Art Central, Hong Kong’s contemporary art fair with an Asian edge has been unveiled, with over 100 galleries from 21 countries, 75% hailing from greater Asia. The fair officially kicks off with First Night, one of the most anticipated events on Hong Kong’s cultural calendar, before opening to the public from 23-26 March (VIP Preview 22 March). A site of discovery, the fair boasts a strong gallery line-up and presents over 500 emerging and established artists from Asia and around the world. Housed within the city’s largest ever bespoke temporary structure, the fair presents a dynamic program that includes interactive installations, engaging panel discussions, experimental film and performance art alongside Hong Kong’s hottest restaurants. Art Central 2016 will engage all from seasoned collectors and avid art enthusiasts to families and students.
Launched in 2015, Art Central’s debut added a fresh new dimension to Hong Kong Art Week and was embraced by the Hong Kong public, and international collectors and buyers alike. The second edition brings a distinctly Asian edge as it presents the next generation of talent alongside some of the more established names in contemporary art, further elevating Hong Kong as an international arts destination.
Art Central 2016 – Thomas Canto, Suspended Landscape, 2016 (Opera Gallery)
Tim Etchells, Co-Founder of Art Central and ART HK, (which subsequently has become Art Basel in Hong Kong) says, “We are truly proud of what Art Central has achieved in helping to further promote Hong Kong as a global arts hub. The success of the inaugural edition proved that Hong Kong was ready for a complementary fair and an Art Week that rivals the likes of London, New York and Miami. What we have created is a parallel fair unlike any other; presented to the very highest of standards. We look forward to redefining expectations with our second edition and continuing to solidify Hong Kong’s place as the global centre for contemporary Asian art.”
Maree Di Pasquale, Fair Director, says, “Art Central 2016 has been designed to push boundaries and transcend the traditional art fair experience. From site-specific installations and entertaining yet at times hard-hitting performance art, to a world-class talks program and some of Hong Kong’s most exciting new restaurants, the fair’s second edition has raised the bar with an ambitious program that appeals to both the connoisseur collector and art enthusiast alike.”
Art Central 2016 Press Conference – (From Left to Right) Gina Wong – Founder of Experimenta, Maree Di Pasquale – Fair Director, Tim Etchells – Fair Co-Founder, Kiri Sinclair – Managing Director Sinclair Communications
“Art Central shares strong foundations with Hong Kong’s art industry and we truly believe in Hong Kong’s standing as the international centre for Asian art. Taking place during a now internationally recognised Art Week, Art Central 2016 will help to further define Hong Kong as a catalyst for arts and culture globally, said Maree.”
“It is fantastic to have such a strong line of partners involved this year, from Swarovski who is presenting an incredible kinetic installation ‘Sundew’ by the Swarovski Young Designers of the Future winner Elaine Yan Ling Ng, to J.Crew’s RISE Award putting the spotlight on the next generation of artistic talent. It is truly great to see the commitment of Hong Kong businesses across so many sectors to supporting the arts,” said Maree.
Along with museum quality works and cutting-edge programming, food and socialising are key ingredients to the Art Central experience. From Neo-Parisian dishes in the city’s most coveted new restaurant, Belon, to relaxing in the Street Food area while listening to a live DJ and enjoying a drink at Guru Jimmy’s Absolut Ashram of Spirituality (2016 Absolut Art Bar), Art Central will have guests lingering as they enjoy Art Central’s take on flavour and style.
Art Central 2016 Press Conference – (From Left to Right) Gina Wong – Founder of Experimenta, Maree Di Pasquale – Fair Director, Tim Etchells – Fair Co-Founder
New this year is the fair’s first exhibition of digital, new media and performance art supported by Official Champagne Partner, G.H. Mumm.MEDIA X MUMM features five daring and thought-provoking new media art installations with strong thematic elements that challenge visitors to explore the realms of new media art and question perceptions of artistic expression. The experimental art space The Container, a contemporary gallery in Nakameguro, Tokyo, has been replicated and constructed in the Street Food area. One of the four specially curated projects is Jack McLean’s Empty Headed Landscapes which presents works from three different, nonetheless related, bodies of work that include large-scale drawings and live performance. The theme of his work is acceptance of the futility of human endeavour, a delight in the absurdity of the human species and an emphasis on humour as a collective point of access.
Another new addition to the fair, SCREEN X EXPERIMENTA is curated by Hong Kong’s own Gina Wong and presents a diverse program of experimental and narrative film from emerging talent from Asia and the world. Screened for one hour each day of the fair, three different thematic streams – World Drama, Poetry and Stage – explore a diverse range of curatorial themes and techniques in experimental cinema and promise to challenge and entertain audiences.
A site for discovery and education, Art Central has provided a platform for some of the region’s most active non-profit spaces, publications and curators, to develop programming that engages the fairgoer in fun and sometimes challenging ways. New for 2016 is 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (Sydney) hosting ROUNDTABLE X 4A, a series of discussions, interviews, and performances that focus on artistic and curatorial practices from across Asia and the Pacific. The interactive program also features new performances by artists Frances Barrett, Abdullah M.I. Syed and Latai Taumoepea, each of which reflect on the context of contemporary art in Asia. The Flying Buck by Abdullah M.I. Syed brings to the fore inherent narratives of institutionalism, capitalism and consumer culture, particularly in the context of the art market and the force of economic powers within.
Tickets to Art Central are available for sale online via HK Ticketing with two for one on advanced tickets available now.