OCT 2023

Fine Art Asia 2023: A Visual Feast of Exceptional Quality

Hong Kong, 18 October 2023 – Despite the challenges brought by the typhoon on the last day, Fine Art Asia 2023, Asia’s leading international fine art fair, was successfully staged from 4 – 8 October at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. This year marked the first edition of the fair bringing together prominent Hong Kong and international galleries once again after three years of the pandemic.

Fine Art Asia 2023 presented an impressive collection of fine art spanning 5,000 years of cultural history from the Neolithic period to the present day. Showcased at the fair were world-class Asian and Western antiques, timepieces and jewellery, modern and contemporary art, and fine crafts. More than 30,000 visitors attended the fair, including collectors, connoisseurs, celebrities, and art lovers who enjoyed the wide variety of art and antiques on display.

The private preview on 4 October was a resounding success, attracting more than 8,000 VIP guests and showcasing the gradually revitalised art market in Hong Kong.

Yuki Onodera (b.1962)
Here, No Balloon
Digital 2.5 D print on gelatin silver
print on canvas (unique piece)
H.211 x W.152 cm
Sold at Fine Art Asia 2023 by
wamono art, Hong Kong

Licchavi period, 7th/8th century
H. 89 cm
Sold at Fine Art Asia 2023 by
Rossi & Rossi,
Hong Kong/London

Lord Elphinstone’s vase on stand
George III, 1809
Maker’s mark of Paul Storr
W. 5,921 g
H. 35 cm
Sold at Fine Art Asia 2023 by
Koopman Rare Art, Hong Kong

In the Antique section, Rossi & Rossi specialising in Himalayan classical works of art, was satisfied with the sales this year and achieved success in selling an important Avalokiteshvara copper statue from the Licchavi period (7/8th century) in Nepal. Maria Kiang Chinese Art, exhibiting exquisite objects for the scholar’s desk, successfully sold both pieces featured in the catalogue — the vertical ‘Lingbi’ scholar’s rock from the Ming Dynasty, and the imperial ‘Han eaves tile’ inkstone with inlaid lacquer box and cover (inkstone from the Han Dynasty; box and cover from the Qing Dynasty). In addition to the notable sales of rocks, another remarkable sale included a carved agate ‘carp’ snuff bottle from the Qing Dynasty which involved an incredible research background.

Lam’s Gallery, presenting a special exhibition of “San Cai” to showcase the essence of Chinese aesthetic in white, green, and blue, had sold both of the catalogue pieces from the Tang Dynasty, including the bag-shaped lion-head flask and the extremely rare sheer-blue sancai pillow. Ming Gallery, specialising in Chinese antiques and works of art, sold a set of six famille-verte ceramic tiles painted with the story of the “Romance of the West Chamber” from the Kangxi period of the Qing Dynasty.

Luohan Tang, exhibiting classical Chinese furniture and contemporary art, expressed their strong interest in participating in the fair again next year, as they have observed an improvement in the audience’s aesthetic taste and appreciation in terms of quality.

Takashi Wakamiya (b.1964)
Stag Beetle and His Beloved
Water Melon
Maki-e lacquer painting: natural
lacquer, wood, linen, natural
H.38 x W.29.2 x D.2.6 mm
Sold at Fine Art Asia 2023 by
The Gallery by SOIL, Hong Kong

A vertical ‘Lingbi’ scholar’s rock
with inscription
Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)
H. 58 cm (including base)
Sold at Fine Art Asia 2023 by
Maria Kiang Chinese Art,
Hong Kong

Henri Grandjean
19th century
An important 18ct gold pocket
watch with 27 individual
components and 7 complications
Dial signed
‘Henri Grandjean & Cie’
Made for the Spanish or South
American market
Sold at Fine Art Asia 2023 by
Somlo London

Koopman Rare Art, specialising in antique silver and gold boxes, returned to the fair after 3 years and was pleased to meet new clients. The gallery sold an important Lord Elphinstone’s silver-gilt vase on stand from London, 1809. Additionally, they also successfully sold a number of gold boxes and objects de vertu. Antique watch expert Somlo London reported their most successful fair among all editions of Fine Art Asia. One of the most expensive pieces sold was a pocket watch made by Henri Grandjean in the 19th century specifically for the Spanish or South American market. This pocket watch is made of 18ct gold in 4 different colours and features 27 individual components. It is intricately designed with high relief and consists of 7 different complications. Moreover, Silver & Silver’s collection of objects de vertu was highly sought-after among visitors, while Jiabao Pavilion Jewellery had a successful fair and expressed that their designed jewellery was in high demand during the fair.

