Cultured Magazine

February/March 2015

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96 CULTURED IMAGES COURTESY ART CENTRAL HONG KONG Asia's Art Hub Getting the Art Basel stamp brings some major cultural clout to a city. Add to that the spawning of satellite fairs and what you have is an international art destination. Samantha Tse checks in with the duo behind Art Central, the latest addition to the Hong Kong fair scene. On March 14, a new satellite fair from the team behind ART HK will launch in Hong Kong to coincide with Art Basel. Titled Art Central, the inaugural edition will bring together 77 galleries from around the world in a bespoke tent spanning 108,000 square feet on the new Central Harbourfront. The event will feature two sectors: Central, for more established spaces, and Rise, for emerging talent hosted by galleries established in the last five years. "Art Central showcases the next generation of talent alongside some of the most established contemporary art galleries from around the world," says the show's Co-Director Eve Share Banghart. "This makes our intimate fair exciting for new buyers, seasoned collectors and art lovers alike." The fair will place a strong emphasis on Asian galleries; more than 60 percent of those exhibiting will be from the region, and aptly, Chinese and Hong Kong galleries will be of particular focus. Art Central will also feature contemporary Chinese ink works, which have seen an increased interest in the current art market. "Very much in vogue within the auction scene, ink artists are now breaking into the million-dollar price range in the secondary market," says Banghart. "World-class museum exhibitions—such as 'Ink Art: Past as Present in Contempora ry China' at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2013 and 'Fresh Ink: Ten Takes on Chinese Tradition' at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2010—demonstrate the relevance of this medium for modern artistic expression and cement its place in the contemporary art world." Several booths will showcase ink art, including Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, which will present a new site-specific installation by renowned ink pai nter Lan Zhenghui. Galerie Du Monde will exhibit paintings by up-and-comer Li Hao, as well as works by the iconoclastic Qin Feng. And, Opera Gallery will be taking a bold approach with an exciting site-specific performance piece by multimedia artist Cindy Ng that will be performed in conjunction with a Macanese theater company. Another highlight of the fair will be the Swarovski collaboration with interio r designer Joyce Wang, whose work includes Hong Kong restaurant Mott 32 and a private penthouse in Shanghai. Titled Oculus, the installation "incorporates Swarovski crystals in a striking one- of-a-kind objet d'art, emitting an unexpected kaleidoscope of light," explains Banghart. "Wang has created a poetic visual symphony in which reflections and refractions dance through space as light penetrates through the inner crystalline structure of a simple egg-shaped silhouette." As Hong Kong welcomes its guests for Art Basel, its visitors will undoubtedly be curious about the new fair, which is excellent for the city's burgeoning art scene. Clockwise from left: Art Central's co-directors Eve Share Banghart (left) and Maree Di Pasquale; Rob and Nick Carter's Campbell's Soup Can (Won Ton) after Andy Warhol (c.1985), 2015; Li Hao's Guaxiang, No. 18, 2014

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