Collecting art doesn’t have to mean purchasing expensive artworks for millions of dollars. Sure, Levy Gorvy Gallery sold Joan Mitchell’s 12 Hawks at 3 O’clock for US$20 million at Art Basel Hong Kong earlier in May.
But Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong makes buying art more accessible, especially with its price range and enhanced approachability by visitors talking to artists.
Having been postponed in 2020, Affordable Art Fair returns this year’s with its 8th edition. 362 artists from 44 galleries are showcased. Nearly half of the artists and 34 galleries are from Hong Kong. The remaining galleries are from overseas with countries, including South Korea, Singapore, Australia, Peru, Chile, United Kingdom and Germany. This is contrary to the Fair's previous seven editions with most of the galleries from overseas.
More than 200 artworks were sold from 80 per cent of the galleries on the first day.
The Value talked to Regina Zhang, Fair Director of Affordable Art Fair.
Angel Hui Hoi-kiu's Thousand Hands LED installation was a big hit amongst visitors
The Collective (ALAN)'s AR activity, Break The Chain was another interactive feature in the Fair
Special Price Range
Artworks from the fair range from HK$1,000 to HK$100,000 (US$128 to US$12,837). Zhang said, “We set this price in 2013 to allow for a broad range for our artwork to be showcased at Affordable Art Fair to cater for all level of art buyers from beginners to more experienced art buyers.”
“Our average price purchased is around HK$20,000. Some art buyers will buy a print or new emerging artist for below HK$10,000 (such as Marina Turova) and some more experienced consumers buy internationally renowned artists for HK$80,000 (Jessica Brown from Quantum Contemporary Art),” said Zhang.
Louise Soloway Chan's Fragrant Fragments, depiction of a bustling Hong Kong when visitors enter the fair
Soloway Chan is well-known in the city for her bas-relief mural in Sai Ying Pun MTR Station
This year’s theme focused on homegrown talent and inspiring the future generations of Hong Kong. Zhang stated that there are four aspiring artists in their Our Young Talent programme, namely Angel Hui Hoi-kiu, Corn Ho Shuk-mei, Chau Chung-man and Alex Lam Tak-shun. The Fair Director added that the fair also highlights six special projects from local artists and artist groups, including Beavis Yeung Tze-king, Ma Wing-man, Angel Hui Hoi-kiu, Sky Yutaka, Louise Soloway Chan and Artists Who Love Animals and Nature (ALAN, The Collective).
Beavis Yeung Tze-king and Mandy Ma Wing-man were selected in the six special projects. Ma won the Fresh Trends Art Graduates Joint Exhibition in 2019, while Yeung won the award in 2020. As Affordable Art Fair was postponed in 2020, both artists' works were exhibited this year.
Beavis Yeung's The Sea ceramic works. Yeung draws the audience to the pattern of waves through each individual piece
Mandy Ma Wing-man's In The Presence Of You. An installation made from kids wool fabrics, this artwork involves children physically exploring the artwork through play
Chan Chung-man's An Impression
Corn Ho Shuk-mei's Swimming Pool
Alex Lam Tak-shun's Bay Bridge – White Lady Series (left and centre), Red Window - Windows Series (top right) and Purple Window - Windows Series (bottom right)
Angel Hui Hoi-kiu's Embroidery on the plastic bag - Hong Kong - Goldfish Street
Other artists were chosen because of their interactivity with the audience. Zhang said that these artworks were a success, because many visitors engaged with the artworks in a photo. Audiences ultimately became part of the artwork.
Sky Yutaka's Leave Your Mark | Intangible Space
When visitors enter the Fair, they are struck by Louise Soloway Chan's Fragrant Fragments, a mural depicting familiar scenes of a bustling Hong Kong.
Exploring further, audiences can see many international artists who have a different perspective and creative inspirations. Through this year's new Crossing Borders feature, there is Luis Fuentes from Peru's Diverso Art Gallery. Unlike Soloway Chan's mural drawing of Hong Kong, Fuentes draws a lot of seascapes and uses his imagination to give the audience a very calm feeling.
As international galleries could not travel to Hong Kong, open communication was key. Zhang said that the Fair meticulously worked with the international galleries to the finest details. Despite language barriers, key details such as the list of artworks, prices, artworks' details and how to hang them were instrumental to bringing the artworks to life.
Luis Fuentes' Serenity (top) and Symphony by the Sea (bottom)
Steve Harris' Harlequin (top), Star Attraction (middle) and Travelling Ballet Show (right)
Top Tips for Collecting
One of the most important tips is to research before heading to the fair.
"It would be useful...to understand what galleries are going to be at the fair and what type of artists they will showcase," said Zhang. She mentioned that some good places to start are the Fair's website and social media platforms.
It might be a daunting task purchasing artworks for visitors attending Affordable Art Fair the first time.
"We always encourage newcomers to come with an open mind. Chatting with our gallerists or artists on site is also a great way to understand the artist's creation from their perspective. Buy an artwork that speaks to you, it could trigger memories, it could be something that you love, it could be a painting that just makes you happy!"
Regina Zhang, Fair Director of Affordable Art Fair
Affordable Art Fair
Venue: Hall 1E, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai
Dates and Times:
- Friday 27 August 2021, 11am – 8pm
- Saturday 28 August, 10am – 7pm
- Sunday 29 August, 10am – 5pm
- HK$ 120 – Seniors and students
- HK$ 160 – Adults
- HK$ 300 – Fair Pass. Can enter from 27-29 August at any allocated time