Art HK 08 Draws Huge Audiences

By Butterboom Writers  /  May 19, 2008

Big turnout to see modern art in Wan Chai.

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The Art HK 08 show that took place from May 14-18 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre brought international art to the masses of Hong Kong and from what we saw on the last day, it seems to have drawn a huge audience and everyone was impressed with what was on display.

With artists from all over the world, and a few big names like Picasso and Warhol, the exhibition that filled halls 1 and 2 really showed off many impressive pieces and we have a few in our slideshow below. We hope that the organizers continue this event next year.

BusinessWeek was at the premiere on Wednesday night and have some more info about the show:

Hong Kong isn’t the only city in Asia trying to become an art hub. Tokyo hosted a similar fair last month. Shanghai is hosting one in September, and Singapore has one in October. Ben Brown, who runs the Ben Brown Gallery in London says art fairs like these have become an indispensable part of selling art. “People can’t be bothered to visit galleries anymore,” says Brown. “It’s like going to the supermarket vs, the butcher. It’s a one-stop shopping mall.”

Fair organizers say they aren’t expecting ART HK 08 to turn a profit in its first year, and see their mission as educational as well as commercial. “Hong Kong’s reputation as a cultural desert is both fair and unfair,” says ART HK 08 adviser David Tang, the Shanghai Tang founder, who has the city’s finest collection of contemporary Chinese art. “We hope it will make the Hong Kong community more artistically conscious.”

That may take some doing in a town where on an average day the local branch of Madam Tussaud’s receives more visitors than the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Renfrew hopes ART HK 08 will attract about 15,000 visitors willing to pay the HK$150 cost of admission, with lower prices for students.

Follow up at the Art HK 08 website.

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