• News
  • Apr 12, 2024

Shanghai’s Art021 to Launch in Hong Kong

View of Art021, at Shanghai Exhibition Center, Jing’an District, Shanghai, 2023.  

*updated on April 15, 2024. 

Following the recent edition of Art Basel Hong Kong (ABHK) comes the announcement of another mega art fair in the city: the Shanghai-born Art021. Like ABHK, Art021 Hong Kong will possibly be subsidized by the Hong Kong SAR government’s Mega Arts and Cultural Events (ACE) Fund, a 2022 initiative intended to boost tourism. 

Art021 was founded in Shanghai in 2013 by collectors Kylie Ying, Bao Yifeng, and David Chau. It has since grown from a boutique fair into a major art event, allowing the trio to also initiate the JingArt fair in Beijing. Chau told The Art Newspaper that they were directly invited to launch Art021 Hong Kong by authorities of the ACE Fund, which is run by the city’s Culture, Sports, and Tourism Bureau. The ACE recently provided ABHK with HKD 15 million (USD 1.9 million), and has supported other art fairs such as Art Central and Ink Art. 

While Hong Kong is no stranger to such events, Art021’s founders hope to set themselves apart by giving visitors an event that will “focus on the art itself” instead of solely catering to Hong Kong’s market appeal. They plan to achieve this through collaborations with local institutions and galleries to create public art and exhibition programs that highlight Asian and Asian diasporic art, along with a deeper engagement with the Global South. Art021 Hong Kong will replace the company’s DnA Shenzhen fair.

Ying noted that the first Hong Kong edition will be an “invite-only event” featuring around 80 galleries specially selected to “filter out the best artists from the best galleries in the region.” The main gallery section will include art spaces from mainland China and the Greater Bay Area, while other sections will spotlight pan-Asian galleries from the Middle East, West Asia, and Southeast Asian countries. 

Chau stated that in future additions they hope to “expand to the area of India and Pakistan, and then eventually Africa and South America.” The team is already exploring a potential partnership with Art Dubai, a leading art fair in the Middle East. While not aiming to become as large as some international events, Art021 has invited overseas galleries, with the expectation that they “present their most exceptional works,” said the organizers.

The inaugural edition of Art021 Hong Kong is tentatively scheduled take place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, which also hosts ABHK and Fine Art Asia, in the summer of 2024—the only time the venue was available. However, organizers hope that future editions will occur in cooler months, after Frieze Seoul in September. With this much forethought, it is evident that Art021 is planning to be a long term fixture on the Hong Kong art scene.  

Camilla Alvarez-Chow is an editorial assistant at ArtAsiaPacific. 

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