Art Radar looks into Hong Kong Contemporary, a hotel art fair set to launch on 17 May 2012. The new art fair will run concurrently with the eagerly anticipated ART HK 12 in an effort to draw international collectors and visitors.

A screen capture of the Hong Kong Contemporary website for 2012.

Hong Kong hotel fair Korean led

Hong Kong Contemporary will take place at The Park Lane Hotel on 310 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay in Hong Kong from May 17 to May 20, with frequent shuttles running to and from ART HK 12. The choice of timing for the fair is a cross-promotion initiative, aimed at increasing attendance to the inaugural event. According to an article in The Korea Herald, the organiser behind Hong Kong Contemporary is Moon Eun-myung, the South Korean owner of Moon Gallery in Hong Kong.

This new fair will showcase contemporary art from different countries in a wide range of prices that aim to attract both new buyers and established collectors. As Roger Lin, the director of Hong Kong Contemporary, reveals in the press release for the event,

We aim to create an art fair that is fresh, trendy and accessible… By setting up a platform for Hong Kong artists and galleries to exchange information and ideas with international galleries, we hope to promote Hong Kong art and bring it to an international level.

Lin also states that this art fair provides a unique experience to the collectors and visitors, allowing them to see the the art works in a room setting.

This method of exhibition helps facilitate a more relaxed interaction between the gallery owner and client, and provides an intimate and attractive setting for the art works to be showcased to their best advantage.

AHAF Seoul 11: installation view of Ovas Art Gallery’s hotel room, 27 December 2011. Image from AHAF website.

Hong Kong Contemporary is organising a cohesive programme that is atypical for a hotel art fair. Some of the events include a VIP opening, a special exhibition, media coverage, and an open art competition for local Hong Kong artists who will have a chance to win the ‘Hong Kong Contemporary Artist of the Year’ award.

Hotel art fairs a trend in Asia

The model for Hong Kong Contemporary is similar to AHAF HK, an established hotel art fair that exhibits art works in hotel rooms, and Young Art Taipei, a fair organised by Taiwanese Contemporary Art Link (TCAL). This concept has been well received by many galleries in Asia, and has taken place in major cities including Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong. The fair appeals to galleries looking for alternative venues to show their artists’  works at a cost far lower than in conventional art fair settings. It is also attractive to exhibitors since this model allows the gallery staff to utilise the hotel rooms for their accommodation, as noted by the Hong Kong Contemporary fair director, Roger Lin.

Gallery owners are throwing their support behind this popular and highly successful trend of exhibiting work out of hotels. It is a new concept of showing and selling artworks and growing in popularity in Asia over the past few years.

A screen capture of the AHAF HK 12 website.

Hong Kong burgeoning Asian art hub

Hong Kong is rapidly establishing itself as a premier destination for International art audiences. In 2011, Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses reported unprecedented sales, Art Basel bought a major stake of the Hong Kong International Art Fair (ART HK) and renowned galleries such as Gagosian Gallery opened outposts in the city. White Cube from London will open their branch in March 2012 and in February of 2012, Asia Society will be opening their Hong Kong venue. Along with a no-tax law on the import and export of art in Hong Kong, and exciting developments in art and culture, the city increasingly has the potential to offer many opportunities for those in the business of art.


Related Topics: Hong Kong, market watch, art fairs

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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