Fine Art Asia 2021 showcases Hong Kong’s excellent galleries
and art institutions
Fine Art Asia 2021 presented an impressive collection of museum-quality fine art spanning 5,000 years of cultural history from the Neolithic period to today. Showcased at the fair were world-class Asian and Western antiques, jewellery, modern and contemporary art and design, ink art and photography.
The Private Preview on 7 October was a resounding success, attracting more than 3,000 VIP guests, including dealers, collectors, celebrities and art lovers. This year, Fine Art Asia 2021 resumed its usual time slot at the peak of the October art season in Hong Kong, coinciding with Sotheby’s and China Guardian’s auctions in the same venue. A total of over 11,000 guests visited the fair.
Sales at Fine Art Asia 2021
In the Antiques section, Rossi & Rossi (Hong Kong/London) specialising in Himalayan and Indian antiques and works of art, sold their catalogue piece, a grey schist Head of Buddha Sakyamuni, dating from c. 3rd century, from the ancient region of Gandhara, formerly in a French private collection. Also finding a collector was a grey schist Head of Boddhisattva, c. 3rd-4th century, from Gandhara; as well as a work in acrylic on paper by contemporary US-based Tibetan artist, Tenzing Rigdol entitled “A Ripple in Time #2”.
Nicholas Grindley (New York/London) specialising in Chinese antique furniture and works of art, also sold his catalogue piece, a huanghuali corner leg painting table, dating from the late Ming – early Qing Dynasty, 17th century. The table had excellent provenance as it was previously in the Robert and Adriana Mnuchin collection, New York; the Ian and Susan Wilson collection, San Francisco; and on loan to the Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Cologne from 2003 to 2018. Nicholas Grindley participated remotely in the fair, due to travel restrictions, in a unique collaboration with Pine’s Art (Shanghai/Taipei) and Andy Hei Ltd (Hong Kong).
Rasti Chinese Art (Hong Kong), specialising in antique jades and works of art, sold several pieces and met a number of new clients.
In the Art section, Chelesa Art Co. Ltd. (Hong Kong/Shanghai) presented a highly successful solo exhibition by Shanghai artist Hong Jian (b.1967) at Fine Art Asia 2021. Of the 14 paintings they brought to the fair, 8 were sold during the VIP Private Preview, and the gallery was pleased to meet several important new clients.
Hanart TZ Gallery (Hong Kong) was also happy with sales during the far; while Grotto Fine Art (Hong Kong) focusing on Hong Kong artists, sold several major pieces, including the mixed media work “On the Rooftop – Cha Kwo Ling” by Tam Tak Hei (b. 1996); an ink painting “Splash XXIX 29” by Hung Fai (b. 1988); and a work in ink and colour on paper, “The Story That Must Not Be Told” by Shum Kwan Yi (b. 1995).
Tanya Baxter Contemporary (London/Hong Kong) sold several pieces including a bronze sculpture by Taiwanese master Ju Ming (b. 1938) from his renowned “Taichi” series; and a limited-edition print, “Honesty” by Damien Hirst.
Contemporary by Angela Li (Hong Kong) was pleased to sell works by Angela Yuen (b. 1991) and Wong Sze Wai (b. 1990), as well as a work by Fatina Kong (b. 1992) entitled “The Most Beautiful Thing is an Unexpected Encounter” in ink, cinnabar, acrylic and resin on silk, during the VIP Private Preview. Meanwhile, Karin Weber Gallery (Hong Kong) sold “Cotton Tree”, a work in linocut and collage by June Ho (b. 1990); and “Nine Abysses XXXII”, in Chinese ink and colour on silver paper by Chui Pui Chee (b. 1980). Soluna Fine Art (Hong Kong) sold their catalogue piece, “Scholar’s Accoutrements”, a work in mother-of-pearl and mixed media on wood, by Korean artist Kim Duck Yong (b. 1961).
Among the Jewellery specialists, YEWN (Hong Kong) sold their catalogue piece, a bangle in gold, silver, copper and rose cut diamonds entitled “Auspicious Pine, Peony and Cranes by the Shore”; as well as a “Flower on Brocade” bangle from the Lacquerware Series in yellow gold, silver and diamonds. Meanwhile, ON TUNG (Hong Kong) sold important pieces including a lavender jadeite and diamond ring, a jadeite hulu (lucky blessing gourd) and diamond pendant, and a pair of hulu and diamond earrings.
In the Photography category, Boogie Woogie Photography (Hong Kong) had a very successful fair, selling their catalogue piece, “Yves Saint Laurent, Première Dior Collection, Paris, 1958” by Swiss-French photographer Sabine Weiss (b. 1924); also “Paris, Musée de l’Orangerie, 2/01/2002” by Bogdan Konopka (1953-2019); “Défense de Rire, E. 1027, with natural green, No. 1, 2021” by Isabelle Boccon-Gibod (b. 1968); and works by Japanese photographer Takeshi Shikama, Hong Kong-based landscape photographer Stephen King, and photographer/film maker Stephanie Cheng who works in New York and Beijing.
Fine Art Asia 2021 was proud to be the first major fine art fair to host an NFTs exhibition, featuring a combination of ancient and modern art, culture and virtual financial technology. The exhibition, co-curated by Andy Hei, Founder and Director of Fine Art Asia, and Warren Cheng, Director of Fine Art Asia, was the first large-sale cross-sector collaboration in the pursuit of innovative ideas, demonstrating the idea of collecting artworks virtually.
Warren Cheng commented, “There was a great turnout for the new NFT section of the fair, attracting a new generation of collectors. The model of online NFTs linked to offline artworks has been proven to be successful, based on the sales results of NFTs. It’s also a great way to promote a younger generation of artists, as well as educating new young collectors on antiques and culture.”
The Ink Society presented a special exhibition, “A Tribute to Ding Yanyong” which was a highlight of the fair. The exhibition was the fifth instalment of the “Tribute” series, which celebrates the art and legacies of master ink painters. Often referred to as “Matisse of the East”, Ding Yanyong (1902–1978) created a highly original visual language by synthesising the Chinese ink painting tradition with modern European art.
Fine Art Asia 2021’s Education Partners, The Ink Society and Hong Kong Palace Museum hosted an Academic Programme of lectures and seminars by art experts from Hong Kong, strengthening academic discussion and interaction between scholars, galleries and collectors. In addition, the Hong Kong Palace Museum presented a series of dance and musical performances at its booth which were greatly enjoyed by visitors to the fair.
Dr Louis Ng, Museum Director of the Hong Kong Palace Museum, said, “Fine Art Asia provides a very good opportunity for art lovers to learn more about the Hong Kong Palace Museum. We collaborated with a young architect from Hong Kong and used the Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihe Dian) as reference, presenting the architecture of the Forbidden City in a modern way as our venue at the fair.”
Summing up, Andy Hei, Founder and Director of Fine Art Asia, said, “We are grateful that Fine Art Asia 2021 was held successfully despite the challenges of Covid-19 and a typhoon. In addition to the continuous support of local galleries and institutions, we also introduced innovative exhibitions at the fair for the first time, bringing collectors and audiences a new experience of the art market, as well as providing a versatile platform of exquisite works of art.”
– End –