The first Art Basel fair to be hosted by Hong Kong previewed on Wednesday (May 22), boasting works from more than 3,000 international artists from 245 of the world’s leading galleries.
The four-day event, opening to the public on Thursday (May 23), highlights the former British colony’s role as the latest global arts hub amid rising wealth and interest in art from mainland China.
Art Basel, which has been showcasing modern and contemporary art for 43 years, announced in 2012 that it would replace Art HK, Hong Kong’s former art fair which was set up in 2008.
"We chose Hong Kong for several reasons. One, that it’s located geographically at the centre of Asia. We wanted a show that would be, that would access all of Asia, that would represent all of Asia. Also the openness here of the society, the freedom of expression being guaranteed by law was an extremely important thing for us because Art Basel has a long history in the art world, so we wanted a place where artists and galleries could do the things they wanted to do," said Art Basel Director, Marc Spiegler, told Reuters.
Art Basel also exhibits in the Swiss city of Basel and in Miami Beach in the US, but the Hong Kong show emphasizes art from Asia.
Half of the 245 galleries across 35 territories come from the Asia-Pacific region, giving Art Basel Hong Kong a distinct East meets West feel.
Hong Kong’s contemporary art scene continues to flourish with the opening of numerous high-profile international galleries in the past two years.
Video Source: Reuters