Hong Kong art scene set for colourful March

As Art Basel HK gains traction as a leading contemporary art event in Asia, a raft of satellite events has started to sprout.
Creation Oil by Chris Ku
Creation Oil by Chris Ku

As jet-set collectors swoop into Hong Kong on March 15 to 17 for the third Art Basel HK, the fair hopes to top the 65,000 visitors who attended in 2014 and spent freely.

As this highly commercial fair increasingly gains traction as a leading contemporary art event in Asia, a whole raft of satellite events has started sprouting up in March.

Of particular note for 2015 is the launch of Art Central, founded by Tim Etchells, Sandy Angus, and Will Ramsay, founders of ART HK in 2008 before the fair was acquired by Art Basel in 2011.

Running March 14 to 16 in a specially commissioned 10,000 square metre tent-like structure located on the Central Harbour front, it has attracted 70 international and local galleries, an exotic pop-up restaurant and bar, plus a wide-ranging program of panels and talks exploring artistic and curatorial trends in Asia. The web site Artsy’s exclusive preview of Art Central 2015 will be live March 10 on Artsy.net.

Now at its 4th edition, Chai Wan Mei is an art and design festival gathering 60+ artists and creative professionals across 40 studios. Sarah Greene, director of Blue Lotus Consultancy, said: “The festival is based in the industrial neighbourhood of Chai Wan showing the energy and creativity of the city’s outskirts. The festival hosts a major art exhibition showcasing works by local and international artists.”

Fotanian Open Studio Days is moving from January to March 7, 8, 14 and 15. Fotanian brings together a vibrant community of over 95 studios and 300 artists. Local artists started to take refuge in the vacant lofts in this industrial area around 2000. Once a year they throw open their studio doors in Fo Tan to welcome art lovers, who get to go behind the scenes.  

“Much less formal than the big art fairs, visitors can freely explore the artists’ workplaces and hear about their artworks and techniques”, said organiser Simone Boon. Fo Tan provided the incubator for international art stars such as Chow Chun-fai, Lee Kit, Chris Ku, Sarah Tse and Lam Tung-pang. 

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