Undeterred by looming National Security Law, Hong Kong’s newest art fair draws nearly 3,000 visitors

The Unscheduled fair, organised by the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association, has 12 exhibitors Photo © HKAGA (Felix SC Wong)

With huge international art fairs a logistical impossibility, the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association explored what remains feasible with a small local art fair, Unscheduled (17 to 27 June). Undeterred by the looming National Security Law, which as of today installs mainland-type prohibitions on political dissent, 12 galleries with spaces in Hong Kong organised solo booths in the Duplex Studio in the Police Headquarters Block at Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts. "It was a beautiful reunion with old friends, and we've also met a number of new collectors,” says Arman Lam, the director of Hanart TZ Gallery, which just moved from the Pedder Building to Kwai Chung. “The HKAGA team did an incredible job, and the fair is sophisticatedly done. I wish there will be a second edition next year.”

Hong Kongs dealers had floated the idea of a pop-up fair since Art Basel in Hong Kong announced its cancellation in February, but execution had to wait until anti-pandemic measures loosened in the city, which never underwent a full lockdown. “Unscheduled has exceeded my expectations in terms of its success across all metrics. Almost all of the galleries have reported strong sales and visitor attendance has been fantastic as well. Collectors, curators and art lovers alike have all responded enthusiastically to the alternative nature of the fair and the quality of the art presented,” says Willem Molesworth, the director of de Sarthe Gallery Hong Kong who co-organised Unscheduled with Rossi & Rossi co-owner Fabio Rossi. “The art market in Hong Kong remains resilient, strong, interested and invested in cultivating art emerging from Asia.”

The artist Frog King Kwok with 10 Chancery Lane at Unscheduled Courtesy of the artist and 10 Chancery Lane

With a space designed by Beau Architects and organised by Ying Kwok and Sara Wong, Unscheduled attracted a total of 2,836 visitors, including 421 on the first Saturday. “Its been a steady flow and with not too crazy crowds which is best because when there are too many people you cant really talk. People are asking questions and are truly curious to learn more. I think it has brought out newer audiences for us,” says Katie de Tilly. The 10 Chancery Lane Gallery owner exhibited work by the Hong Kong icon Frog King, who “is always a bright and wild presence wherever he goes and he has given out over 500 hand-painted masks for visitors. All galleries have sold work.”

Lam reports selling several abstract paintings by Irene Chou before the opening by email, while most of the rest sold during the fairs preview.” Perhaps cognisant of the HK$10,000 stimulus payments going to every resident, prRead More – Source