Art Forum’s Scene & Herd column goes to the Hong Kong Art Fair, here Samantha Culp:
Better alcohol was on offer at Gagosian’s opening-night after party at the Pawn, which sadly seemed a victim of its own exclusivity. The historic Wanchai pawnshop-turned-lounge actually had elbowroom at midnight—all the better, perhaps, for the dedicated few dancing to the’80s playlist put together by the gallery’s Nadia Chan. (Though Gagosian opened a local office last year, there’s still no word on when they’ll launch an actual gallery.) At a slightly livelier Pawn party hosted by Schuebbe Projects the following night, a few attendees offered their early assessments of the fair. Beijing/Lucerne dealer Urs Meile remarked that ART HK’s ambition to become the Art Basel of the East is not out of reach. He compared Hong Kong to Switzerland (“Same population, very practical people, forced to become very international because they are so small”) and also explained why it’s a good contrast to Beijing: “Beijing is hell––interesting hell, but hell.” Of course, art sold in China is also burdened with a 34 percent luxury tax––one advantage that tax-free Hong Kong currently holds.
Flu Season (ArtForum.com)