Autumn art season is in full swing. Galleries bring out their heavy hitters, exhibition openings number in their dozens, and the auction houses rack up impressively long numbers preceded by dollar signs.
Kicking off Hong Kong’s November art madness a couple of weeks ago was the Para/Site Art Space auction fundraiser held at Lane Crawford’s One Island South canteen.
Para/Site is the oldest non-profit art space in Hong Kong (celebrating its 16th year this year) and a crucial player in the Hong Kong art scene, having previously brought artists such as Ai Weiwei, Franz Ackermann and Joseph Kosuth to the city. It has also been a key supporter of local artists all too often overlooked in this market driven environment.
This year’s auction, as always, was presided over by the ever-entertaining art impresario (and owner of funky Chai Wan cafe, Chaiwanese) Jehan Chu. Works by international artists Olafur Eliasson, Shilpa Gupta, Anthony McCall and Anthony Gormley were auctioned off along with works by local and regional artists, such as Lee Kit, William Lim, Kacey Wong and Chow Chun Fei. All pieces were generously donated by galleries across the world including Vitamin Creative Space, Saamlung, White Cube, Sean Kelley Gallery, Galerie Perrotin, Osage, Yvon Lambert, ltd Los Angeles, Lombard Fried and Andreiana Mihail Gallery.
67 lots were sold in both a silent and live auction, raising close to 3 million Hong Kong dollars to benefit Para/Site’s ambitious program of exhibitions and projects. Quite a number of the works exceeded their estimates including work by Venice Biennale 2013 Hong Kong representative Lee Kit, which sold for 100,000HKD, and Darren Almond’s ‘Fullmoon@Oregon Coast’, also 100,000HKD. Hubby and I also got lucky securing a work we loved by a couple of Romanian artists, now hanging happily on our wall.
It was wonderful to walk into an art event and see not just the patrons, dealers and collectors, but also artists, critics and curators in attendance. It set the mood for a livelier and more colourful community focused event. Young artists Nadim Abbas and Joao Vasco Paiva, designer Paola Sinisterra, local gallerists Robin Peckham, Venus Lau, and Pui Pui To, G.O.D’s Ben Lau, M+ curator Tobias Berger and artist Yuk King Tan, Emmanuel Perrotin, Graham Steele of White Cube and Nick Simunovic of Gagosian also joined the spirited event. LA and HK based artist Adrian Wong was working on a performance art piece with his bunny Michael, who hopped and nibbled his way across a canvas dotted with fruit puree. It may have not gone up for auction but it certainly attracted much attention ahead of his solo exhibition opening, ‘Rodentia in Absentia’, at Saamlung gallery next week.
The evening ended with a little blues performance by yours truly, accompanied by the wonderfully talented Ernie Corpus on the piano keyboard. All up, it was a fabulous night of support for this venerable art institution and great to see so many members of Hong Kong’s diverse and passionate art community.
For more info on Para/Site check them out online at: http://www.para-site.org.hk