On the wa­ter­front

Hong Kong’s new­est art fair, Art Cen­tral, prom­ises to trans­form the har­bourfront into a hub of cre­ativ­ity

Hong Kong Tatler - - Concierge -

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

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