Uncertainty hangs over Para Sites fundraising auction as Hong Kong protests escalate

Chen Qiulin 陳秋林,Series of Untitled 3, 2005, is one of the lots up for sale at Para Site's Annual Auction 2019 Courtesy of the artist and Para Site

The non-profit independent art space Para Sites annual fundraising auction is facing uncertainty as anti-government protests escalate in Hong Kong. This week has seen some of the most violent clashes yet, with police shooting a protester and a man being set on fire. University campuses have become battlegrounds, schools are suspended and roads have been barricaded by activists.

“The level of uncertainty has dramatically increased since last Friday,” says Cosmin Constantin, the executive director and curator of Para Site, which raises nearly half of its yearly budget from the Paddle8-supported auction. Last year the event raised a record HK$7.8m.

He adds: “Before this week, life continued unaffected except for those moments of protest which were largely confined to one day every weekend and maybe a few evenings. But this week has seen daily events, with transport and work disrupted.”

Despite these significant obstacles, Constantin hopes a sense of solidarity will prevail, and, at the time of writing, the gala dinner and auction was due to go ahead at the luxury St Regis hotel on Friday evening. “A lot of people realise that what we do is essential for Hong Kong. We play our part in protecting this societys core values and, in that regard, more people are more committed to supporting us than ever,” Constantin says. “We hope that sense of solidarity in the community will lead to successful results that will allow us to continue our work next year.”

More than 90 works have been donated to the charity auction by leading artists including Etel Adnan, Alfredo Jaar, Mika Rottenberg and Haegue Yang. Local and international galleries have also pledged their support, among them Edouard Malingue, Gagosian, TRead More – Source