My highlights from Art Central 2016

This week it is all about Art. Both Art Central and Art Basel are in town and there are lots of Art related events happening in the city. I decided to start ‘my’ art week with a visit to Art Central, which is happening for the second time round.

Art Central is a little bit closer to the financial heart of the city (as opposed to Art Basel at the Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai), but unfortunately it is hosted in tents at the Central Harbourfront (until March 26, 2016). That means on rainy and wet days, it is miserable to get to the show. I was wet and cold by the time I arrived.

Art Central Hong Kong 2016-0

Luckily, it was midday and not crowded – so I could enjoy the art fair that tries to be for ‘all’.

Art Central Hong Kong 2016-11 Art Central Hong Kong 2016-18

The artwork seems a little more affordable, there are kids activities and there are food stalls from crowd-pleasing establishments such as Beef & Liberty and Brickhouse.

Art Central Hong Kong 2016-19 Art Central Hong Kong 2016-20

In terms of artists, it is a mix of local and overseas ones, some emerging ones and some very established and expensive ones (yes, there is the usual Damian Hirst, Steve McCurry, Annie Leibovitz etc.). All together there are over 100 galleries from 21 countries and they are showcasing almost anything from paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, installations, video works and even performances.

Art Central Hong Kong 2016-2 Annie Leibovitz Art Central Hong Kong 2016-3 Steve McCurry

Art Central Hong Kong 2016-17 Damian Hirst

I have not been to Art Basel yet, but I felt a little underwhelmed by Art Central. There were some artworks that looked very familiar – and yes, I had seen the artists and their work before.

This year, Tao Yang presented a smaller version of his wrapped up buddhas ‘Parallel meditation’ – but they are not in such a prominent spot than last year, so I doubt they will be photographed that much!

Art Central Hong Kong 2016-1

Xiaofeng Li, is also here again with the old porcelain shards turned into suits and dresses.

Art Central Hong Kong 2016-15 Xiaofeng Li Art Central Hong Kong 2016-16 Xiaofeng Li

Indonesian artist Ichwan Noor had been to Art Basel before, but this time he is at Art Central with his sculpture of a 1953 Volkswagen Beetle that, combined with polyester and aluminum, has been morphed into a perfect sphere.

Art Central Hong Kong 2016-4 Ichwan Noor

Invader is also not a stranger to Hong Kong – I am just surprise that Over the Influence gallery sells his work, I thought that he did not commercialise his work. But I guess I am wrong. I loved his show at PMQ last year, but I did not enjoy how his work was displayed at the show. But then it’s hard with just a small booth …

Art Central Hong Kong 2016-9 Invader Art Central Hong Kong 2016-10 Invader

I really enjoyed the work by Andrew Gifford – he did a series on Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong. Only the Hong Kong pictures were on show today, and sadly (for me!) they were all already sold.

Art Central Hong Kong 2016-5 Andrew Gifford Art Central Hong Kong 2016-6 Andrew Gifford Art Central Hong Kong 2016-7 Andrew Gifford Art Central Hong Kong 2016-8 Andrew Gifford

My favourite piece of the show was this monkey painting by Austrian Helmut Koller. His ‘Blue Monkey on White’ is just stunning.

Art Central Hong Kong 2016-14 Helmut Koller Art Central Hong Kong 2016-13 Helmut Koller

Funnily enough, around the corner of this monkey painting was a picture of a monkey in a zoo by Eric Pillot. I might be wrong (so I won’t bet my money on it) but it looks like it could have been shot in Tierpark Hellabrunn in Munich. It looks very familiar to me.

Art Central Hong Kong 2016-12 Eric Pillot

Quite intriguing are these paintings by Antonio Santin – they look like someone or some things are underneath the carpet. They are really three-dimensional, but when you step close to the artwork, you can see that it is flat – it is just a very clever effect!

Art Central Hong Kong 2016-21 Antonio Santin Art Central Hong Kong 2016-22 Antonio Santin Art Central Hong Kong 2016-23 Antonio Santin

Finally, some very ‘sweet’ work by Osamu Watanabe, who is the undisputed king of kawai and cute sugary things. Japanese pop art of the 21st century, but fake…

Art Central Hong Kong 2016-24 Osamu Watanbe Art Central Hong Kong 2016-25 Osamu Watanbe Art Central Hong Kong 2016-26 Osamu Watanbe

What are your favourites or highlights of the show?

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2 responses to “My highlights from Art Central 2016

  1. Most other weeks, I’d be making a beeline for the art shows but this week (and next), my main priority is the Hong Kong International Film Festival which got going this past Monday (March 21st) and runs through April 5th! I understand why Art Basel HK takes place in March but I preferred it when it was Art HK and took place in May!

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