Draw of the East

Draw of the East

With major players of the art world arriving monthly, Hong Kong is set for global domination

It helped turn Miami into an international arts destination, now the arrival of the first Art Basel in Hong Kong (22-26 May) is a sign of just how far the city has come in the past decade. As collectors descend for the fair, a happy coincidence will see them arriving just in time to check out the new Lehmann Maupin Gallery, as well as big hitters such as White Cube and Gagosian in the Central district. Adding to the buzz, two lesser-known districts are emerging as the creative hubs of tomorrow.

On the southern tip of Hong Kong Island, the industrial district of Aberdeen has a new creative energy. Koru is set in a smart high-rise on the waterfront and focuses on sculpture by artist from all around the world – with a lease service for artworks. Gallery Exit is in a less salubrious location – the third floor of a factory containing paper and storage companies – and shows a variety of Chinese and Taiwanese artists using mediums from photography to sculpture. The area’s hottest opening, for its boundary breaking exhibitions, is 3812, the creation of respected local collector Calvin Hui.

Heading west from Central, skyscrapers give way to temples, ginseng vendors and backstreet galleries such as Studio Rouge (236 Hollywood Road. Behind its bright-red facade (there’s no name), it shows artist such as Zhao Bo, known for his satires on the clash between Communist and capitalist cultures, and the haunting freeze-frame photographs of Huang Zu. Around the corner, see Liu Zhuoquan at China Art Projects and Fung Min Chip’s modern calligraphy at Sin Sin.

Happily piggybacking on the back of all this creative fun is the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, which will serve art-inspired chocolates, cocktails and menus for the duration of ABHK.

Pictured: a work by Kim Insook

By Jemima Sissons. Published in Conde Nast Traveller May 2013.

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