Starting the end of March, Asia’s art scene will be in overdrive. With collectors swarming in from out of town and caffeine (and bubbles) guzzled at an alarming pace, we want to make sure you don’t miss out on the year’s most anticipated art week. We’ve broken it down for you, event by event, so you can get the most out of the wide spectrum of cultural offerings.
Most of the excitement is largely built on Art Basel. While Art Basel has traditionally been held in May, this year the organization switched to March for unknown reasons, mostly speculative. In any case, it’s now slotted between Art Basel Miami in December and Art Basel in June.
But more importantly, what this means for the audience in Hong Kong is that the prima donna of art events has started a wave affect; all other art organizations have shifted calendars accordingly to coincide with Art Basel, meaning that you won’t be walking around in the hot May heat, score for the patrons!
What to expect
Everything kicks off around March 21 (opening night of Art Central), with Art Basel with Asia Contemporary Arts Show to follow. Expect LOTS of after parties, drinking events and dining themes to coincide as well.
Majority of the festivities are all happening in the vicinity of Wanchai to Central.
Our top 5 pro tips:
Start Big or Stay Home
When’s it best to attend the shows? The first night of course! That’s when all the artists and fancy soirees are on. Of course if there’s any artwork you’re really keen to observe close, best to re-visit a few days later when the crowds disperse.
Don’t Try Doing it All
Unless you’ve got all the time in the world (haha, as-if, this is Hong Kong after all!), best to do your homework, find out what kind of art you’re keen to see, and make your way to the noted booths.
Stay Hydrated (P.S. Champagne Doesn’t Count!)
You’ll be on your feet for quite a while zipping through the art works. So make sure you keep well hydrated.
When In Doubt, Pout
Art’s designed to move you and make you question your surroundings. But lets be honest, sometimes it leaves you wondering how the work is even called art. Don’t be that odd-man out when everyone else gets it. Give a pout, look perplexed, ask a question or two, you’ll win over the crowd in no time.
There’s More Than Just The 3 Shows Happening
There’s more to HK Art Week than just the three shows. Can’t make it to the ones mentioned here? Check out the range of galleries in Sheung or even Wong Chuk Hang! You can at least then tell your friends you saw some art ;-)
Hannah Leung American-born and raised, Hannah Leung spent most of her life in New Jersey watching bad television. After four years of breathing in fresh, New England air during college, she moved to Beijing where she worked in PR and edited the Lifestyle section for a State-owned newspaper for four years. Having not purchased an air purifier the whole time, she moved to Hong Kong, where she continued writing (and gave her lungs a break).