State of the Art
The world is changing ever faster and so is Hong Kong. We will soon enjoy the fifth edition of Art Basel, and a number of major projects are nearing realisation, including M+, to join initiatives such as the Asia Art Archive, Spring Workshop, Para Site as well as galleries and auction houses that are already part of the fabric of the city. We have gone from showing off our handbags to exhibiting our art collections.
This month’s cover story (p.158) features two giants of the art world. Zeng Fanzhi and Larry Gagosian are leaders in their fields. In a rare interview for publication, the duo shared with me fascinating insights into their realm and how they have shaped the art world as we know it today.
Among figures shaping the local art scene are four important young curators, all women. In Artistic Selection (p.166), Chloe Street profiles Chantal Wong, Christina Li, Kwok Ying and Venus Lau, revealing their curatorial philosophies. Through their collaborations with artists and institutions, curators such as these are contributing to the region’s cultural and political evolution.
My return to Hong Kong coincided with the arrival of the new executive director of M+, Suhanya Raffel, a warm and open-minded woman. At this still early stage, M+ is already one of the world’s most forward-looking museums. And the revamped Museum of Art and the new cultural hub at the old Central Police Station will soon be contributing to the city’s rapid development into an art hub drawing international attention. In Coming into Focus (p.174), Christopher Dewolf assesses these and other exciting additions of cultural hardware and software.
Moving over to Europe, we meet France’s darling of design. I have known Herve Van der Straeten for more than 20 years and have witnessed his meteoric rise. In Engineering Beauty (p.190), Madeleine Ross reveals a designer obsessed with perfection who has attracted a number of important Hong Kong collectors. We are proud to be the first magazine in Asia to publish an interview with him.
There’s plenty more about the arts to read inside—plus our definitive guide to Art Basel and the multitude of events during Art Week.
Art has an important role to play in turning the current geopolitical turmoil in Hong Kong and Asia into positive energy for the region’s cultural evolution. This issue shows how some in the art world are not just “part of the picture” but are shaping our society. They are the key actors. They are the story and will keep inspiring us.
CREATIVE CRUSADERS William Zhao, Larry Gagosian and Zeng Fanzhi at our shoot in New York