Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hong Kong Int�l Art Fair opens to acclaim

�Shape Shifting At The Entrance To The Forbidden City� by Matthew Carver will be exhibited by the Galerie Caprice Horn at the Hong Kong International Art Fair 10, May 27-30.

Asia's leading international art fair opens to the public Thursday in Hong Kong for its third annual meeting of curators, galleries, collectors and art aficionados. Twenty-nine countries will be represented in this 150 gallery-strong event also known as ART HK 10, promising everything from performances to masterpieces in its largest offering yet.

The three-day affair will see the sales of such works as Andy Warhol's "Myths" ― the event's most valuable item at $12 million ― and Picasso's 1936 portrait of Marie Therese from the Gagosian Gallery.

Other artists to look out for are Young British Artist Damien Hirst, Japan's Takashi Murakami and India's Subodh Gupta, while globally influential galleries such as the Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris and White Cube in London will also have booths set up.

Fourteen galleries from Seoul will participate in the fair, including the established Gallery Hyundai, Kukje and Arario galleries. Gallery Hyundai will exhibit 30 works by 19 domestic and foreign artists, including works by the noted German photographer Thomas Struth, and British-American artist Sarah Morris. Kukje Gallery will be showcasing some 20 artists, including pieces by Jack Pierson, Rhee Ki-bong and Lee Hye-rim.

Many of the works will be shown in Hong Kong for the first time, and the global stage on which the fair is presented will be balanced between the old and the new.

The Michael Hoppen Gallery in London will exhibit roughly 15 pieces, including the vintage "Dovima and the Elephants" (1955) by fashion photographer Richard Avedon ― the first time it will be on sale in the Asian market ― as well as the technologically significant "Milkdrop Coronet" (1957) by Dr. Harold Edgerton. Contemporary names include Ellen von Unwerth and Sohei Nishino, who creates satellite panoramas of cities based on memories, rather than exact measurements.

"In principle, the photography market is very young in Southeast Asia," said gallery owner Michael Hoppen, who is well-known for his range and selection of contemporary photography. "So we decided to go back in a sense to the real fundamental foundations in photography and bring great works by great masters."

The fair has garnered attention from financial and other creative groups alike. Christie's will stage an auction for Asian contemporary art on May 29 to run in conjunction with the event, and a variety of top creative minds will join the festivities this year.

Baz Luhrmann will team up with portraitist Vincent Fantauzzo to perform a multimedia work that includes a narrative, oil painting and sound effects. Their show will be hosted by the 10 Chancery Lane Gallery. Sensation Noriko Yamaguchi will also perform a show as her character Keitai Girl ("mobile phone girl" in Japanese) for an invitation-only show the day before the fair opens to the public.

Though the event is in the international spotlight this week, the fair is not restricted to only professionals and art connoisseurs. Programs such as the "New to Buying Art Tour" will help out the novice, while others outside the industry are welcome to join. Tours will be given in Mandarin, Cantonese and English.

For more information visit www.hongkongartfair.com. Tickets to the general show are $200, though discounts are available for students, seniors and children under the age of 16 accompanied by an adult.

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