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Contemporary art trends and news from Asia and beyond

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Posts Tagged ‘gallery’

Hong Kong Street Art Series: Above Second imports new energies and aesthetics to local art scene

Posted by artradar on October 14, 2010


HONG KONG STREET ART URBAN ART SERIES

In this first feature in our Hong Kong Street Art Series, Art Radar Asia will introduce you to one of the newest art spaces in Hong Kong to show street and urban art, Above Second. In this post, co-owners Jasper Wong and May Wong discuss the importance of supporting the local art community and encouraging people to consider creative career options, as well as explain their choice of location and their first-time buyer appeal.

In a steep lane in Sai Ying Pun, Above Second stands aloof from busy streets and is a fifteen minute walk from the gallery-saturated Central district. This glass-fronted art space with a graffiti wall on the side was founded and is run by Jasper Wong and May Wong.

 

Above Second, one of Hong Kong's newest art spaces dedicated to street and urban art.

Above Second, one of Hong Kong's newest art spaces dedicated to street and urban art. Image courtesy of Above Second.

 

Before Above Second came into being, May dedicated most of her time to a nomadic gallery called Apostrophe which travelled to different spaces to do shows for artists from predominantly Denmark, the US and the UK. She found out about Jasper a year and a half ago after discovering his works on the blog of hip hop artist Kanye West and then inviting him to do a show at G.O.D, a Hong Kong-based lifestyle store. After some talking over a gallery plan in Hong Kong they ended up opening Above Second together earlier this year.

Half a gallery and half an art space

Above Second is very different from other mainstream galleries in the Central district in many ways. To begin with, Jasper won’t even consider it a gallery.

“It’s not a gallery in the strictest sense in what people usually perceive galleries to be. People see galleries to be like blank white walls… but we decided to turn it into more like a, I guess you can call it a creative club? That’s why we leave the word gallery in front of the name, ‘cause we don’t want to be specifically one thing.”

Above gallery is special in a way that it is a combination of a gallery and an art space. Jasper uses the gallery space at the front for painting and exhibition while May uses the art space at the back for art classes in the weekend.

 

Children drawing in the Above Second art space on Saturday. Image courtesy of Above Second.

 

 

Adults painting in the Above Second art space. Image courtesy of Above Second.

 

May elaborates on this concept:

“I think the main reason [for teaching art classes] is to generate more people to come into the gallery to see art. In a way, we enjoy teaching and we enjoy people coming in to share what art is and just be creative.”

“Basically when we teach (I’m talking about [teaching] three-year-olds to adults; everybody can come), we’re just giving them the materials, and then they can do whatever they want, usually. But we kind of try to give them a concept or give them some kind of inspiration for arts. For instance, we did a class that was based on Mondrian paintings, so we kind of restrict the colors to red, yellow, blue, and black, very Mondrian. Then we just let the students do what they want with it.”

 

Hong Kong street art gallery Above Second held exhibition "King for a Day" in July this year.

Hong Kong street art gallery Above Second held exhibition "King for a Day" in July this year. Image courtesy of Above Second.

 

Mission to support local art and promote art as career

Jasper also hopes that, through the art classes for children, the young generation in Hong Kong will come to consider art creation as a career path rather than just a hobby. He says,

“A lot of times I feel, from what I’ve experienced here, is that a lot of the parents tend to steal their kids away from creative pursuits. Their tendency [is] that if their kids are interested in music or art or dance or something creative, then it is seen more as a hobby, rather than something that they can dedicate their life to.”

Unlike many mainstream galleries in Hong Kong, Above Second is also less business-oriented and more driven by the goal to improve the creative environment in Hong Kong. Jasper states,

“Most galleries in Central, you probably see, they are all very commercial. They are all pretty much paint stores. They are trying to sell what’s hot, what’s the hot trend, and what people will buy at the time. They tend to show all the same kind of art. So when you go to one gallery it’s pretty much all the same. And it’s not very accessible to a lot of local people and they don’t tend to promote emerging artists or even to try to make the creative scene better in Hong Kong. So we started our gallery … there’s an altruistic mission to it: to try to make [the Hong Kong art scene] better, to try to bring in the emerging artists that have never been shown in Hong Kong or to try to promote local artists…. There’s a goal to try in a small way to make Hong Kong’s creative community better.”

Above Second doesn’t formally represent any artists as most of the traditional galleries do. Instead, it continually organises shows for different artists from around the world with intriguing “energies” and “aesthetics”. “We are showing the creative energy all around the world [by] supporting young and emerging artists from all around the world,” says Jasper.

Price range attracts young first-time buyers

As May points out, works in most of the Above Second shows are for sale at affordable prices and because of this the gallery has attracted a number of first time buyers.

