Art Central takes place in Hong Kong March 27—31 at Central Harbourfront. This is the fair’s fifth edition, which will have a VIP Preview and First Night event on March 26. Art Central brings together 107 galleries from 22 countries, over 30 of which are presenting at the fair for the first time.
In addition to the exhibitors, there’s a robust program of talks put together by Asia Society, an installation by Steve Leung for Swarovski, a series of performances with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, as well as an exhibition of large-scale installations throughout the floor curated by Ying Kwok entitled “PROJECTS.”
Whitewaller spoke with Ying about the works on view by Angela Yuen, Cheuk Wing Nam, Heri Dono, Le Giang, Phunk, and Seungean Cha.
WHITEWALLER: What was the starting point for the 2019 PROJECTS presentation?
YING KWOK: We try to encourage galleries to support their artists to produce ambitious artworks which challenge our viewing experience in an art fair context. This year, we are working with six local and international artists to create stimulating large-scale installations. The selection includes interactive sound installation, text base painting, and walk-in sculpture. Located throughout the Fair, it provides an immersive experience for the audience.
WW: How were the six artists chosen?
YK: I decided that there shouldn’t be a theme, so the selection is purely based on artistic merit. The works are aesthetically enhancing and conceptually thought-provoking. I like works that carry personal messages, referring to our history or modern life and showing concern to the society. For example, Angela Yuen’s installation explores the correlation between urban development and disappearing city value. Building on her continued interest in utopia and ruin, Lê Giang’s work touches on the survival of community and religion in modern life.
An art fair is very different from any art exhibition. It has a vast number of visitor in a very short amount of time. I have taken viewing experience into more consideration that other exhibition. Also, each selected works should be able to speak on its own rather than contribute to an overall theme.
WW: What do you feel audiences have come to expect from Art Central’s PROJECTS programming?
YK: The fair is creating new opportunities, connections and experiences at many levels. It provides a relaxing meeting point for practitioners and artists in need of discovery, who should be judged by their artistic merit rather than name and marketing values. Many of the artists in the fair have regional success but under discovery internationally.
WW: What role do non-commercial installations like this play in commercial places like fairs?
YK: I can see there are more knowledgeable collectors nowadays and they want to understand the ambition and capacity of the artist. They would study and get to know the artist from different channels before commit. PROJECTS is providing this kind of opportunity for them. It would also be appealing to a different type of collectors, such as museum and foundation.
WW: Outside of the fair this year, what are you excited to see and do in Hong Kong the week of the fairs?
YK: The art week really has become an international event that attracting art professional all over the world. I am looking forward to catching up with old friends and meeting new talents in various events this week.
I am really looking forward to seeing Lam Tung Pang’s solo exhibition at Blindspot Gallery which features his latest works exploring the fragmental memory of journey and coming home.