Three top Chinese contemporary art curators will come together for the first time in Hong Kong. Along with market experts they will be at the Asia Art Forum 2010 to help fulfill an unmet need: educating hungry collectors in Asia. The 3rd edition of Asia Art Forum gives special focus to Chinese art and examines Hong Kong art for first time.
The third edition of Asia Art Forum will be held in Hong Kong on May 21-23 2010 just a few days before ArtHK, Hong Kong’s leading art fair.
For the first time it will bring together three of China’s leading curators: Karen Smith, author of “Nine Lives: The Birth of the Avant Garde in New China”, Philip Tinari influential scholar and editor of China art magazine LEAP and Valerie Doran curator and expert on Hong Kong’s contemporary art.
These three prominent international art opinion leaders will be talking at the Asia Art Forum fulfilling an unmet need: to educate and encourage fledgling and established collectors in Asia who are hungry for more information.
Study of Hong Kong art for first time
For the first time in its third edition, Asia Art Forum will be giving special focus to the art scene of Hong Kong, Hong Kong resident and curator Valerie Doran will analyse the evolution of art in Hong Kong over the last decade from an art scene that operated outside of commercial pressure to the moment last year when Hong Kong artists were being championed by the auction houses in their 2009 sales.
Why the Asia Art Forum was established
Pippa Dennis established Asia Art Forum in Shanghai in 2008 when she experienced first hand a gap in Asia’s art ecology. ” I worked in a gallery in Shanghai and collectors and art professionals alike were hungry for information. I realised there was a need for education but these art worlds were developing at such a pace it was impossible to find courses that were up to date. It was at this point I realised the only way to make it work was to collaborate with the curators and critics working on the ground in these areas who were actually part of these evolving art histories, pivotol figures in their development. My vision is to create small and intimate Forums where collectors, art professionals, art lovers can listen to the best of Asia’s art community in an atmosphere where discussion and dialogue is possible and encouraged.”
The first Asia Art Forum was held in Shanghai in the autumn of 2008. In 2009 the Forum was brought to Hong Kong. “The positive response was overwhelming and we are coming back this year. Hong Kong’s geographical location works well as it allows people to fly in from the region for the course,. The presence of ArtHK, the Hong Kong art fair which starts just after Asia Art Forum finishes, enables the attendees to then experience first hand some of the work we have been looking at in the Forum.”
What people are saying about the need for Asia Art Forum
Jehan Chu, a Hong Kong-based consultant to collectors in Asia and former speaker explains how Asia Art Forum meets an important need. “Collector education is one of the most important challenges facing the development of a mature Asian art environment. The thing that makes Asia Art Forum so special is that they’re helping to provide a balanced and real world perspective to collectors, something sorely lacking in this turbulent market. Top auction house experts, museum curators, and art advisors are all on hand to share their experiences in a frank and practical voice.” Jehan Chu, Arts advisor, Hong Kong
One of the participants in last year’s Asia Art Forum, Kristina Perez added, “I attended the Asia Art Forum’s lecture series last year on the historical development of the emerging Asian art scene. I decided to attend the lecture course since I did my undergraduate degree in the History of Art at Cambridge where there were no courses offered on contemporary Asian art. As a journalist covering the arts in Beijing and Hong Kong I had been scrambling to plug the gaps in my knowledge as quickly as possible. I found the lectures highly structured and compelling, and they went a long way to putting in context the modern movements of art in China, Japan and Korea. The handbook that was provided has also become my go-to cheat-sheet. The Asia Art Forum’s lecture series are an extremely useful tool for professional development and continuing education.”
China focus this year
This year the Forum will have a different flavour. In the last two editions curators and experts from different parts of Asia attended. This edition curators will be focused only on contemporary art from China and Hong Kong.
The Forum will be giving particular attention to the contrasting art practices from these two regions over the last decade for example the big productions values available to mainland artists in China compared with the unique vernacular developed by artists in the confined space of Hong Kong.
Collecting with Dr Oei
The role of the collector in Asia will be examined. Dr Oei, South East Asia’s most prominent collector, will talk about his personal journey from afficionado to building the most important collection of art in South East Asia today.
The Asia Art Forum also examines the current state of the Asian art market following an extraordinary year of events with Phillips de Pury’s Asian specialist Jeremy Wingfield.
Booking and more information
Valerie C DORAN
Valerie C Doran is a critic, curator, and translator specializing in the field of contemporary Asian art with a special interest in cross-cultural currents and comparative art theory. She is a contributing editor of Orientations Magazine. Her most recent curatorial projects include Simon Birch’s multi-media extravaganza, HOPE & GLORY (ongoing at ArtisTree Hong Kong), and the acclaimed exhibition ‘Looking for Antonio Mak’ (Hong Kong Museum of Art 2008-09), among others.
Philip Tinari is editor-in-chief of LEAP, a new bimonthly journal of contemporary Chinese art based in Beijing and published by the Modern Media Group. Since 2007, he has run the publishing imprint, editorial office, and translation studio Office for Discourse Engineering. Tinari is a contributing editor to Artforum and adjunct professor of art criticism at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. He serves as China advisor to Art Basel and worked previously as academic consultant to the Chinese contemporary art department at Sotheby’s. He has written and lectured widely on contemporary art in China, for publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times Magazine, and Parkett. Recent projects include the book Hans Ulrich Obrist: The China Interviews (2009) and the exhibition The Hong Kong Seven, mounted by the Fondation Louis Vuitton at the Hong Kong Museum of Art last year. He holds an A.M. in East Asian studies from Harvard, a B.A. from Duke, and was Fulbright fellow at Peking University.
Dr OEI Hong Djien
Dr. Oei Hong Djien, born and based in Indonesia has been collecting art for nearly thirty years, focusing on modern and contemporary Indonesian art. The collection comprises about 1500 works. A fraction of the artworks is displayed in his private museum, known as OHD museum where he himself is the curator and which is available for public viewing. He was honorary adviser to the Singapore Art Museum in 2001 – 2005, served as member of the Singapore Art Museum Board in 2005 – 2009 and was a curator of Museum H. Widayat, Magelang , Indonesia in 1994 – 2009. A book about his collection has been published in 2004, titled: “Exploring Modern Indonesian Art. The collection of Dr Oei Hong Djien” by DR. Helena Spanjaard.
Karen Smith has been in Beijing since 1992 researching Chinese contemporary art. She is the author of Nine Lives: The Birth of Avant-Garde Art in New China and the forthcoming monograph on Ai Weiwei. Her curatorial work includes The Real Thing at Tate Liverpool, 2007; The Chinese, Kunstmuseum Wolfsberg , Germany , 2004; and Illumination; Ai Weiwei and Tibetan Plateau, Beijing Girls: Liu Xiaodong both at Mary Boone Gallery, 2008.