Art Central Hong Kong pulls crowds

Art Central Hong Kong attracted more than 32,000 buyers, collectors and art fans for its second edition.

Its first night alone attracted 4500 guests, setting the success for Hong Kong Art Week.

Art Central had a distinctly Asian edge, with a program including large-scale installations, panel discussions and performance art. More than 100 galleries were on show in the architect-designed temporary structure on Hong Kong’s Central Harbourfront, 75 per cent of them from greater Asia.

From the talks program to curated experimental film, the spotlight was on Hong Kong as a global centre for contemporary Asian art.

“With many galleries reportedly having sold works to buyers they have met for the first time at Art Central, the fair is creating new opportunities, connections and experiences at many levels,” says co-founder Tim Etchells.

Richard Koh Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur, returned to exhibit. “We were happy to see that the fair was even bigger and better,” says owner Richard Koh. “We have made great sales and built a lot of new contacts.”

Also happy with strong sales were John Martin, director/founder of John Martin Gallery, London, and Brian Wallace, director/founder of Red Gate Gallery, Beijing.

“As a London-based gallery, we found that Art Central has helped open doors for us in Asia,” says Sydney Townsend of Gazelli Art House.

“Bringing our artist James Ostrer’s works to Hong Kong has been an opportunity to show his works to a new audience, and we have had a really exciting response with a lot of institutional interest and new project opportunities.”

Art Central launched three curated projects, Media X Mumm, in partnership with GH Mumm Champagne, Roundtable X 4A, curated by 4A Centre for Contemporary Art from Sydney, and Screen X Experimenta, curated by Experimenta, Hong Kong, director Gina Wong.

“Art Central presented some of the world’s most celebrated museum-quality works alongside works by exciting emerging artists,” says fair director Maree Di Pasquale. “More than 500 artists were on show, and some are well known and highly collected in their home cities.”

Taiwanese artist Ting-Tong Chang, who is represented by Christine Park Gallery, London, was announced the winner of the 2016 Rise Award, sponsored by J.Crew to recognise the most-promising emerging artist. Chang presented drawings, an animatronic sculpture, a site-specific durational installation and a live performance, creating a 360-degree painting depicting the Art Central fair over its six days.

As well as art, the week featured food events, and Swarovski returned as official partner to unveil a kinetic installation that combined unconventional fibre and Swarovski crystal fabric by British Chinese designer Elaine Yan Ling Ng.

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