Art HK highlights

The world’s biggest art fair is taking place in Hong Kong this week. ARTHK2011 drew 63.000 people every day, and there is no reason to think this year’s fair will be less popular. 260 galleries from 38 countries are participating, with big players like White Cube, Ben Brown, Gagosian, Michael Hoppen Contemporary and ShanghART Gallery showing off their biggest names, as well as younger galleries participating in ART FUTURES. See the whole list of exhibitors here.

For everyone in Hong Kong, here are my recommendations for artists, galleries and events not to miss at the fair. No doubt I have forgotten something, so feel free to leave your own suggestions as a comment below. I strongly advise you make the trip to the Exhibiton & Convention Centre in Wan Chai, between 16th and 20th of May, as well as the events going on in various galleries around town!

For everyone else, I will be covering ARTHK2012 on the blog, so keep your eyes peeled!


Gagosian, which opened their gallery here last year, is showing Andreas Gursky’s first exhibition ever in Asia. He’s the artist behind the most expensive photography ever sold, Rhein II, which fetched $4.3m at Christie’s in 2011. Prices aside, his art is truly amazing. Critics have called it straightforward. Contemporary Asia has provided extraordinarily rich and surprising subject matter for Gursky and, over the last twenty years, he has photographed in Japan, Thailand, China, and North Korea. Some of the first pictures he made were in Hong Kong in 1994—among them Sha Tin racetrack, Hong Kong airport, and Shanghai Bank, the last of which appears in this exhibition. Gursky continues the approach he took for his most recent exhibition at the Louisiana Museum in Denmark, combining the large-scale, painterly and almost abstract Bangkok series with other works.

Opening reception for the artist: Tuesday, May 15th, from 6:00 to 8:00pm


White Cube opens Art Fair week tomorrow already, with the German painter in town for the opening. If you haven’t checked out the London gallery’s huge, impressive space in the city yet, this is a good opportunity. Their first show, London pictures by Gilbert & George, was one of the most highly anticipated openings so far this year. Let us see if they can continue the success with this exhibition.

Opening reception: Tuesday 15th of May, 6-8.30 pm.


The only Norwegian gallery showing at ARTHK! Galleri Maria Veie, based in Oslo, is showing at the fair for second year in a row. Headhunted at PULSE MIAMI by ART HK, they won the Public Space Project last year with artist Elin Melberg. The same artist is back with an impressive new sculpture, Tumour (as shown in the top photo), as well as two other works. Dutch-Norwegian Frido Evers is also represented by the gallery. Galleri Maria Veie shows something completely different, easily enjoyed by everyone – and on the fair’s first day, 17th of May, it is Norway’s national day. A good day to check out some Norwegian art, I would say.


Frido Evers- and it sounded like the rain. 2012


Chinese photographer Jiang Penyi is represented by the Hong Kong gallery. His work show light up buildings around China. The fluorescent skyscrapers and office buildings light up the whole photo, whilst everything else is dark. I will be interviewing him later this week, so you will be able to know more about this interesting exhibition.



Yayoi Kusama is having a big moment these days. Recently the focus of a retrospective exhibition at Tate Modern, her art is now being profiled in Hong Kong by two galleries. Opera Gallery, one of the first major galleries to settle down in Hong Kong, is showing the exhibit Infinity in the eyes of Yayoi Kusama.

Sotheby’s is celebrating the opening of their Hong Kong gallery, a move to further cater towards the growing Chinese art market. Their selling exhibition, Hong Kong Blooms in My Mind, is personally titled by Kusama, and the result of direct and exclusive collaboration with the artist, her studio and the artist’s long-standing Tokyo gallery, Ota Fine Arts. An assemblage of nearly 40 works will be on auction, with prices ranging from US$20,000 to US$700,000.

Kusama is one of the most influential figures in the Eurocentric modern and contemporary art history, right up there with Warhol, so don’t miss out on these two chances to see her work. 

Opera Gallery: 2-8 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong (main entrance via Wyndham Street)

Sotheby’s gallery: 19th to 31st of May, Level 5, One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong.

Jiang Pengyi – Luminant. 2012

Check back for more coverage from ARTHK2012 at WHAT I’M ON ABOUT.

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