Preview: Asia Contemporary Art Show

  • A portrait of Audrey Hepburn by Ma Yan Ling.

    A portrait of Audrey Hepburn by Ma Yan Ling.

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Above: “Landscape V” by Lang Yau Sum, an oil on canvas, will be brought in from Fabrik Contemporary Art.

Although art sales across the established auction houses in Asia have receded from the heady levels of 2011, there are plenty of events springing up this year devoted to showcasing the work of emerging talent. This week, we previewed SURGE—a fair run by Affordable Art China—but another upcoming event worthy of a mark in your diary is the debut of the Asia Contemporary Art Show, which will run from October 4 to 7 at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong.

The hotel will turn over 60 of its guest rooms to house pieces spanning different mediums and styles sourced from over a dozen countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The focus lies on emerging and mid-career artists—most of the art on display will be priced between US$4,000-US$10,000—but the show has been timed to coincide with two established art gatherings, Sotheby’s Fall auctions and the region’s principal antiques event, Fine Arts Asia.

“We created the Asia Contemporary Art Show with the objective of forming a community of art lovers that are focused on up-and-coming artists, introducing new blood and a wide range of works from emerging art markets, rather than highlighting the top end of the market,” says Mark Saunderson, the founder and director of the Asia Contemporary Art Show.

Exhibiting artists include Charles Munka, represented by Hong Kong’s Cat Street Gallery, who draws his inspiration from Japanese Manga and graffiti, and Myanmar artist Khin Zaw Latt, winner of the 2011 Myanmar National Portrait Award. Other artists from Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Taiwan, and Thailand will also be in attendance.

The show will also feature the Hong Kong Young Artist award, which is open to Hong Kong resident artists up to the age of 35. The grand prize, selected by a panel of artists and critics, is US$6,500—while a People’s Prize, determined by votes on the show’s Facebook page, has a purse of US$3250.

“The show was launched with the desire to support young talent and develop the art landscape for emerging artists. The art prize is a key component of this agenda and at the heart of the show,” says Mark Saunderson. “We hope to see this contest evolve into the foremost annual event for emerging local artists”.

“The Hong Kong Young Artist 2012 art prize really encourages the changes taking place in Hong Kong,” says celebrated Australian painter Guy Maestri, who sits as a judge on this year’s award. “The city is gradually becoming an art hub… With over 60 gallery rooms at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, there is art for everyone, which offers a present-day glimpse into the lives of aspiring artists in countries across Asia. It’s great to see emerging artists being offered this kind of opportunity.”

The organizers hope that the event will leave a legacy on the city’s art scene and have a positive impact on young artists.

“Once the event is finished, the show isn’t over,” says the event’s co-director, Douwe Cramer. “The Asia Contemporary Art Show is also instituting a new platform for regional collaboration among artists, gallery owners and patrons of the arts with its website being the base of on-going interaction and communication.”

Three day passes purchased before the show are available at US$13 for two tickets, or on the door for US$13 per ticket.

Grand Hyatt Hong Kong; One Harbour Road; Private View: October 4 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Open to the Public: October 5-7 from 12 noon to 8 p.m.

Below: “Light Forest,’ by Jo Yeo Joo.


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