HONG KONG TO HOST MAJOR INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR
All Eyes on Hong Kong for ART HK 08

Hong Kong, Monday 4 February 2008 - On the 14-18 May 2008, Hong Kong will host its first truly international public art fair in a decade. ART HK 08 will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) and will firmly establish Hong Kong’s position as the centre of the art market in Asia.

ART HK 08 will showcase 80 of the world’s leading contemporary and modern art galleries and exhibit works for sale as varied as Picasso, Warhol, Zhang Xiaogang, Xu Bing and Damien Hirst. Household names will sit alongside the stars of the current Chinese art scene as well as many emerging and exciting new artists from across the world, some that have never before been shown in Asia.

ART HK 08 is set to become a major fixture on the international art calendar. The event is well placed to attract not just Western collectors seeking Asian art but also Asian collectors seeking blue chip and emerging Western art, for which there is a growing demand.  ART HK 08 is open to the public and welcomes browsers, first time buyers and serious collectors with a range of pieces to suit all budgets.

ART HK 08 has a strict exhibitor application policy to ensure the quality of the event and has an impressive advisory committee of art world luminaries led by Charles Merewether who was Curator and Creative Director of the Biennale of Sydney in 2006. 

ART HK 08 is delighted to announce the support of Sir David Tang who has been named as Honorary Patron of the Fair. Commenting on his involvement he said; “I am delighted to be Patron - to stress the importance of visual art in our lives".

The gallery heavyweights who have already made it through the vetting process include Max Lang, New York; Yvon Lambert, Paris/NY; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Marlborough Fine Art, Albion and Bernard Jacobson, London; Pekin Fine Arts, Galleri Faurschou and Michael Schultz Gallery, Beijing; East Link, Shanghai; Hanart and 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong; Kukje, PKM and Gallery Hyundai, Korea; Ota Fine Arts, Roentgenwerke and Nanzuka Underground from Tokyo.

Hong Kong is the third largest art market in the world after New York and London by auction turnover. Hong Kong’s status as a freeport also gives it a clear advantage over many other locations in Asia with no tax on the import or export of art, unlike mainland China which has a punitive tax of 34%. It is also positioned in the heart of Asia, within easy reach of not only mainland China but also the seasoned art collectors of Taiwan, Korea, Singapore and Japan, all of which ART HK 08 is seeking to attract.

Charles Merewether, Chairman of the Advisory Group commented; "Art fairs have become a barometer of current trends and have increasingly set the pace as to what is valued in both modern and contemporary art. They have become a vital meeting place for galleries, dealers, curators, artists, academics, collectors and as much as an opportunity for those who have a passion to see art from around the world. With the advent of ART HK 08, Hong Kong is once again firmly establishing itself as the centre of the art market in the region and the crossroads of exchange between the countries of Asia, Western Europe and the Americas.”

Magnus Renfrew, Fair Director of ART HK 08 commented; “ART HK 08 is a very timely event. Hong Kong is currently going through a cultural renaissance with significant central funding in the arts to support the sustainable development of the city. ART HK 08 is a major cultural step forward for Hong Kong and will be one of the most significant arts events to ever take place in the SAR.”

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In addition to the buying and selling that will go on at the Fair, the event will also be an important catalyst for increasing interest and enriching knowledge of the visual arts in Hong Kong.  There will be an impressive line up of installations and features, including a curated exhibition of often overlooked Hong Kong artists’ led by Sabrina Fung, curator of the Hong Kong Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2005.

The Fair will also include a comprehensive education programme including a programme of talks run by of the Asia Art Archive, the non-profit research centre in Hong Kong dedicated to visual art from the region.

Magnus Renfrew’s role as Fair Director follows a year running celebrated art patron Pearl Lam’s gallery Contrasts in Shanghai. Renfrew was also instrumental in bringing to fruition the highly successful first London sale of Contemporary Asian Art at Bonhams in June 2006.   

ART HK 08 is a collaboration between Single Market Events, the organisers of London Fashion Week and The British International Motor Show; Will Ramsay, CEO of the PULSE Contemporary Art Fairs and Andry Montgomery who has been hosting exhibitions in Hong Kong and China for twenty years. 

To find out more or register for ART HK 08 please visit www. hongkongartfair.com

-ends-

For further press information please contact Impact Asia:
Tel: + 852 25211498
Sarah Woodhouse
sarah@impactasia.com
Erica Siu
erica@impactasia.com


NOTES TO EDITORS

A list of galleries and images are available on request.

Fair Dates
Wednesday 14 May: Invitation only. VIP Preview and Vernissage (Press Welcome)
Thursday 15 – Sunday 18 May: General Public 


Asian Arts Fairs Ltd is collaboration between:
• Single Market Events – this leading independent events company is responsible for high profile events such as London Fashion Week and The British International Motor Show
• Will Ramsay – CEO of PULSE Contemporary Art Fairs in New York, Miami and London
• Andry Montgomery Ltd – a global pioneer of international exhibitions that has built a strong reputation in China and Hong Kong over the last twenty years
• Magnus Renfrew - Fair Director.  Previously: Manager and Head of Exhibitions for Contrasts Gallery, Shanghai; London-based Modern and Contemporary Art Specialist with Bonhams Auctioneers
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• Stephanie Dieckvoss - Fair Director (Europe).  Previously Fair Manager Frieze Art Fair, with over 10 years experience in the contemporary art world. Worked for galleries internationally including Galerie Karsten Greve Cologne, Paris, St Moritz, and Gagosian Gallery New York.
• Dr Charles Merewether - Chairman of the Advisory Group, has just been appointed Deputy Director, Cultural District for the Tourist Development and Investment Company, Abu Dhabi.  An art historian, writer and curator, Charles was previously Consultant for the Emirates Foundation in the UAE and Artistic Director and Curator of the 2006 Sydney Biennale.  He is currently writing a book on the cultural history of looting, and another on Postwar photography in Japan and preparing an exhibition on Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.
The Advisory Group includes: Mary Dinaburg (Founder and Director Dinaburg Arts LLC, Co-founder Fortune Cookie Projects), Philip Dodd (ex Director of Institute of Contemporary Art, London and currently Creative Director of the China Now Festival, UK 2008), Elaine W. Ng (Editor of Art Asia Pacific), Howard Rutkowski (Co-founder Fortune Cookie Projects) and Will Ramsay (CEO of Pulse Contemporary Art Fairs), Jean-Marc Decrop (Collector of Contemporary Chinese Art).
Fair Partners include:
• Asia Art Archive
• ArtAsiaPacific
• Turon Travel
• Quintessentially
• Hong Kong Tatler
• ART Map and AM Post

(information provided by the pr company)

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