The Hong Kong Art Fair has attracted big-name Western dealers and made good sales, reports Reuters:
Spread throughout a cavernous hall in Hong Kong’s convention center overlooking the city’s sweeping harbor, a slew of big-hitting art dealers have been lured out this year including New York’s Gagosian Gallery and London’s White Cube.
Sprinkled among the 110 galleries from 24 countries are an array of works including “walking” minimalist LED nude sculptures by Julian Opie; raw, whorled, wood carvings by David Nash; lurid Chinese contemporary oil paintings by the likes of Yang Shaobin, haunting plastic dolls by Korea’s Jin Young Yu, and a silver sculpture by Damien Hirst with a price-tag of 1.5 million pounds.
Despite recent signs of weakness in the global art market amid the financial downturn, there were a number of notable sales at ART HK 09 including a large Gilbert & George “Gingko” picture bought by an Asian collector for 325,000 pounds ($492,800).
“We wanted to bring top quality examples by our artists to introduce them in the best possible way to a new market,” said Graham Steele, with the White Cube gallery which sold the Gingko piece, along with several works by Damien Hirst. [ . . . ]
London’s Lisson Gallery meanwhile sold a batch of works by multi-media British artist Julian Opie — including an LCD screen display of Mt. Fuji for 55,000 pounds and silk-screen portraits.
This year’s fair is slightly larger than last year’s inaugural event which drew some 20 thousand visitors.
Georgina Adam adds to the survey of the fair in the Financial Times:
The regional galleries, from China, Australia, Dubai, the Philippines and elsewhere, were showing their established and newer artists, such as He An at Tang Contemporary Art, whose “What Makes me Understand What I Know” (2009) was made of neon Chinese characters stolen from shopfronts (HK$100,000) and Hong Kong-based artist Simon Birch, whose “Garlands”, (2009) was priced at HK$100,000 at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery. [ . . . ] Elsewhere, the Korean gallery Gana Art was pleased with initial sales that included an eye-bending, slightly flattened pair of sculptures, “Ma and Pa” (2008), at $100,000 by Yi Hwan-Kwon. “Last year our sales were excellent, this year it is calmer … People are still buying but they are more cautious and serious,” said director Lee Jung-yong. And White Cube, featuring a special Antony Gormley installation inside, yes, a white cube, reported the immediate sale of two Hirst paintings, proof that his brand still has a ready market in the far east.
The Art Market: Brand Name Values and Stately Sculpture (Financial Times)
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