including Li Xiaojing, Qin Yufen, Qiu Zhenzhong, Zhu Jinshi and Li Huasheng. During the ART HK week the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority also presented MOBILE M+: YAU MA TEI, showcasing Contemporary Hong Kong artists.
Pearl Lam, who opened Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong in time for the Fair, commented: “Hong Kong is changing. Who would have believed that there were long queues this week all the way down Pedder Street, not for the latest LV or Hermes icon bag, but to see art.”
Michael West, Deutsche Bank Head of Communications, Asia Pacific, said: “ART HK has literally catapulted Hong Kong onto the international art map. As a sponsor we are delighted to have supported the Fair’s development over the last three years and Deutsche Bank will again be the lead sponsor of Art Basel in Hong Kong in 2013.”
Magnus Renfrew, Fair Director of ART HK, commented: “The progress that the Fair has made over the last five years has been extraordinary. We have had a strong attendance from both the international art world and from the local Hong Kong community. The quality of work on show demonstrates how seriously galleries are now taking Asia. It will take time to develop the market here but we have witnessed this week an increased openness internationally in engaging with work from different cultural and aesthetic backgrounds and sales have been solid. The buzz in town this week has been exceptional and the city has become more and more confident in its potential to be one of the great art hubs globally. I look forward to working on the launch of the first edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong for 2013.”
Source: Spears, Wealth Management Survey