Hong Kong positions itself at the centre of Asian art scene
HONG KONG, May 13 — A collection of the world’s leading galleries are converging on Hong Kong over the next few days in preparation for its largest annual art fair but the smarter ones have already set up outlets here as they look to tap into a city that has set itself up as Asia’s arts hub.
Art HK 12 will fill up the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre May 17-20 and organisers claim there will be work on show representing 266 galleries from 39 countries and regions alongside a series of seminars and educational programme.
They have been bullish about the rising importance of the event, which is marking its fifth edition, and say the presence of such major international dealers as the Paris and New York-based Marian Goodman Gallery as well as major Asian heavyweights such as the ShanghART Gallery from Shanghai shows just how much Hong Kong has become valued as a centre for art.
Magnus Renfrew, fair director of ART HK said in a statement that the event was designed to encourage as “much collaboration and cross-cultural exchange as possible, making Art HK 12 a platform for developing the audience and market for contemporary art in Asia and providing a global audience an opportunity to discover and learn about contemporary art from the region.”
The fact that Hong Kong now ranks behind only New York and London when it comes to turnover from art auctions is one indication of the role the city now plays in the international art community — and some of the world’s major players have this year been moving in.
London’s influential White Cube opened a Hong Kong gallery in March, London’s Simon Lee Gallery followed suit last month and France’s Galerie Perrotin — famed for its collaboration with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and for giving Damien Hirst his first solo exhibition — will open its outlet here on May 15.
Meanwhile, renowned international art dealer Sotheby’s is set to open a 1,390 square metre gallery in the city on May 19 as it looks to further reach out to the growing market in Asia — and, of course, the growing influence of Chinese buyers from that country’s rising wealthy class.
“[We have] our own buildings in London and New York. Setting up a gallery here will move Hong Kong in line with the two art hubs,” Sotheby’s chief executive in Asia told the South China Morning Post. — AFP/Relaxnews