Hong Kong International Arts and Antiques Fair Reaffirms Hong Kong as Centre of Art Business in Asia
Source:Artintern Author:Artintern Date: 2008-10-22 Size:
 The Hong Kong International Arts and Antiques Fair 2008 The Hong Kong International Arts and Antiques Fair (HKIAAF), a four-day premier art exposition staged at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, came to a successful conclusion on 7 October, 2008. Attended by almost 18,000 vis

 The Hong Kong International Arts and Antiques Fair 2008

The Hong Kong International Arts and Antiques Fair (HKIAAF), a four-day premier art exposition staged at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, came to a successful conclusion on 7 October, 2008.

Attended by almost 18,000 visitors from all over the world, HKIAAF 08 showcased some 2,000 superb works of art, worth a total of over HK$300 million, exhibited by over 70 leading Asian, European and American galleries. This was Hong Kong’s first art fair in more than a decade where masterpieces spanning 5,000 years from Neolithic ceramics through to cutting-edge contemporary art, were on display.

Occupying an area of 5,000 square metres, the fair presented a sophisticated showcase of museum-quality artworks, from ancient rare Himalayan bronzes, Chinese ceramics and works of art, to the finest Ming and Qing dynasty furniture, antique textiles and jades. In contrast, the contemporary art section displayed cutting-edge paintings, sculptures, installations, photography and mixed media works, celebrating the kaleidoscopic styles and creativity of artists from all over Asia, with a particular emphasis on emerging young artists.

Bridging the two sections was a special exhibition, “Li Huayi at 60”, presented by the Ink Society. The work of this contemporary master, who takes inspiration from landscape paintings of the Song dynasty, embodies the harmony between ancient and modern, East and West, which epitomized the spirit of the fair.

“The resounding success of HKIAAF 08 speaks for itself,” said Andy Hei, Founder and Director of Art & Antique International Fair, the organizer of the fair. “We have provided an unrivalled stage on which to spotlight an array of collecting categories, of a breadth and depth never seen before in an art fair in Hong Kong. With the enthusiastic participation of renowned international galleries and solid sales witnessed, our fair is acclaimed as an indispensable landmark in the Asian art world and reaffirms Hong Kong’s vital role as the centre of art business in Asia.”

“We are delighted with the response to the fair, despite the current global economic crisis. Many of the artworks on display were sold and a few booths even sold out. We have confidence in the continued growth of the Asian art market in the long term. Hong Kong enjoys the advantage of being a tax-free port with an excellent infrastructure which greatly facilities the art business, as well as its proximity to mainland China. Going forward, our annual fair will continue to open more windows into the vibrant Asian art market.”

HKIAAF 08 represented a unique opportunity for art lovers, collectors and connoisseurs to appreciate and acquire a diversity of masterpieces. The fair attracted international private collectors, dealers, foundations and museum representatives, many of whom flew to Hong Kong especially for this fair from mainland China, Taiwan, Europe and the USA. The fair was also visited by curators, representatives of art organizations, students and the general Hong Kong public.

Among the key sales in the Antiques section were pieces from Images of Faith, a remarkable private collection of Himalayan sculptures and ritual objects presented by Rossi & Rossi of London. The collection, formed in the last 15 years, comprises pieces dating from the 11th to the 18th centuries. Sold to a UK collector during the fair for HK$1.15 million were a 15th century Tibetan vajra chopper knife made from silver and gold damascened iron, and a 14th century vajra water knife, so called because its wavy blade resembles flowing water. Vajra is the thunderbolt sceptre of Indra, the king of Hindu gods, god of rain and thunderstorms. Other highlights included a gilt copper portrait of Virupa, which sold to a European collector for HK$470,000, and a seated Manjushri made from silver alloy with copper alloy which sold to a Chinese collector for HK$430,000.

Other international antique galleries that reported active buying included Carlton Rochell (USA), Danon Gallery (USA & Italy), Robert Hall (London) and Jacqueline Simcox (London). The Hong Kong antique galleries attracted strong interest with many achieving excellent sales, including David Lu Fine Arts, M & C Gallery, Teresa Coleman Fine Arts, Martin Fung Ltd, Maria Kiang Oriental Art, Yueshan Yuan Art, Andy Hei Ltd and Ever Arts Gallery.

In the Contemporary Art section of the fair, young, emerging artists took the centre stage. Among galleries reporting excellent sales were Grotto Fine Art, representing a number of leading Hong Kong artists; and Galerie Ora-Ora which displayed impressive works by the Chinese sculptor Xu Hongfei. Sundaram Tagore Gallery (New York, Beverly Hills, Hong Kong) was successful in showing Indian artist Sohan Qadri and US artists including Lee Waisler. Gallery Cellar from Japan, participating in an art fair in Hong Kong for the first time, sold out their works by young Japanese artists Maki Hosokawa and Tatsutaro Kamatani. Works by Korean artists at CAIS Gallery and PYO Gallery also captured enormous interest from visitors.

HKIAAF 08 was sponsored by Chong Hing Bank. All proceeds from the sale of tickets to the Opening Night Reception and Charity Auction will be donated to the Hong Kong Community Chest which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

[Editor] Zhang Shuo