With its opening reception happening successfully at Duddell’s on the 19th of November; the Hong Kong Art Gallery officially kicks in from the 20th of November to the 28 of November, covering 60 galleries and 40 members of the association across areas such as Sheung Wan, Central, Wong Chuk Hang, Aberdeen, Happy Valley, Wan Chai, Tsuen Wan and Chai Wan. This debuting event welcomes art lovers as well as the general public to attend, with amazing line ups of art talks, seminars and studio visits showcasing different exhibitions around Hong Kong.
Art galleries use to be an isolated section in Hong Kong, where people only feel accepted if they were there to purchase works. Art galleries never used to work together and were mostly on their own from the start of the business. But everything changed when the economic crisis hit during 2008, and that was when owners realized that there was only hope of persisting the art culture in Hong Kong is if they joined forces together. Guest talkers including Henrietta Tsui of Galerie Ora-Ora, Katie de Tilly of 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Angel Li of Contemporary by Angela Li and Adriana Alvarez-Nichol of Puerta Roja were one of those who decided to collaborate and create the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association and execute such a gallery week for everybody to enjoy.
This year, the gallery week themes upon the notion of “China”, particularly because of the rise in the artistic scene there which offers us a lot of insightful information from young collectors and critics. With new academies being built in China; they have developed a lot of new independent art enthusiasts who are raising the interest in art for the community. Several of them are invited as guest speakers during the week including Chinese collector Tan Guobin, who will be hosting a breakfast seminar on the 23rd of November at Contemporary by Angela Li.
On the 21st of November at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, there will also be a Breakfast session with Art Market Specialists, talking about different business models existing in the current international art market. Not to mention, a Chalk Art Painting working for the public is happening on the 23rd of November at also the 10 Chancery Lane Gallery.
The main focus of the week for myself is definitely the Art after Hours: Art Gallery Night on the 22nd of November from 6pm- 10pm across Sheung Wan, Central, South Island and Wan Chai and the Art Gallery Day on the following day going across the same districts around the 49 member galleries. A hop- on hop- off bus will be touring around the place for guests to circle around different galleries at ease; exploring and enjoying the city like never before.
Other line ups include the Day of the Dead Celebratory Altar at Puerta Raja Gallery on the 23rd of November, and the exclusive visit to Fang Lijun’s Studio, Hanart Square and Ora- Ora Studio on the 25th of November in Kwai Chung. A festival sure not to be missed, its time when everybody realizes that art galleries are opened for everybody to enjoy!