Gathering some of the best established and emerging players from Asia-Pacific, Art Central Hong Kong opens on 27 March 2018 and runs until 1 April.
Art Radar picks highlights from the fair’s fourth edition, including new gallery presentations, performances, the Curated Projects section as well as talks organised by the Asia Society.
Art Central, now in its fourth year, is recognised for presenting progressive art that challenges its boundaries, and the 2018 edition will showcase young and dynamic artists alongside the highest quality work by established names. Building on the success of the third edition, Art Central 2018 will continue to foster discovery and discourse over an extended period of one week. The fair will remain open until Sunday 1 April, welcoming collectors to join a full weekend of art over Easter.
This year, Art Central presents 102 international galleries, with 30 galleries joining the fair for the first time. Maintaining the fair’s strong regional identity, over 75 percent hail from Asia-Pacific and are set to showcase the best of Asian contemporary art practices. Some galleries at Art Central this year are presenting the best of the art market, with strong representation of blue-chip artists, from modern masters to the most sought-after contemporary artists.
Highlights from the main Galleries section include modern and contemporary art from South Korea, which comes to the fore with Gallery Hyundai’s (Seoul) presentation. The showcase will offer historical material from Dansaekhwa figures such as Chung Sang-Hwa and Kim Tschang-Yeul.
Acclaimed multimedia and installation artist Tony Oursler will be presented alongside the multi-disciplinary artist Not Vital at Galerie Forsblom (Helsinki, Stockholm): both artists have been recognised for shifting the audience experience of art in the 21st century.
The Whitestone Gallery (Hong Kong, Tokyo, Nagano, Taipei) will present an important show by founding members of the canonical modern Japanese movement, Gutai. This will include work by Shozo Shimamoto, Atsuko Tanaka and Sadamasa Motonaga.
Seven leading contemporary Australian sculptors will be exhibited by MARS Gallery (Melbourne). Their presentation, entitled “The Magnificent Seven”, includes Daniel Agdag, Sollai Cartwright, Simon Finn, Lisa Roet, Jason Sims, Tricky Walsh and Jud Wimhurst, showcasing the diversity of the medium of sculpture and the strength of its development in the nation.
Flowers Gallery (London) will present a selection of recent works by Korean photographer Boomoon, alongside work by Julie Cockburn, Ken Currie, Nicola Hicks and Patrick Hughes. In addition, Hong Kong-based Michael Wolf will create an installation consisting of video, photographs and found artifacts.
Performance with 4A Centre at Art Central
In partnership for the third year with the Sydney-based institution 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Art Central will present an interactive performance programme that will run throughout the duration of the fair, from Tuesday to Sunday.
Building upon its own critically acclaimed performance programme, Australia’s independent, not-for-profit contemporary arts organisation returns with a series of interactive and live works that address contemporary concerns of excess and dispossession. In an era characterised by polarities and expansive disparity across societies, the pervasive sense of tension informs the thematics of the programme.
Showcasing leading contemporary artists from across the Asia-Pacific region, the works respond directly to global unease through a series of daily on-site performances. Participating artists include Caroline Garcia (Australia), FJ Kunting (Indonesia), Sam Lo (Singapore) as well as artist duo Sampson Wong & Lam Chi Fai (Hong Kong).
Art Central, through this partnership with 4A, continues to push the boundaries of durational performance art and audience engagement. Throughout the seven-day fair period, four performances will shape and transform the fair experience for viewers.
Not to miss:
Caroline Garcia’s (b. 1988) work at Art Central, entitled The Vitrine of Dancing Cultures, references the seminal performances of Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Coco Fusco. Garcia’s work interrogates the anthropological phenomenon of the ‘ethnographic exhibition’, which has placed subaltern bodies on display in museums, zoos, circuses and theatres throughout history. Garcia develops and builds upon this concept in The Vitrine of Dancing Cultures, where the artist’s cis-female, coloured body is encased within a vitrine, confronting degrees of politicisation, as her cultural identity and gender is put on show.
The Vitrine of Dancing Cultures is a museographic dance installation that presents auto-ethnographic portraits of Garcia, bringing forth her Filipino ancestry. She engages in a durational dance ritual using a Nintendo Wii to examine the neo-colonisation of popular culture and cultural tourism. Through repetition, this performance brings into question an individual’s stamina when facing expectations of cultural competence and visibility.