In the art section, wamono art presented contemporary Japanese art, sold a digital print on canvas “Here, No Balloon” by Yuki Onedera, and a few ceramic pieces from the “Shell” series by Shinya Tanoue including the catalogue piece “Shell’ 23 – Extrication”. The gallery was happy to meet new collectors, and a private collector also commissioned a separate work by Tanoue. Soluna Fine Art sold their catalogue piece “Weaving Time III” by Korean artist Jeong Da Hye; while Chelesa Art Co. Ltd. had robust sales for all the Chinese ink paintings by Hong Kong artist Stewart Wong. Pine’s Art had good sales of calligraphy works by Chinese artists, including both catalogue pieces “Under the Moon Light” by Tung Chiao and “Twelve-Word Couplet” by Tai Jing-Non. Ogosian Art Centre sold several sculptures by Chinese artists Yang Dongying and Mao Kai; while Tinny Art House sold the catalogue piece “Forthcoming Places – 9” by Japanese artist Minoru Nomata, they expressed that their exhibited Japanese hand-drawn anime pieces were very popular with visitors. The Gallery by SOIL presented contemporary lacquer art, sold a maki-e lacquer painting “Stag Beetle and His Beloved Water Melon” by Japanese artist Takashi Wakamiya, and a natural lacquer and ramie piece “Pine Cone” by Chinese artist Liu Yang. UKIYO-E PROJECT, exhibiting for the first time, sold the catalogue piece “David Bowie”, a woodblock print by Japanese artist Masumi Ishikawa. The gallery also hosted a woodblock printing workshop during the fair, attracting a lot of visitors of all ages. Karin Weber Gallery was satisfied with the overall performance at the fair, expressing that the painting “Home Sweet Home” by Chinese ink master Irene Chou garnered significant attention from many collectors and museum curators, while works by Hong Kong artists also sold well.

Special Exhibition

Fine Art Asia 2023 continued to bridge the worlds of antiques and art with technology, presenting innovative ways to attract aspiring collectors. The special exhibition “Le Jardin à Fine Art Asia” successfully drew many visitors to view the Artificial Intelligence (AI) generated images and videos created based on the exhibited pieces. It also provided a challenge for visitors to match these digital representations with the physical artworks on display. Warren Cheng, Director of Fine Art Asia, who organised the exhibition, commented, ‘Our mission is to introduce traditional art to new generations of art lovers. This year, “Le Jardin à Fine Art Asia” showcased traditional art in an innovative setting.
The captivating flowerbeds, hanging plants, and AI-generated imagery attracted visitors to this photo-worthy spot. Notably, we achieved remarkable sales to collectors who typically didn’t collect this art category. Our greatest accomplishment, however, was revealing the immense possibilities within traditional and classical art. It’s like a locked treasure chest, brimming with depth and potential. We eagerly anticipate exploring new ways to present traditional art, capturing the hearts of fresh art lovers and collectors.’

Academic Programme

Fine Art Asia 2023 hosted an Academic Programme of lectures and seminars by art experts from Hong Kong and overseas, strengthening academic discussion and interaction between scholars, galleries and collectors. The lectures “Decorative Techniques in Oriental Swords: Savoir Faire in Craftsmanship and Artistry” by Ms Betty Lo Yan Yan, and “The Beauty of Chinese Lacquer: Aesthetics and Collection of Xipi Lacquer” by Mr Gan Erke, in particular, attracted full audiences.

Summing up, Andy Hei, Founder and Director of Fine Art Asia, said, “Despite an unexpected typhoon on the fair’s last day, Fine Art Asia persevered. It brings me great joy to see old friends from abroad and the genuine support of Hong Kong galleries. We remain committed to showcasing diverse works of art, keeping up with trends, inspiring art enthusiasts, and nurturing new collectors. Although the pandemic has receded, economic recovery takes time. We eagerly look forward to another exciting Fine Art Asia next year.”

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