“For the show King for a Day, we had three prints there and they all sold. Most of (our buyers) are under thirty years old or around thirty and they are all first time buyers. It’s really great to see, because the prints themselves are pretty reasonably [priced], and when people come in they are like ‘Wow! This is the first time that I have gone into a gallery where I can afford to buy something.’ So we kind of encourage that trend…. [In] some galleries the price ranges are at least 10,00 dollars. We [are] like a couple of hundred, four digits, five digits.”

 

 

Visitors and guests crowd outside Above Second at an exhibition opening.

Visitors and guests crowd outside Above Second at an exhibition opening. Image courtesy of Above Second.

 

Currently, Above Second is showing Nebula, an exhibition of paper-cut and stencil works by Danish artist Mathias and illustrations of another Danish artist Michael. This Friday, Above Second will open Primary, an exhibition of work by Hong Kong street artist group Graphicairlines. Says May of her hopes for the space,

“For me, in five years, I hope that the gallery will grow, have a couple more staff…. For us it’s still difficult to pay for all the expenses, the shipping and stuff, to get artists here, but we’re trying….”

CBKM/KN/KCE

Related Topics: Hong Kong venuesstreet artinterviews

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World’s top collectors and art professionals attend ART HK: a testament to fair’s growing importance

Posted by artradar on June 23, 2010


ART HK 10 HONG KONG ART FAIR ART COLLECTORS ART MARKET

ART HK 10 was reportedly more festive than the ’09 edition due to its increasing ability to attract more high-profile and experienced collectors and curators from round the world, indicating its growing importance in the contemporary art arena of Asia.

ART HK 10 attracted many new comers this year.

“There’s been a major shift since last year in terms of the quality of the galleries exhibiting and the quality of the visitors. It’s a broader cross-section of nationalities and there are more serious and experienced collectors. We are pleased that people we met last year have come back to buy from us this year and this has been supported by trips to Asia between shows. We look forward to participating next year.” Daniela Gareh, Director of White Cube, London

Who were the collectors attending ART HK 10?

This year, the art fair attracted high-profile collectors from China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, across Europe and the United States. They included Thomas Shao and Li Bing (China); Sir David Tang and Monique Burger (Hong Kong); Richard Chang (New York); Dr. Gene Sherman of the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation and Judith Neilson of the White Rabbit Foundation (Sydney); Susan Hayden and Nigel Hurst, Director of the Saatchi Gallery (London); and Sydney Picasso and Diana Picasso (Spain).

Some of the world’s most influential museum directors also attended the fair. They included Richard Armstrong (Director of Guggenheim Museum); Michael Govan (CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director of Los Angeles County Museum of Art); Joseph Thompson (Director of MASS MoCA); Olga Viso (Director of Walker Art Centre); Elizabeth Ann MacGregor (Director of the MCA in Sydney); and Jock Reynolds, (Director of Yale Art Gallery).

The fair also attracted specialist Asian curators such as Alexandra Munroe (Senior Curator of Asian Art at the Guggenheim), Maxwell Hearn (Douglas Dillon Curator at Department of Asian Art in Metropolitan Museum of Art), and Jan Stuart (Head of Asia at British Museum).

Some renowned curators attended an ART HK 10 talk organised by Asia Art Archive. They were Shinji Kohmoto (Chief Curator at the National Museum of Art in Kyoto), Yuko Hasegawa (Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo), Yukie Kamiya (Chief Curator at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art) and Barbara London (Associate Curator at Department of Media and Performance Art in the Museum of Modern Art in New York).

ART HK 10’s sophistication evident in high quality works on show

The significant increase in the number of experienced collectors and curators coming to the event was the result of an expanded scale and an improvement in the of quality of the art being sold and displayed.

“This year’s ART HK had both significant scale and high quality of exhibitors and art. We were also very encouraged by the public interest and positive reaction to Deutsche Bank’s exhibition of recently acquired photography from its corporate collection.” Michael West, Deutsche Bank Head of Communications, Asia Pacific

On the other hand, the improved quality of galleries may also be indicative of the sophistication of art in Asia.

“We’ve met some very interesting collectors from other countries in Asia. The level of sophistication and interest in Western art is rising exponentially.” Ben Brown, Ben Brown Fine Arts, Hong Kong and London

Magnus Renfrew, director of the ART HK fair, spoke to the Jakarta Post stating that Hong Kong possesses two core strengths that have brought about the success of the fair, its quality and the geographical diversity of its participants. He elaborates:

“We chose Hong Kong as our location for a major international hub art fair over others in the region because this city has many advantages, such as the zero tax on the import and export for art, geographical location at the heart of Asia within easy reach of the collector bases from all over the region, English is commonly spoken, it is an exciting and vibrant city and there is probably nowhere in the world where people from Asia and people from the West feel equally at home.”

Art Radar Asia was determined to hunt down first-hand perspectives of galleries in attendance this year and spoke with 19 during ART HK 10. Reactions to the fair were as varied as the galleries we spoke with. Read what they had to say here.