Sampson Wong and Lam Chi Fai’s new media installation, Pavilion For Our Living, contemplates the housing crisis currently affecting Hong Kong citizens. Wong (b.1985) and Chi Fai (b.1985) are Hong Kong-based artists who have collaborated since 2010.
The installation invites participants to experience the micro-apartments that many Hong Kong citizens call home. Temporarily simulating one of these apartments within the art fair environs, the exhibition space becomes one of containment. Once inside the simulated space, the viewer gains access to audio interviews with micro-apartment dwellers on how they navigate these literal spaces, along with the problems attached to living inside one of these homes.
PROJECTS, the fair sector dedicated to new modes of engagement with immersive and large-scale installations, is curated this year by Ying Kwok, an experienced independent curator from Hong Kong. Kwok most recently was the appointed curator for Hong Kong’s participation at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. Ying Kwok comments, as quoted by Art Central:
PROJECTS has brought together a selection of international artists who push the boundaries of their own artistic medium resulting in a display of refreshing outlooks. Some artists try to adopt their cultural heritage but with a new contemporary twist; the others surprise us with a creative artistic sensibility, reinventing familiar modern content into new experiences.
Projects provides Art Central with a platform to support the presentation of contemporary art with aspirations of scale and non-traditional approaches. With a curatorial structure exploring the progressive media of technology, augmented reality and kinetic art, juxtaposed against historical and cultural narratives in contemporary art practice today, six cutting-edge installations have been selected.
Future Past News (2016) is a collaborative project by artists Andrea Wolf (b. 1979, Chile) and Karolina Ziulkoski (b. 1985, Brazil) that employes augmented reality technology to expose the disturbing parallels between current global affairs and the pre-war turmoil of 1937. The installation situates the viewer in a 1937 living room, where the focal point is a television set playing archival news footage from the period. Viewers are invited to review the newsreel through an iPad, programmed with an augmented reality app, whereby 20th century news is eerily layered and justaposed with present day news, striking a disconcerting parallel.
Talking about Art with Asia Society
Fostering discourse and dialogues about critical developments in Asia, Art Central TALKS have been organised by Asia Society, presenting a series of talks by Asia Society Game Changer Awards honorees, all who are leading and influential artists practicing today.
The programme will feature Subodh Gupta (b. 1964), recognised for his use of the mass-produced stainless steel and brass cooking vessels ubiquitous throughout India, which he transforms into monumental sculptural installations exploring migration, globalisation and the social repercussions of economic development. Another speaker is Shirazeh Houshiary (b. 1955), a member of the New British Sculpture movement of the 1980s. Her work often incorporates elements of Islamic texts and imagery as a means to ruminate on the intangible nature of spirituality and our common humanity. Park Seo-bo (b. 1931) will also speak at TALKS. He is a seminal figure in Korean contemporary art and a founding member of the Dansaekhwa movement.
On the development of the fair over the last few years, Charles Ross, Managing Directorof the fair is quoted by Art Central as saying:
In just four years, Art Central has emerged as one of the region’s leading events for international collectors, art enthusiasts, and the general public. Our position as a seminal fair and cultural platform has developed from strength to strength, and we look forward to presenting art of the highest quality. This year, I am also extremely pleased to welcome Shuyin Yang, as Fair Director of Art Central. Shuyin has already demonstrated considerable knowledge, as well as strong ties to collectors, galleries, institutions and the art-world at large; I am confident she will continue to reaffirm the Fair’s presence in the region.
With such a strong programme about to open, Shuyin Yang, Fair Director, Art Central, adds:
For the 2018 edition we are excited to elevate the collector and audience experience with immersive, engaging, and provocative presentations. The curated selection of exhibitors is set to showcase an exciting array of ambitious exhibitions from solo presentations of established artists with demonstrated institutional support; to artists with strong market presences; as well as some of the most talented emerging names.
Art Central Hong Kong 2018 will be open to the public from 27 March until 1 April 2018, at Central Harbourfront Event Space, 9 Lung Wo Road, Central, Hong Kong.
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