More galleries for HK art fair despite crisis

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 March, 2009, 12:00am

More international galleries will participate in the second Hong Kong International Art Fair in May despite the economic downturn.

Organisers of ART HK 09 said that the financial crisis had hit the traditional art centres of London and New York, and this had made Asia even more important.

The fair has received more than 250 applications for this year's event and around 110 galleries have been selected, which is up to 10 more than last year.

Among the galleries coming for the first time are London's White Cube, one of the world's more prominent commercial art galleries; Galleria Continua from Italy; Lisson Gallery from London; and Gagosian Gallery. Tomio Koyama Gallery and Scai the Bathhouse are Japanese galleries coming for the first time.

This year's art fair will also feature, the first time in Hong Kong, works by Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor.

Fair director Magnus Renfrew said that the number of applications for the fair had grown because people wanted to explore the Asia market.

Mr Renfrew said the past few months had been difficult for traditional art fans from New York and London, and the industry was looking to develop a new market.

'Hong Kong and Asia are still young and have potential to grow,' he said.

Last year's fair grossed sales of US$20 million and had an attendance of 20,000 visitors. Mr Renfrew said that some of the galleries coming for the first time, such as White Cube, came to look at the fair last year.

An initiative called Art Futures which is aimed at promoting 13 galleries less than five years old, including two from Hong Kong, will be featured this year. Mr Renfrew said that it was important to offer a platform for new galleries with potential to participate in art fairs.

ART HK 09 will run from May 14 to 17 at the Convention and Exhibition Centre. A series of educational programmes organised by the Asia Art Archive will take place alongside the fair. Tickets will go on sale on April 1.


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