Draw of Art Basel a chance to network and look ahead
Hong Kong Art Week is not just about buying and selling; cultural institutions and non-profit organisations are taking the opportunity to network with their overseas counterparts and publicise their projects to the international press.
The National Gallery Singapore is in Hong Kong to promote itself before the venue's opening, scheduled for November this year. According to its director, Eugene Tan, the gallery's exhibitions and programmes will draw upon its collection of art from the Lion City and Southeast Asia. He says the gallery will provide unique perspectives on "cultural production in Singapore and the region and create a dialogue between the art of Singapore, Southeast Asia and the world".
He adds that while M+, the planned museum of the West Kowloon Cultural District, will feature international exhibitions within the Hong Kong context, the National Gallery Singapore will present art from Singapore and its neighbours within the international context. It will have two permanent galleries and plans to collaborate with other overseas museums through touring exhibitions.
Hong Kong's Asia Art Archive celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, and in an open forum at Art Basel on Saturday it raised the question of how the non-profit should prepare itself for the next 15 years. Among those who attended the event were influential collector of Chinese contemporary art Uli Sigg; seasoned curator David Elliott; and the archive's president, Jane DeBevoise.
They agreed that while the digital age is going to change the way art is shared and consumed in the future, the archive has to maintain its independence from the market, the government and politics in order to stay true to its role as an unbiased preserver of art history.