Vajrasattva and Consort
Kashmir, 11th century
Brass inlaid with copper, silver and semi-precious stones, H. 15.5cm, sold by
Tenzing Asian Art, San Francisco
Guests at the vernissage admire antique Chinese porcelain and glass works
at the booth of
Vanderven Oriental Art, The Netherlands
“Bateaux dans l’Estuaire” by
Georges Charles Robin,
French (1903-2003), oil on canvas,
13” x 16”, sold by
Gladwell & Patterson, London
As usual, Fine Art Asia 2016 was staged at the peak of the October art season in Hong Kong, coinciding with Sotheby’s auctions in the same venue.
For the fourth year in a row, Fine Art Asia welcomed Mrs Carrie Lam, Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong SAR Government, as the Guest of Honour at the Opening Ceremony on 1 October. Mrs Lam praised Fine Art Asia as a high-quality platform for the international art world, contributing to the recognition of Hong Kong as a major world art centre.
Fine Art Asia 2016 presented a fabulous display of museum-quality antiques and fine art from both East and West. The 8,000-square-metre exhibition space provided a showcase for more than 6,000 stunning works of art, worth a total of over HK$3 billion. The fair was attended by 22,500 visitors from all over the world.
Artworks spanning 5,000 years of cultural history included Oriental and Western antiques; classical and contemporary Chinese ink paintings; Impressionist, modern and contemporary art from Pissarro, Monet, Sisley and Picasso through to Damien Hirst; fine jewellery, antique silver and timepieces; and photography.
This year Fine Art Asia featured a magnificent line-up of rare Buddhist and Himalayan art, presented by galleries from around the world. Each piece displayed masterful craftsmanship and embodies deep religious significance.
A new section of the fair was devoted to photography, featuring a group of selected Hong Kong and overseas galleries. This was in response to the growing interest in artistic photographic prints among collectors, with festivals, museums and galleries increasingly promoting photographic works.
Strong sales results were recorded across the fair. Tenzing Asian Art of San Francisco, specialising in Himalayan art, were happy to meet new clients including several important collectors who came specially from Beijing. They were thrilled to sell their highlight piece, “Vajrasattva and Consort”, a very important Kashmir sculpture dating from the 11th century made of brass inlaid with copper, silver and semi-precious stones. This great connoisseur piece embodying spirituality and romanticism has been published in four books, the first being “The Sensuous Immortals” by Pratapaditya Pal in 1977, and was highly sought after by collectors. Walter Arader Himalayan Art, New York, was similarly very happy with the fair, declaring the footfall “first class” and meeting high quality new clients resulting in solid sales. Jacques How Asian Art, Brussels also reported very good sales of important pieces of Buddhist art from India, the Himalayas and China.
In the Chinese antiques section, Vanderven Oriental Art, The Netherlands, said Fine Art Asia 2016 was the best fair for them in the past six years, and were delighted to sell 20 Chinese works of art ranging from glass to porcelain, bronze and Canton enamel, from the Ming and Qing dynasties. They were particularly happy to sell to both Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese collectors, and to existing and new clients, including younger buyers. “We are now reaping what we have sown – we feel we have really established a serious client base in Asia.”
Santos, London, specialising in Chinese porcelain and works of art, also thought this year’s fair was his best ever, with clients coming to his stand right up until the closing moments of the fair.
Ever Arts, Hong Kong and MD Flacks, London, both antique Chinese furniture specialists, this year collaborated on a joint booth that combined traditional Chinese furniture with some contemporary sculpture and scholar’s objects, with great success. They were delighted to sell one of their major pieces, a large luohan daybed with solid railings, of rare shape and style, dating from the late Ming Dynasty and in unusually good condition; as well as a set of contemporary scholar’s objects by famous British pop artist Clive Barker.
Gladwell & Patterson, London, specialising in Impressionist and modern art, were excited to be back at their 6th Fine Art Asia and reported their stand bustling with interest and enthusiasm. There was strong interest in Monet’s “Aiguille d’Etretat, Marée Basse” which had been featured widely in the media. Preview night saw some good sales, mostly for French landscape artists Georges Robin and Alexandre Jacob. Further sales included a painting of the Doge’s Palace by Auguste Bouvard evoking the timeless wonder of Venice. According to director Glenn Fuller, “Since we first started coming, the type of paintings that we have brought has evolved over the years. People are becoming much more sophisticated these days in Asia and understanding Western art far more.”
Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong presented a solo exhibition of renowned Taiwanese sculptor Ju Ming (b. 1939) at the fair. They sold three major bronze sculptures from the artist’s iconic “Taichi Series”; while all the works on paper, including drawings, water colours and calligraphy works, were sold out. A monumental bronze sculpture, “Taichi Swing,” dating from 1991 provided an elegant centre piece of the fair. Ju Ming’s works were curated by Hanart TZ Gallery for 30 years resulting in his international acclaim. This piece was previously shown at the South Bank Centre, London, and at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park; while another edition was exhibited at the Place Vendôme in Paris and Unter den Linden in Berlin.
Galerie Dumonteil, Paris, Shanghai and New York, specialising in modern and contemporary art in particular on animal themes, were happy to sell a large bronze “Horse Table” by French sculptor Jean-Marie Fiori (b. 1952); and two works by the French artist André Maire (1898-1984) who lived for 13 years in Indochina, “Angkor” and “Buddhas”, both pencil, charcoal and sanguine on paper.
In the Jewellery, Silver and Timepieces category, regular exhibitor Susan Ollemans, London, enjoyed extremely pleasing sales of Chinese and Asian antique jewellery and works of art. Koopman Rare Art, London, exhibiting at Fine Art Asia for the 6th year in a row, had good sales ranging from a pair of wine coolers from the early 19th century by Royal goldsmith Paul Storr to an exquisite 19th century Chinese cup and cover, c. 1890, makers mark of Wang Hing. Lewis Smith said, “The fair produced as always a range of different clients interested in learning and collecting English silver. As worldwide, the clients are savvy and searching for high quality, interesting objects.”
Meanwhile, Boghossian, Geneva, London and Hong Kong, sold two important rings from their “Kissing” series, a dazzling example of Boghossian’s innovative spirit and creativity, demanding the perfect marrying of two contrasting stones giving the illusion of one floating over the other.
The new photography section of the fair attracted many visitors and is very promising for the future. La Galerie Paris 1839, Hong Kong, sold one of its highlight pieces, “Animal Farm #6” by Chou Ching-hui (b. 1965).
Andy Hei, Co-Chairman and Director of Fine Art Asia, said,
“There was a real buzz at this year’s fair, with an encouraging number of new and younger collectors as well as many loyal old friends. The attendance and sales exceeded our expectations, no doubt due to the very high quality of the exhibitors who are all experts in their fields. We are delighted that so many our international and Hong Kong galleries met with an extremely positive response, both in terms of interest in their works of art and in sales.”
Calvin Hui, Co-Chairman and Director of Fine Art Asia, said,
“Fine Art Asia brings the finest pieces to Asian collectors, and consistently pioneers new areas, expanding the fine art market in Asia. This year we introduced a contemporary photography section and co-presented the Hong Kong Sculpture Biennial 2016; both were received enthusiastically. The fair now showcases an amazing range of works of art at the highest level. We look forward to continuing to provide an exciting platform for the international art world in Asia.”
Art & Antique International Fair Ltd (AAIF) was founded in 2005 by well-known antique Chinese furniture dealer Andy Hei to provide a vibrant new platform in the Hong Kong for the art world in Asia and worldwide. The company is the pioneer of art fairs in Hong Kong: its inaugural fair in 2006 was the first international art fair in Hong Kong in more than a decade.
In 2010, Fine Art Asia was recognised as Hong Kong’s first globally acclaimed non-corporate art enterprise brand, featuring internationally renowned fine art and jewellery exhibitors as well as attracting the world’s foremost collectors.
In 2011, Asian contemporary art collector and promoter Calvin Hui joined Fine Art Asia as Co-Chairman and Director, sharing his knowledge of the Asian art market and his public relations network to enhance and continue the expansion of the fair.
Art and Antique International Fair Ltd has successfully held 12 fairs in Hong Kong to date.
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