On the waterfront
Hong Kong’s newest art fair, Art Central, promises to transform the harbourfront into a hub of creativity
or the past few years, Art Basel in Hong Kong has lured the world’s most fervent collectors to the shores of the Fragrant Harbour, transforming the Convention and Exhibition Centre into a bustling art hub. This year, for the first time, the Art Basel extravaganza will be complemented by Art Central—a satellite art fair which takes place a hop, skip and a jump away on the Central harbourfront.
Staged from March 14 to 16 and with a VIP preview on March 13, Art Central is set to exhibit work from 75 galleries, with a particular emphasis on those from Asia. More than 60 per cent hail from the region, with 16 of the galleries from our city. “We really want to engage Hong Kong with this fair,” says Charles Ross, managing director of Art Central. “We want to engage the art world globally but we want Hong Kong to feel ownership over it.”
Local galleries showcasing work at the fair include Galerie Huit, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Opera Gallery and The Cat Street Gallery, while big names from overseas include Martin Browne Contemporary from Sydney, London’s The Fine Art Society Contemporary, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts from New York and Art:1 by Mon Decor Gallery from Jakarta. In addition to work from established artists, the fair will feature a section dedicated to emerging artists, called Rise. Art Central has also partnered with the Asia Society, which will present daily talks about artistic and curatorial practices in the region and beyond.
The fair is the brainchild of the team that founded Art HK, which became Art Basel in Hong Kong in 2012. Although Art Central is not directly linked to Art Basel, its organisers like to think of the waterfront fair as the “younger brother” of the latter.
“What happens in big art-fair cities around the world—like Miami, Basel, London during Frieze or Paris during FIAC—IS that other fairs spring up alongside them. Parallel fairs stimulate the market. They bring more people into town and they engage the city,” says Ross.
For tickets, see artcentralhongkong.com