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Art Central closes energetic art month in Hong Kong
Art Central’s popularity was reaffirmed with record attendance of 39,000 over the seven-day period.

HONG KONG.- Art Central with Lead Partner United Overseas Bank (UOB) closed the Fair on 1 April. The 102 participating galleries presented a curated selection of artworks which widely appealed to collectors and the general public alike, strengthening its standing as one of the most dynamic and progressive art events in the region. Art Central’s popularity was reaffirmed with record attendance of 39,000 over the seven-day period. Garnering private and institutional interest, strong sales were reported throughout the week. Art Central will return for the 5th edition in 2019.

Charles Ross, Managing Director, Art Central notes, “Art Central returned to Hong Kong with the aspiration to elevate the Fair experience and we are proud to have delivered a showcase of the best of contemporary art practices from Asia and across the globe. The success and positive response of this Edition is testament to the maturation of the local and regional scenes. Sales to private, corporate and institutional collectors were achieved and interest in the parallel programme cultivated across the Fair. Looking forward to 2019, we will continue to develop our platform as one that encourages experimentation and discovery to push the boundaries of contemporary art.”

Christine Ip, Chief Executive Officer – Greater China, UOB says, “This is the second year UOB is the Lead Partner of Art Central and we are pleased that our series of art workshops was well-attended and well-received. The theme of our workshops – ink art – was also reflected at our booth at Art Central, where visitors were able to try their hand at ink painting. Such engagement with the public at Art Central is part of UOB’s ongoing outreach efforts to promote the appreciation of art in the wider community.”

Institutional support was shown across private and public museums with representatives of: Art Gallery of New South Wales (Australia), Asian Cultural Centre (South Korea), Brooklyn Museum (United States), Centre Pompidou (France), Delfina Foundation (United Kingdom), M+ (Hong Kong), National Gallery Singapore (Singapore), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (United States), The Serpentine Galleries (United Kingdom), Singapore Art Museum (Singapore), and Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (China) attending Art Central. An international group of curators, collectors and art enthusiasts were also in attendance including: Max and Monique Burger, Doryun Chong, Alan Lau, Tim Marlow, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Uli Sigg and Thomas Shao.

The parallel programme at Art Central included educational ink art workshops held by UOB, large-scale installations, discursive and performances were also well received and enriched the Fair experience

Participating Gallery Responses
Jonny Davies, Gallery Director, Asia for Flowers Gallery (London and New York): "We are happy to see that the presentation of the Fair and quality of works has improved this year. We have had a strong year, placing a number of works with important collectors based in Hong Kong, Singapore and Mainland China. We sold 8 kinetic sculptures by Jane Edden, as well as a selection of photographs by Nadav Kander including to an institution in South Korea. There has been constant interest for all our artists in the booth, we have sold important works to significant collectors."

Sukontip Fon Prahanpan, Founding Director, La Lanta Fine Art (Bangkok): “For our first time at Art Central, we presented a solo booth of Thai artist, Pannaphan Yodmanee. We are thrilled with the result, the Fair has provided a platform for us to introduce her works to international and local collectors. The majority of the artworks shown have sold, and we are pleased to have placed them in a major Singaporean collection as well as with important private collections across the region.”

Andy Dinan, Director, MARS Gallery (Melbourne): “Our booth at Art Central was a great success. The Fair presents a unique opportunity for us to meet collectors from all around the world. Works have been sold to private collectors from Macau, India, Switzerland and Australia. The Fair organisers have been instrumental in making this edition a success and we look forward to participating in future editions.”

Jung Lee, Founder, Rén Space (Shanghai): “This year we once again presented new works by leading Chinese artists, Yu Youhan, Zhang Peili, Zhan Wang and Wang Xingwei. The monumental mosaics by Yu were placed with an institutional collection and strong sales were noted across the booth. The wonderful reception is testament to the maturity of the market and quality collectors that Art Central has brought in.”

Koei Shiraishi, CEO, Whitestone Gallery (Hong Kong, Karuizawa, Taipei, Tokyo): “Our presentation of first and second generation Gutai as well as contemporary Japanese painters were immensely well received, with works placed with collectors from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. Building upon her live painting performance in Hong Kong, we received immense interest for the works of emerging Japanese painter Miwa Komatsu.”

Adriana Alvarez-Nichol, Founder, Puerta Roja (Hong Kong): “We are very happy to return to Art Central which is now under the vision of new Fair Director Shuyin Yang. We have seen a substantial increase in the quality of galleries and works, which have attracted both new but seasoned, as well as institutional collectors from Hong Kong, the United States, Australia, the Netherlands, and South Korea, amongst others for us. We have had a fantastic response to the curation of our booth and especially the links of our Spanish and Latin American artists to Asia, including Cristina Moroño, who lives and works in Hong Kong. Our booth's highlight: the bamboo mobile sculptures by Laurent Martin “Lo” piqued great interest by large developers and institutional collectors who have expressed interest in commissioning the artist. Sales for Javier León Pérez, whose works we have shown and sold every time we have participated in the fair, have continued to be a huge success.”

Sarah Greene, Founder, Blue Lotus Gallery (Hong Kong): “Our solo booth featuring new and iconic works Wing Shya were popular across the board. Art Central has provided us with a platform to meet new collectors and we are delighted to have made institutional sales to public museum collections as well as privately owned art foundation.”

Gilles Dyan, Founder and Chairman of Opera Gallery (Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris): “Every year we do extremely well in Art Central Hong Kong. This year, we sold a selection of Manolo Valdés paintings and a sculpture, with prices ranging between USD 350,000 – 1,000,000. We also had great interest on the Korean artists, and sold artworks with prices ranging between USD 50,000 – 80,000.”

Julliana Choi, Director, Over The Influence Gallery (Hong Kong and Los Angeles): “We had another strong year at Art Central. Our solo booth of Mike Lee’s oil paintings was sold out by the start of the First Night with great interest. The paintings went to international collectors from Asia, Europe and the US. The Fair attracts an engaged global audience and we are excited to offer works to their diverse collections.”

Kenneth Young, Director of Karin Weber Gallery (Hong Kong): “Art Central kicked off with great success for us, on the First Night we sold multiple pieces by Emily Allchurch and Eric Fok. Allchurch’s ‘Babel Hong Kong’, a new commission for Art Central, was created with support from the British Council & Arts Council England and the dramatic work created electric interest. We are also thrilled to have confirmed a new corporate commission for Allchurch, while Fok's works were placed in Hong Kong and Korean collections.”

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