We all know Hong Kongers have an eye for style and a nose for a bargain, so it’s hardly surprising that last year’s inaugural Affordable Art Fair
was the most successful launch ever for this world-reaching contemporary art extravaganza. As it prepares to return bigger and better between March 21st and 23rd, we take a look at the jam-packed programme and grab a quick word with the fair’s director, Camilla Hewitson.
Interactive, inclusive and accessible; that’s what all art should be according to the minds behind the Affordable Art Fair
. The anti-elitist movement, which began in London and 1999 and has since sprouted offshoots all over the world, returns to the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre
this month. Along with more than 120 galleries showcasing the work of over 1,000 local and international artists, this year promises exciting interactive workshops, engrossing installations and entertainment for all ages.
All the fun of the fair will be celebrated in style at the Arty-Licious Evening on March 21st (Psst: Click here for your FREE tickets)
, when the work on the walls will be brought to life with a range of activities, entertainment and mingling. Aussie artist Emma Hack will create human wall paper from almost naked ladies, while the Hong Kong Jam City dancers will be body-popping and hip-hopping the house down. Also be sure to dress to impress, as Butterboom and Benefit will be undertaking an onsite Style Hunt – no pressure!
As the name suggest, the Affordable Art Fair aims to keep price tags as low as possible. All pieces on display are up for sale for between HK$1,000 and HK$100,000, and this year’s event will also feature a ‘Under HK$10,000’ wall for the very first time.
Although the non-bankers among us may baulk at the idea of HK$100,000 being “affordable”, The Fair's HK director Camilla Hewitson insists that there will be something for everyone at the fair.
“Within the art world HK$100,000 is affordable, but what you go for will really depend on your budget. Some people will come and buy 10 pieces, while others will only buy one. The fair really provides a way to hone your eye and learn to trust your eye, especially if you're a nervous buyer.”
In among the sculptures, paintings, prints and photography will be out-there installations, such as Choi Jeong Hwa’s ‘Love Me!’, a five-metre flying pig balloon that peacefully “breathes” as it slowly inflates and deflates; artist-led workshops; a Children’s Art Studio where you can abandon the little ones in safe (if messy) hands; and the Young Talent Hong Kong exhibition, where 11 local artists under the age of 35 will be showcasing their work across a range of different mediums.
Exhibiting at The Fair for the very first time is Localiiz’s favourite Hong Kong gallery Rouge Ephemere
. Owner Françoise Thuriere will be presenting the work of three painters and one ceramist, all hailing from her home country of France.
“I had to fight very hard to get a place at this year’s show, but I think it will be worth it because I really do believe in affordable art,” said Franciose. “Hong Kong is very lacking in this area, and even at last year’s event there wasn’t that much towards the lower end. I think it’s important to promote art that people can afford.”
And for those who are a little apprehensive and perhaps buying art for the first time, some of the tours and activities on the menu this year will certainly help break the ice. As well as a talk led by Camilla revealing the tips and tricks of starting a new art collection, there will also be the new addition of Gallery Speed Dating, where you can find your art soul mate on a whirlwind tour of five galleries in 30 minutes.
In a sneak preview of her speech, Camilla advised art buying newbies to, “Jump in with both feet and don’t feel intimidated. We all form opinions every day, so just use the fair as way of educating yourself about what you like.”
What: Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong 2014
Where: Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
When: March 21st 12pm-6pm, Arty-Licious Evening 6pm-9pm, March 22nd 11pm-7pm, March 23rd 11am-6pm
Price: General tickets HK$120 for the full weekend, HK$ 70 for students and senior citizens. Purchased before March 20th for a Buy One Get One Free deal. Arty-Licious Evening tickets HK$180 or FREE via this link.
Tickets: Available via www.hkticketing.com