HONG KONG.- Art Central
, presented with its Lead Partner UOB, closed 25 March 2023, following its five-day showcase of over 400 artists from around the globe, presented by 70 galleries from Hong Kong, Asia and beyond. Robust sales were widely reported across the week.
This years programme was supported by Mega Arts & Cultural Events Fund (Mega ACE Fund), adding an impressively-scaled video artwork by Yang Yongliang at the Fairs entrance, a special group exhibition of Hong Kong artists, a daily series of performance art, and multiple educational activities to its existing line-up. Over 40,000 collectors and art-loving visitors from Greater Asia, the Americas and Europe attended the Fair, reaffirming its role as a cornerstone event of Hong Kong Art Week and a premier platform for contemporary art in Asia.
The Fairs applauded Yi Tai Sculpture & Installation Projects, led by 2023 curatorial advisor Chris Wan, continued to be popular with four large-scale installations by artists BAHK, Clara Wong, Bev Butkow, and Hui Yun. Glows in the Night, a video artwork by internationally-acclaimed Chinese artist Yang Yongliang featured at the Fairs entrance, drew enormous attention from visitors. The special exhibition, titled Blue Throat: Start the Churning, highlighting 16 emerging and established artists in a survey of contemporary art and new media garnered strong interest, demonstrating the Fairs commitment to promoting artistic talent from the region.
The Fairs long-time Education partner, Asia Society Hong Kong Center, continued its commitment to art education presenting Gok Dou LIVE, a diverse and ambitious programme including talks, and video art projects by 10 Hong Kong artists. Asia Society also presented live performances throughout the Fair days, and all enjoyed high attendance. Lead partner UOB presented Interwoven: Wired Shanshui, a newly commissioned interactive ink art installation by Hong Kong-based artist Margaret Yeung Kwok Fan, and the debut of UOB Art Explorer to provide Fair visitors with an opportunity to learn and experience Chinese ink art. Additional educational initiatives supported by the Mega ACE Fund were positively received and attended by families and children.
Under the Hello Hong Kong umbrella, the Arts in HK Café by Hong Kong Tourism Board at Art Central welcomed visitors to embrace the mesmerising world of arts and culture in Hong Kong. Showcasing east-meets-west culture, the Arts in HK café presented artworks co-created by pairs of local and international artists to share Arts in HK from a new perspective.
Corey Andrew Barr, Fair Director, Art Central said, It is with delight that we celebrate the completion of another year of Art Central and to see Hong Kong back on track as an international art destination. We are grateful to UOB, all our partners and participating galleries for their unwavering commitment to the Fair and their support in creating such a diverse and enticing programme. This year, were honoured to have the support of Mega Arts & Cultural Events Fund which has been instrumental in realising even more ambitious projects and reaching wider audiences. We eagerly anticipate our next edition in March 2024.
Christine Ip, CEO Greater China, UOB said, UOB is delighted to be the Lead Partner of Art Central in Hong Kong for the seventh consecutive year. It was great to see such a strong turnout to the Fair and we are proud to showcase the best of contemporary art in Asia. Thousands also experienced UOB Art Programme including the 2022 UOB Art in Ink Awards Winners' Showcase and the large-scale installation Interwoven: Wired Shanshui, the UOB Art Explorer, as well as an art talk. We are already looking forward to working with the team towards the 2024 edition.
Exhibiting galleries remarked on their experience at Art Central 2023:
Yang Kai, Gallery Owner, K Gallery, said, This is the first time we returned to Hong Kong following the pandemic and exhibited at Art Central. We can really feel the enthusiasm of Hong Kong Art Week and the art community in this years Fair; we had the opportunity to meet both old and new audiences, as well as collectors from around the world. Through this robust platform, we were able to promote the works of contemporary Chinese artists such as Guo Wei, Zhang Dali and Zhou Chunya among others, and saw a strong performance in sales.
Soyoung Lee, Gallery Director, 021gallery, said, This is our first time presenting at Art Central and we cannot express how excited we are that the local art scene has become so vibrant in spite of the pandemic. We are very honored to exhibit our artist BAHKs work as a part of this years Yi Tai Sculpture & Installation Projects. We are delighted to have met with a crowd of nice and sophisticated visitors at the Fair. Moreover, many of them had a profound knowledge in art, and we really enjoyed our conversations with the Fairs dynamic community.
Nick Chu, Co-Founder, Double Q Gallery, said, What really surprised us this year was the energy at Art Central. Everyone who stopped by our booth was so eager and excited to engage with art not just collectors, but also art lovers of all ages, especially millennials and students. As a Hong Kong based gallery, we are happy that our booth sold out and are beyond proud to see the Hong Kong art scene flourishing again, especially with M+ leading the way.
Pablo Villazán, Founder and Director, VILLAZAN, said, We are very happy to be back at Art Central 2023 after three tough years of COVID. It is amazing to see the city so alive and vivid, with the community coming back together for wonderful art. We are also extremely happy and thankful to have a dedicated solo show of Edgar Plans, which has been a great success. Thank you to everyone that has come to booth B16 and has enjoyed Edgar Plans heroes with us. We hope to see you next year!
Aaditya Sathish, Associate Gallery Director, Square Street Gallery, said As a young gallery, we can only organise six to seven exhibitions at our gallery space a year. At Art Central this year, we connected our artists, both those who have worked with us and those who will work with us, to collectors new and old. As such, we are extremely pleased with this year's fair.
Kimura Kenjiro, Gallery Director, Katsumi Yamato Gallery, said, This is the first time our gallery has participated in such an international art fair, and we greatly appreciate the opportunities provided. It is fascinating to see numerous galleries from all over the world attend such an excellent Fair in Hong Kong. We greatly appreciate the strong community and network provided by the Fair, which creates opportunities for galleries and guests to connect. We sincerely wish to continue participating in Art Central, and look forward to seeing what the Fair can bring in the coming years.
Coco Lv, Gallery Founder, Cospace, said, We have visited Art Central for years and this is our first time participating as an exhibitor. We are grateful for the experience offered by the Fair; it is a great opportunity for us to connect with old and new friends. We hope to meet again in the near future.