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Fine Art Asia 2017: A world-class platform for the international art world in Hong Kong
Mrs Carrie Lam admired French Impressionist paintings at the booth of Galerie l’Angélus of Barbizon, France at Fine Art Asia 2017.

HONG KONG.- Fine Art Asia 2017, Asia’s leading international art fair, once again showcased an outstanding array of art and antiques presented by world‐renowned galleries, and attracted many knowledgeable dealers, collectors and connoisseurs. The fair was staged from 30 September to 3 October in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, with a well‐attended Private Preview and Vernissage on 29 September.

Fine Art Asia 2017 was staged at the peak of the October art season in Hong Kong, coinciding with Sotheby’s and China Guardian’s auctions in the same venue.

Fine Art Asia was honoured that The Honourable Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet‐ngor, GBS, JP, Chief Executive, Hong Kong SAR Government, attended the Vernissage and visited the booths of leading galleries on a guided tour of the fair. Mrs Lam has most kindly officiated at the opening of Fine Art Asia for the past 5 years.

Fine Art Asia 2017 presented a fabulous display of museum‐quality antiques and fine art from both East and West. The 8,500‐square‐metre exhibition space provided a showcase for more than 8,000 stunning works of art, worth a total of over HK$3.5 billion. The fair was attended by 23,000 visitors from all over the world.

Artworks spanning 5,000 years of cultural history included Oriental and Western antiques; Impressionist, modern and contemporary art including works by Monet and Sisley through to Francis Bacon and Tracey Emin; fine jewellery, antique silver and timepieces; and photography. Fine Art Asia 2017 boasted an exceptional offering of Himalayan Art, with the world’s leading galleries in this field showcasing arguably the strongest display ever seen in an international antiques fair. These dealers have supplied important works of art to leading institutions and highly esteemed private collections worldwide. Strong sales were recorded at the fair by Rossi & Rossi (London/Hong Kong), Carlton Rochell Asian Art (New York), Jacques How Asian Art (Brussels), Walter Arader Asian Art (New York) and Tenzing Asian Art (San Francisco).

Carlton Rochell commented, “Fine Art Asia is now firmly established as the top standard of international art and antique fairs in Hong Kong. We are so fortunate to have participated in the fair this year having travelled all the way from New York. We have made so many new connections to collectors in Asia, especially from Mainland China. It has been a record week for us in terms of sales and we will definitely be back next year. This fair will only get stronger and I would expect an increasing number of international dealers and collectors will be attracted to this event.”

In the Chinese antiques section, new exhibitor Jorge Welsh Works of Art (London/Lisbon), specialists in Chinese export ceramics, reported excellent sales, including many pieces of 18th century export ware from the Qianlong period (1736‐1795) at prices to around HK$1.5 million. Art Dreams Ltd (Hong Kong) made important sales including their catalogue piece, a three‐legged Jun ware washer from the Northern Song Dynasty (960‐1127). Nicholas Grindley (UK) sold a number of pieces including a large tixi lacquer circular dish dating from the Ming dynasty, 15th – 16th century for US$30,000; and an imposing scholar’s limestone rock with typical Jiangnan style hongmu stand from the Qing dynasty, 18th century, for US$25,000.

Antique Chinese furniture specialists Ever Arts (Hong Kong) had a successful fair, selling 10 pieces, including a huanghuali single plank scholar’s altar table from the early Qing Dynasty, a zitan carved seal box from the Kangxi period (1662‐1722) of the Qing Dynasty, and a large huanghuali carved brush pot priced at over HK$1 million. MD Flacks (London) sold a huanghuali side chair for HK$1.1 million; while half of the pieces in the two galleries’ joint special exhibition “8 Woods” were sold at the fair.

Maria Kiang (Hong Kong) had numerous good sales of Chinese scholar’s objects including an Imperial Qing Dynasty, 18th century bamboo ‘double gourd’ ink stone. Orientique (Hong Kong) made good sales, including a group of Qing porcelains sold to one collector for HK$4 million.

New exhibitor Runjeet Singh (UK) specialising in Asian arms and armour had an encouraging debut at the fair, with sales of a number of pieces in the range HK$14,000 – 850,000. He commented, “I am happy, through coming to Fine Art Asia 2017, to discover a large group of serious collectors in my field from both Hong Kong and Mainland China.”

In the Western art category, Galerie l’Angélus (France), specialising in artists of the Barbizon School, sold “Bords de l’Oise, Le Soir’, oil on canvas, by Charles‐François Daubigny, as well as “Chevrier et son troupeau près du ruisseau” by Louis‐Aimé Japy (1840‐1916). Galerie Dumonteil (Paris/Shanghai/New York) specialising in modern and contemporary art in particular on animal themes, found collectors for a monumental bronze sculpture “Young Hippopotamus” by Daniel Daviau (b. 1962) and an alabaster “Parrot Head” by Fiori Jean‐Marie (b.1952). Tanya Baxter Contemporary (London/Hong Kong) had multiple sales, including “Winged Figures” by famous British sculptor Lynn Chadwick (1914‐2003) and lithographs by Francis Bacon ‘Study for Portrait of Pope Innocent X after Velasquez, 1989’, and ‘Inside your heart’ by Tracey Emin. 88 Gallery (Paris/Hong Kong), specialising in 20th‐21st century decorative arts, sold a modular “Safari” sofa by Archizoom Associati, Italy, as well as a turquoise cabinet by Kam Tin.

As for Asian art, Shibunkaku (Kyoto) sold three paintings by renowned Japanese artist Inoue Yuichi (1916‐1985) and several “pure white” works by ceramic artist Kuroda Taizo (b. 1946). Pine’s Art, Taipei, specialising in contemporary traditional literati art and calligraphy, sold a staggering 58 out of 80 paintings displayed at the fair. Hanart TZ Gallery (Hong Kong) sold two oil on canvas paintings by Chu Hing Wah (b. 1935) (HK$300,000‐500,000) and a work in acrylic on wood by Gaylord Chan (b. 1925), whose monumental installation of 12 celebratory flags “New Year Trophy” was also exhibited in the public area of the fair. 3812 Gallery (Hong Kong) holding a solo exhibition by Huang Guanyu (b. 1945) sold several works in the region of HK$800,000. Meanwhile, Yan Gallery (Hong Kong) almost sold out their works by three Hong Kong celebrities, Benny Li, Anthony Wong and Chip Tsao.

In the Jewellery and Silver category, Boghossian (Geneva/London/Hong Kong) presenting their “Les Merveilles” collection was happy with the fair; while regular exhibitor Susan Ollemans, London, enjoyed good sales, particularly of Mughal Indian jewellery from the 17th to the 19th century. Koopman Rare Art, London, were pleased with multiple sales of fine English as well as Chinese export silver, several gold boxes and a large silver‐gilt cutlery set, in the range HK$3,500‐800,000.

An expanded Photography section at this year’s fair attracted much interest throughout. A total of seven international galleries participated, as well as the Shanghai Center of Photography (SCoP), the first accredited not‐for‐profit art institution dedicated to photography in China, which showed pieces from its permanent collection. Particularly pleasing sales were reported by Boogie Woogie Photography (Hong Kong) which curated the section, including 10 works by Japanese photographer Takeshi Shikama (b. 1948) and 5 by French photographer Raymond Cauchetier (b. 1920).

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