Arts and antiques prove holiday drawcard

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 05 October, 2009, 12:00am

Those looking for a little culture and heritage over the holiday weekend headed to the newly refurbished Convention and Exhibition Centre, not only for the annual Hong Kong International Art and Antiques Fair, but to browse the goods available at the Sotheby's autumn auctions in a hall two floors below. Both events hosted private previews on Friday. With more exhibitors than ever, the fair's founder and director, Andy Hei Kao-chiang (pictured), was excited, especially since all things old are new again.

'Last year, the Lehman Brothers collapse happened just two weeks before the fair,' he said. 'But I just came back from New York and the sale results went well. Many collectors are switching from collecting art to antiques, and they're new buyers.

'A couple of months after the economic downturn, we noticed there wasn't really a difference, especially here and in China. People are starting to appreciate it not just for investment. They're thinking of the tradition first then its value, whether it's ceramic, jade, a painting or furniture. The interest is mainly from mainland China. That's why Hong Kong is so important for this trade.'

Even Canto-pop star Alex Fong Lik-sun was in attendance on Friday, mostly to support his dad, Fong Yuk-yan, who was operating a stall. The fair continues until tomorrow, while the Sotheby's preview lasts until Wednesday.