Art Central returned for another edition of the fair, ramping up their programme this year! Between the curated exhibitions, large-scale installations, talks, films and performance art, there was so much to do that it was difficult to make sure we covered everything, which is why we're bringing you some of the event highlights from the fair. We've only just come back from this year's edition, but we're already excited about the next one!
The monlithic installations
Art Central presented a series of 6 large-scale installations this year that focused on materiality as part of their PROJECTS programme that were on display for the duration of the fair. Featuring works by Glen Hayward, Simon Pericich, Hannah Quinlivan, Yu Youhan, Tang Jie and Santi Wangchuan, it really got visitors' iPhones going for that perfect Instagram-worthy shot!
We got to play with a crystallophone and channelled our inner John Legend
This year, Swarovski presented "Sharevari", a mechanical, interactive crystallophone made up of 16 brass mechanical structures or ‘notes’, each one featuring a handmade crystal form. Visitors got to hear original compositions by Japanese sound artist Yuri Suzuki as well as conducted their own harmonies via a network of sensors.
A great range of younger artists
Art Basel Hong Kong is known for being the place to see works by blockbuster artists like Takashi Murakami, Donald Judd, Zao Wou-ki and Subodh Gupta. In contrast, Art Central offers a completely different position, with works by young emerging artists coming out of Asia. This year we saw many more Korean galleries with booths, offering a good opportunity to encounter the works of may artists we might not necessarily get the chance to! However, this is not to say that there weren't any big names at Art Central; we saw works by Yayoi Kusama, Yoshitomo Nara and Botero on display at some of the booths as well!
Getting to see Anida Yoeu Ali strut around in a sequined chador
This year's fair partnered once again with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art to bring some pretty cool performances and interactive art! While many of us tried to ballot to get our portraits drawn by Tobias Gutmann, we also finally got the chance to see critically acclaimed Anida Yoeu Ali's "The Red Chador: Ban Me!". Enoch Cheng also developed a dance piece by looking at movement for 8 hours at Art Central, and Amrita Hepi danced in a costume wih built-in fans and extendable parts, that gave Hepi transformative qualities. Hands down one of the most exciting works was Uji Handoko Eko Saputro aka Hahan's selling performance with an auction atmosphere, which was buzzing with activity throughout the fair!
Easy access to champagne!
Art Central partnered once again with Mumm champagne for their champagne bar, making it a great meeting point for us (and a good reason to grab a glass of bubbly)! This year they got Linda C. H. Lai, Founder of Floating Projects and Associate Professor of Intermedia Arts at the City University of Hong Kong’s School of Creative Media to curate the moving image sector, offering champagne guzzlers an immersive experience with over 16 different works including some by Rashaad Newsome, Sarah Choo and Guy Sherwin & Lynn Loo.
Fair food we didn't regret ordering (for once)
No one really goes to art fairs for the food and everyone knows that if you can, you should really avoid ordering anything from the deli counter - it will only end in cold, dry disappointment. Which is why Art Central is completely changing the game with their fair dining offerings that featured a restaurant helmed by michelin-star chef Philippe Orrico at Le Marcheé, and an outdoor dining experience Street Food Central that showcased some of Hong Kong's hottest eateries like Bread & Beast, Beef & LIberty, Brickhouse, Little Bao and Mrs Pound!