Post award to raise profile of galleries

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 May, 2009, 12:00am

A special award will be presented in a new section at next week's ART HK 09 fair that is hoped will raise the profile of less-established art galleries among an international audience.

The award, sponsored by the South China Morning Post, will be presented to an artist shown by one of the 12 galleries selected to participate in the SCMP/Art Futures section of the fair. All 12 have been established less than five years.

The galleries - including three from the mainland, two from Hong Kong and two from Japan, with others from Australia, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Indonesia - will showcase works ranging from video and photography to paintings and installations by one or two emerging artists at the fair, which runs from next Thursday to Sunday.

The winning artist, to be chosen by a four-member judging panel of curators and art critics, will receive a cash prize of US$2,500 and an invitation to create a front cover for the Sunday Post Magazine.

'We wanted to give younger galleries, which are often under-represented at major international art fairs, a platform at the fair to show something new, fresh and exciting,' fair director Magnus Renfrew said. He said the 12 galleries were selected at meetings in London in October and Miami in December, based on galleries' proposals.

'The prize will raise the profile of the winning artist's work both in Hong Kong and internationally, and the SCMP/Art Futures section will give younger galleries an opportunity to build their profile among international visitors [to the fair],' he said.

Mr Renfrew said attendance at this year's ART HK was likely to beat that of last year's inaugural fair, which attracted just under 20,000 visitors.

'This year we have already sold 30 per cent more tickets and we very much anticipate an increase in our total visitor numbers year on year,' Mr Renfrew said.

The fair would feature a wide range of art works worth between US$1,000 and US$10 million.

'But you don't have to be a buyer to come and enjoy some of the most exciting art from the 20th and 21st centuries,' he said.

The fair, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, will host more than 110 galleries from 24 countries. It has teamed up with Para/Site Art Space to provide hourly guided tours.