Starting this Thursday, Hong Kong will play host to ART HK, a preeminent art fair that cements Asia’s World City’s reputation as a fixture on the international art calendar. Set to take place at the HK Convention & Exhibition Center, over 60,000 participants are expected to attend this year.
There is nothing B-rated about HK’s art scene. Local collectors are major players in the international bidding wars and recent auctions of classical Chinese art at Sotheby’s broke all records.
“Hong Kong’s living art culture is vibrant and growing exponentially,” says Bill Flora, U.S. Director of Hong Kong Tourism Board. Apparently the art world is taking notice. Not only has Art Basel purchased 60% stake in ART HK; the blue-chip gallery line-up appearing this year reads like a list of ‘who-is-who’ of the culturatti set.
New York’s Gagosian, London’s White Cube and Parisian Emmanuel Perrotin are all showing off their wares.
“We made very strong sales during last year’s fair, including our western artists to Asian collectors. We are very happy to be back.” said Emmanuel Perrotin. Outdoing wildest expectations, some of the works that sold last year included Liu Wei, Jeff Koons and Andreas Gursky.
Once again Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, with 600-pax facility, was named event’s official hotel. Known for its spectacular views of the Victorian Harbor and city skyline, Mandarin Oriental will offer specialty cocktails bearing art-related names and custom lunch and dinner menus in the hotel’s restaurants, as well as special Art HK guest packages with VIP access to fair’s vernissage.
Accompanying ART HK, the annual Le French May Art Festival will offer a rich cornucopia of all things francaise. Two highlights this year: “Picasso: Masterpieces” from National Picasso Museum in Paris to be exhibited at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and the French opera “Carmen” at the Grand Theatre of HK Cultural Centre.