Monday, May 7, 2012

ART HK 12 in Hong Kong: Asia's biggest art event

I really like this artwork by a South Korean artist.

There's one event in Hong Kong that's been penciled into my phone calendar for a while now and I'm still trying to see if I can make it for the day and for the event opening itself, as this just happens to coincide with one of my very few days in Manila over the next two months or so -- and it has to be a toss-up between staying (and working) at the Travelife office or enjoying a day of art in Hong Kong this time around.

I'm talking about ART HK 12one of Asia's major art events taking place in Hong Kong later this month, and an event that art lovers from across the globe, and especially from our part of the world, have been gearing up for.


The Hong Kong International Art Fair -- or ART HK 12 as collectors and art enthusiasts know it -- will as usual be featuring hundreds of wonderful modern artworks from new and veteran artists. This year, 266 of the world’s leading contemporary and modern art galleries will be participating at Art HK 12, with a private preview on May 16 and a public opening from May 17 until May 20 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.

It's always a fun event as collectors from all over the world get together, and quite a lot of gallery owners and art enthusiasts fly in from Manila as well. Many of the artists are also present so it's a chance to discuss art with people from the industry and compare notes. 

Some of the art is pretty mind-blowing -- especially the installations by up and coming young artists. Lots of these are quite interesting to see and ponder over, although I always wonder how on earth some people would buy and display these in their living room -- unless they have 3000 square meter houses and 300 square meter living rooms. Perhaps they do.


Modern art, too, is always nice to look at because so much of it has to do with thinking out of the box and considering an entirely different reality from the everyday. But some of it can be a little too out of this world. 

Charles Saatchi, for instance, is one of the most prominent collectors of modern art in the world. I remember being shocked at a story in the newspapers in London that he had bought another major piece of modern art and paid a fortune for it -- but this time it was someone's used knickers. He'd reportedly displayed it in his living room for a time, and then I wondered after that what his second wife, the celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, had to say about used knickers being displayed as art in their living room. 


One of the highlights of ART HK 12 will be ASIA ONE, a section which was introduced last year at ART HK that's dedicated to showcasing the latest developments in contemporary art from across Asia. 

This year, 49 major Asian galleries have signed up and each will be exhibiting a solo presentation by an artist of Asian origin. ASIA ONE is probably the first world-class art venue to offer an international platform to both emerging and established Asian artists and their galleries, and provides a unique opportunity for visitors to see and purchase the best of Asian art. 

Participating galleries this year come from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Australia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.


Major Sponsor
Deutsche Bank

Partner Hotel
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

Honorary Patron
David Tang

Thomas Shao


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