Updated: Jan 31, 2019
In light of our upcoming exclusive Insiders’ Tour to Hong Kong for its art week, we keep our focus on Hong Kong for this post. To give you some deeper insight as to how and why Hong Kong Art Week has evolved to become the prima donna of art weeks in the pan-Asian region.
Many argue that the true genesis of Hong Kong’s art market is attributed to the emergence of the Art HK art fair. It was set up in 2008 to spark investor interest in art in Hong Kong and with the larger hope of capturing the burgeoning Chinese market. With its historical legacy as an ex-British colony, it also ensured that established western collectors with a taste for modern and contemporary Chinese art had a friendly jurisdiction to double as their art playground. The fair was an instant hit, and in 5 short years, even got bought out by Art Basel, which sealed its place in the luminary halls of the world's most important art fairs.
This popular fair became the keystone of Hong Kong's annual Art Week and was complemented by the establishment of the more Asian-focused Art Central and fringe events organised by private players, the Hong Kong Art Galleries Association and the Hong Kong SAR government. There is now good utility of spectacularly-refurbished heritage buildings for art and design exhibitions, Tai Kwun and PMQ, to name a prominent few. These come even more alive with themed shows to engage the public, ensuring that the Art Week is not just for big-time collectors and art industry insiders.
Impressively on the commercial galleries front, several international blue-chip galleries have set up their Asian base, and almost all present blockbuster exhibitions specially for the Art Week and participation at Art Basel Hong Kong. The bulk of these are concentrated around the Central business district, and the arrival of H Queen's tower right in the heart of it has upped the heat even more, with brand names like Hauser & Wirth, David Zwirner and Pace all consolidated in this one building. The nearby venerable Pedder Building houses its own prestigious share of galleries as well.
With the completion of the behemoth West Kowloon Cultural District edging closer by the day, Hong Kong Art Week will no doubt get even more dynamic and prove even harder to catch up with. Everyone is especially holding with bated breath, the opening of its flagship contemporary art museum of M+, with its official opening slated for 2020.
Hong Kong Art Week looks set to have a blindingly bright future, making it one event on the arts calendar that no one with an interest in art in Asia should miss.
Find out more about our Insiders Tour of Hong Kong Art Week 2019