International Antiques Fair set for strong comeback in May 2023

After a pandemic-induced hiatus of three years, the highly-anticipated International Antiques Fair (IAF) is finally returning for its 13th edition, which is set to be held from 26 to 30 May 2023 at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). 

A world-class event that gathers antique dealers, collectors and art lovers from around the globe, it offers a line-up of exciting programs including theme exhibitions, antique appraisals, lectures, guided tours and tea ceremony – all led by professional experts and prominent figures in the field. 

For its last edition, it welcomed more than 70 exhibitors worldwide to showcase over 10,000 pieces of collectibles from various categories and attracted thousands of visitors.

While IAF is still accepting applications for exhibitors, don't forget to save the dates in advance if you are looking to acquire antique knowledge from specialists and art enthusiasts alike.

International Antiques Fair (IAF) gathers collectors and art lovers from around the world | IAF 2019

Antiques appraisal is one of the most popular events | IAF 2019

Founder of IAF William Chak led a tour for a group of elementary students | IAF 2019

As the details of this year's IAF are yet to be unveiled, let us take a look back at some of the highlights from the last edition of the fair – and there will be no going past the two specially-curated exhibitions.

The first, "Graces of Ancient Chinese Glassware", showcased the ancients' relentless quest for beauty through a rare array of Chinese glass wares, including exquisite hairpins from the Song dynasty (960-1279), which were delicately displayed on several elegantly-styled bun wigs; while the second, "Beauty and Faith: Mingei and the Essence of Japanese Art", delved into Buddhism and tea culture, the essential elements that form the basis of traditional Asian culture and aesthetics. 

Devoted to passing antique knowledge to the next generation, William Chak, the founder of IAF, had personally led a tour for a group of elementary students, allowing them to learn more about religious culture through Tibetan Buddhist sculptures, different Emperors' tastes via the world-famous blue-and-white porcelains, and cross-cultural exchanges brought about by the Silk Road. 

The guided tour concluded with a tea ceremony held by Soshi Kimura, Grand Tea Master of Hoshinkai, who served matcha tea and wagashi on the occasion, immersing the visitors into the traditional Japanese culture. 

Graces of Ancient Chinese Glassware, Special exhibition at IAF 2019

Rare glass hairpins from the Song dynasty | IAF 2019

Showcasing the beauty of glass hairpin | IAF 2019

Beauty and Faith: Mingei and the Essence of Japanese Art, Special exhibition at IAF 2019

A wood sculpture of bodhisattva | IAF 2019

Soshin Kimura, Grand Tea Master of Hoshinkai, held a tea ceremony at the 2019 IAF

In fostering a cross-cultural dialogue, IAF hosted a series of lectures on a variety of interesting topics, ranging from Chinese glassware and Western silverware to the development of Hong Kong art market. 

Drawing a packed audience, the series boasted a distinguished line-up of guest speakers, including Prof. Qi Dong Fang (Professor of Peking University, School of Archaeology and Museology), Ohara Jigoemon XVI (the 16th successor of Jigoemon, the traditional technique for making Johana Makie lacquerware), Shimatani Yoshinori IV (traditional craftsman of Takaoka Doki copper ware), Marinella Veronesi (renowned silver consultant and columnist of magazine Alla Ribalta), among others. 

Besides promoting antique knowledge and facilitating cultural exchanges, IAF spares no effort in giving back to the society through donations to charitable organizations during each edition. The donee of IAF 2019, for instance, was St. John Ambulance Association, an organization with a mission on providing first-aid and ambulance services in emergency for the general public.

Prof. Qi Dong Fang | 2019 IAF

A capacity crowd at the 2019 IAF

Ronald Chak (left), Director of Hong Kong International Antiques Fair (HKIAF), made a donation to one of the charitable organizations at the 2019 IAF

In regards to to the return of HKIAF, Ronald Chak, Director of IAF, said:

“Since its first edition in 2002, International Antiques Fair has remained dedicated to the mission of promoting antique knowledge, facilitating cultural exchanges, and most importantly, spreading our passion for antiques to the world. Thanks to the tremendous support from art lovers and collectors, it has grown from scratch to establish itself as one of the most prominent art events in Asia, which is an accomplishment I always take pride in.

After the pandemic put an abrupt halt to the world, it is with immense joy and gratitude that we are finally bringing back this celebration of art and heritage to Hong Kong. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported us through this difficult time, and we are thrilled to meet you all in May.”

International Antiques Fair 2023
Venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre - Hall 5FG
VIP Preview Date: 26 May 2023
Exhibition Date: 27 - 30 May 2023