Hong Kong art fair tipped to be Asia's Art Basel – Financial Times

ART FAIR NEWS

On October 10, ARTSingapore unveils its eighth edition. In the past four weeks, the dedicated art buyer could also have visited fairs in Shanghai, Seoul, Hong Kong and Beijing.

What’s behind this explosion? The bottom line is that Asia does not have a major international contemporary art fair such as Art Basel in Europe, and these fairs are vying to become the leading one. But ShContemporary in Shanghai has been handicapped by internal problems made public and, not surprisingly in view of the financial crisis, sales were weak this year.

Hong Kong looks to be best placed to become the art market hub of Asia; the major international auction houses are already there and it is attractive fiscally (no tax is payable on art purchases in Hong Kong, unlike in Shanghai).

Art HK 08, inaugurated in May this year, is the fair that many believe could come out on top. Its first edition saw moderate sales and many dealers felt it has great potential. And Hong Kong’s main disadvantage, its lack of cultural infrastructure, should be remedied in a few years with the building of an original new complex, M+, a museum community with both indoor and outdoor space and a platform for cultural exchange and activities.

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