HONG KONG.-ART HK 09 opened yesterday to a heady atmosphere of excitement as Hong Kongs elite and key Asian collectors from across the region joined the thousands who visited the Fair on its first day. The mood was heightened as those gallerists seeking new territory in the evolving international art market reported robust sales.
The day saw a delighted Lisson Gallery (who are featuring a solo show by Julian Opie), selling seven works; several Gibert and George pieces and two by Damien Hirst being snapped up at White Cube, and SCAI The Bathhouse selling their key piece by artist Kohei Nawa to an Asian collector with a museum.
Other successes at the fair include sales by local Hong Kong hero Fang Shao Hua of Kwai Fung Hin Gallery, Gana Art of Seoul Korea who sold work by five of their artists with many more on reserve and Ben Brown Fine Art who sold work by Ron Arad and have reserves on other pieces. Ben Brown Fine Arts eponymous gallery owner says of the Fair, "Great buzz, incredible attendance including many who bought from us last year. Long live Hong Kong.
First time exhibitors are thrilled with sales, reserve figures and the huge amount of interest shown by collectors new to them. Last years participants are delighted that ART HK 09 has built on the success of its inaugural year and are enthused by the calibre of the new galleries present.
ART HK 09 features over 110 exhibiting galleries from 24 countries with works ranging from $1000 to $10 mi llion, appealing to diverse local and international collectors.
Highlights include: Transubstantiate, White Cubes exclusive exhibition of work by Antony Gormley, Francis Bacon and Gerard Richter at Ben Brown Fine Art, Picasso and Giacometti at Gagosian and works by Liu Wei - Chinese Contemporary Art Awards artist of the year at Boers Li Gallery.
Running concurrently, a rich programme of auctions, talks, studio visits and an emerging artists prize have ensured ART HK 09 is the visual art event in Chinas cultural calendar.
SCMP | ART FUTURES Winner announced ART HK 09 invited twelve young galleries who have been established for less than five years, to showcase exciting new work by emerging artists as part of the Fairs SCMP | ART FUTURES exhibition. The panel have selected Indonesian artist Ay Tjoe Christine of Langeng Gallery as the winner of this years prize.
Hong Kong has demonstrated it is perfectly placed to become the art market hub of Asia. The city enjoys 0% tax on the import and sale of art work and auction houses are responding to the extra draw the Fair has to collectors. As part of an initiative called Asian Auction Week, four Asian auction houses have teamed up to present their Hong Kong sales at the same time as the fair.