CBKM/KN

Related Topics: events – fairsvenues – Hong Kong

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Thailand’s Montri photographic installation Nanothailand at Tonson ends August 2008

Posted by artradar on July 6, 2008


THAI PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY SHOW 19 June – 10 August 2008 Thailand’s celebrated artist Montri will transform 100 Tonson’s Bangkok gallery with a photographic installation titled Nanothailand. Continuing his interest in cultural hybridity, the subject of these biting images are refugees and exiles. Representing the Thai Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003, Montri is no stranger to drawing attention and this powerful exhibition packs a punch. Showing until 10 August, visit www.100tonsongallery.com

Source: http://www.artmonthly.org.au/

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New York dealers PaceWildenstein, James Cohan open in China July August 2008

Posted by artradar on July 1, 2008


NEW YORK CHINA Two leading New York galleries are opening spaces in China this summer. PaceWildenstein will unveil its 22,000 sq. ft gallery in Beijing in August, while James Cohan Gallery opens a 3,000 sq. ft space in Shanghai in July. Both galleries are counting on the rise of the Asian art market and the proliferation of regional collectors.

Gallery owner Jane Cohan says: “We did very well with collectors from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea during the ShContemporary fair last year. Chinese collectors have traditionally been China-centric, but we believe that in time they will buy more broadly.”

Longtime Cohan director Arthur Solway, a fluent Mandarin speaker, will launch the venture in a 1930s garden villa in the Luwan district. He plans to mount six exhibitions a year, showing work by Bill Viola, Nam June Paik, Roxy Paine and Yinka Shonibare among other artists. The new space will be the first American gallery to open in Shanghai.

Meanwhile, Pace Beijing opens its doors in a former munitions factory in the Dashanzi 798 Art District in time for the August Olympics. The massive space is being renovated by New York architect Richard Gluckman. The inaugural show will include portraits by Zhang Huan, Zhang Xiaogang, Chuck Close, Alex Katz, Tim Eitel and Lucas Samaras.

Well-known art critic and curator Leng Lin is to become president of Pace Beijing. In 2004 he founded Beijing Commune, an alternative centre showing emerging and established Chinese artists such as Zhang Xiaogang, who is represented in the US by PaceWildenstein.

When asked about the 34% tax on imported art for mainland buyers, Pace Gallery director Peter Boris said: “Quite honestly it’s not that we expect to sell a lot of western art in mainland China initially. We want to present it and develop the market.” He added: “There are so many big question marks about doing business in China, but we think we have the best artists, a great space and someone extraordinary to run the gallery.”

Mr Boris also hopes the Chinese artists will respect their exclusivity with the gallery: “Right now we are the sole agents of Zhang Huan and Zhang Xiaogang in the US and hopefully we will be that in Asia. We believe that by placing their work in great collections, and keeping it away from speculators, we can convince the artists we have a good management model.”

Source: http://www.theartnewspaper.com/article.asp?id=8056

For more on dealer expansion in Asia https://artradarasia.wordpress.com/2008/06/15/globalisation-of-asian-art-galleries-gathers-pace/

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Globalisation of Asian art galleries gathers pace

Posted by artradar on June 15, 2008


ASIA HONG KONG MARKET WATCH Hong Kong now lays claim to being the third largest art auction market in the world, a development much trumpeted by auction houses and fair organisers. A quieter but no less significant change is happening in  the Asian gallery sales market.

In May 2008, New York based Sundaram Tagore Gallery opened its third gallery in Hong Kong following its launch in Beverley Hills last month.  It is the latest in a line of Asia-focussed galleries to expand its franchise around the world. Established in 2000,  the gallerist Sundaram Tagore was profiled by Forbes as “India’s Art Ambassador” and he says his eponymous gallery group is “devoted to examining the exchange of ideas between Western and non-Western cultures”.

In contrast the Opera Gallery chain was spawned in Asia, first opening its doors in Singapore in 1994 at the initiative of Gilles Dyan. Today, the Opera Gallery is present in many of the world’s art capitals: Paris ( since 1994), New York (2000), Miami (2003), Hong Kong (2004) and London (2005) with galleries to open in another five cities before 2009.

Osage is a dynamic international gallery group that was established in 2004 and now has exhibition spaces in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore. Unlike Sundaram Tagore and Opera which bring international artists to Asia and promote Asian artists around the world, Osage is dedicated specifically to the exhibition, promotion and development of contemporary Asian artists, art and ideas.

Other galleries like Grosvenor Vadehra are establishing commercial links between east and west by developing joint venture style relationships. Grosvenor Vadehra is a collaboration between the Grosvenor Gallery, London, and the Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi for the promotion of international art within India, and Indian art within the UK.

Source: Artradar
Links: www.sundaramtagore.com www.osagegallery.com www.operagallery.com

For more on globalisation of dealers https://artradarasia.wordpress.com/2008/07/01/new-york-dealers-pacewildenstein-james-cohan-open-in-china-july-august-2008/

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