Hong Kong

Art Basel Hong Kong in Review

By Guiseppe Bernstein

Art Basel | Hong Kong 2013 | Dominique Lévy Gallery

Andy Warhol works at Dominique Lévy Gallery

With Swiss-like punctuality and clock-time accuracy, everything ran extremely smooth. Galleries were perhaps second guessing what the Chinese buyers were looking for and as such the risks we associate with Art Basel in Miami Beach and Art Basel in Basel were missing. Video and installation works were lacking, instead there was an overwhelming amount of painting and sculpture. Having been to the VIP previews for art fairs across the US, I notice a hustle and hurry atmosphere in which American and European collectors are rushing to booths to buy pieces from their favorite artists. Most sales happen within the first 3 hours! But instead, ABHK seemed to be relaxed as the Ruinart champagne flowed. With over 60,000 visitors by the events end and sales just as strong from public offerings as those of the VIP, one would say this fair was a real crowd pleaser as consensus has been that its opening edition “ABHK played it safe.” That’s not to say sales weren’t happening, on the contrary. Opening in 2008 as ART Hong Kong to a city with relatively no art fair experience, it is now under Swiss management and the art festival set high standards for gallery selection. With fewer galleries admitted into the fair, the buyers that did come had a lot more space than accustomed to and new art collectors had time to walk booth to booth, go home and research, and then come back to purchase art throughout the duration of the fair as sales continued strong until the last day. (more…)