Art world gradually waking up to the benefits of Hong Kong

04th April 2012

Asia is fast becoming one of the hottest areas in the world when it comes to luxury products and high-end exhibitions.

Art is no different.

Ever since Art Basel, one of the most famous art shows in the world, became heavily involved in the ART HK event which comes to Hong Kong in May, the region's standing has continued to grow.

The main thrust of the event is to try and communicate and engage with the largely untapped market for buyers and investors in the region.

However, a much more general emphasis can be found behind the event and that is to keep the region at the top of the art community and firmly in the minds of buyers.

In recent years, Hong Kong has become a real hub for art collectors, with the establishment and subsequent success of ARTHK as well as the opening of plenty of galleries.

In terms of the gallery itself, ART HK is with one of the leading showcases for international art, both modern and contemporary, in Asia. In total it includes 266 galleries from 38 different countries.

Organisers claim that the event reflects Hong Kong's image as a gateway for presenting a unique opportunity for collectors to see and buy work of a quality and geographical diversity not available anywhere else in the world.

France Pepper, a leading Asia expert, told Forbes: "What I will be watching out for at the fair is Asia One and Art Future. These are sections in the fair that focus on emerging artists.

These two exhibitions are just two of a number of new and returning sections that the fair will show off to attendees.

Ms Pepper continued: "Asia One is dedicated to galleries in the greater Asia region who will each showcase one emerging Asian artists with a solo exhibition. Art features will feature emerging artists represented by young gallerists."

Currently, Hong Kong, as part of China, is the third largest auction market in the world, following closely behind the powerhouses of New York and London. China has recently usurped the UK in order to become the second most important auction market for art and antiques.

This is thanks to the wider cultural emergence across Asia but also down to specific events such as the arrival of galleries such as the Gagosian Gallery, White Cube and the Pearl Lam Galleries.

These have all strengthened what was an existing vibrant gallery scene in Hong Kong. This event could continue to strengthen the region and cement Hong Kong as the best location to launch their commercial activities in Asia.

Magnus Renfrew, fair director at ART HK said that he was delighted to see "a high calibre of art from around the world to ART HK 12".

"It’s extremely exciting to see the Fair progress with the support of Deutsche Bank and it's hugely promising that in its fifth year it continues to attract new participating galleries," he added.

It seems as though the rest of the art world are finally waking up to the potential and excitement that surrounds Asia, and specifically Hong Kong, at minute.

And those who haven't yet, may find an ART HK-shaped alarm clock going off come May 17th.

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