Hong Kong's other art festival has Asian flavour

Art Central sprang from the former ARTHK, providing an Asian counterpoint to the more internationalised Art Basel.
Elaine Yan Ling Ng's Sundew
Elaine Yan Ling Ng's Sundew

The big cheese at Hong Kong’s annual arty party in March is Art Basel, which bought ARTHK three years ago and will bring thousands of international collectors and artists to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from March 23-26. However, frisky upstart Art Central provides an Asian flavour -the new waterfront art fair’s second edition  runs at the same time.

Art Central’s huge, white marquee tents house art along with pop-up restaurants, exciting special events, films, and a programme that include spectacular large-scale installations, engaging talks, performance art, and tours.

“When Art Basel took over ARTHK, the earlier fair’s organisers genuinely felt that Hong Kong could use another art fair, especially bringing their experience, contacts and depth of knowledge to the endeavor,” fair director Maree di Pasquale, who was assistant director of the Melbourne Art Fair, told FinanceAsia. “The location in Central brings art to the heart of Hong Kong and, with a more carnival-like atmosphere, attracts many local people. Our desire to educate people about art is an important aspect of the fair.”

The event also runs from March 23-26 near the observation wheel overlooking Victoria Harbour. The VIP events start on March 21.

“With over 70% of the participating galleries from Hong Kong or from Asian countries, it gives the art-loving public a chance to see the up-and-coming Asian art galleries and artists as well as works by established European, American, and international artists,” said Angela Li, one of the fair’s five selection committee members. 

Work by Nonotak Studios

In addition, one section, RISE, features younger galleries and artists, providing a lower price point for new collectors.

The committee seeks to maintain international standards for the 100 galleries, according to Li, by providing state-of-the-art construction with top-quality tents, air conditioning, good floors, and climate control.

Never at a loss for providing new ways to allow collectors and art lovers to sample art, Art Central presents Projects, including five large-scale installations and spatial interventions that challenge the confines of the traditional art fair booth. Hong Kong’s own Sin Sin Fine Art will present Growth (2016) by Indonesia-born Dwi Setianto.

Media X Mumm is the fair’s first exhibition devoted to new media and performance art, and supported by G.H. Mumm Champagne. In addition, Screen X Experimenta is a curated platform for experimental and narrative motion picture filmmakers.

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