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The Hong Kong Art Gallery Association (HKAGA) and Asia Society Hong Kong Center are delighted to announce the 2018 Art Symposium, “Looking Up: Remapping Hong Kong’s art scene in the era of new connectivity and ruptures”, to be held on Friday 16th to Saturday 17th November as part of Hong Kong Art Week. Now in its 6th year, the HKAGA’s vibrant Art Week, which runs from the 9th to 17th November, highlights the essential role played by Hong Kong’s galleries in the city’s art ecology. The forthcoming HKAGA Art Symposium has become one of the major events in Hong Kong and international art calendars.

Co-Presidents of HKAGA, Adriana Alvarez-Nichol and Angela Li said, “This year, the HKAGA Art Symposium boasts the strongest line-up of speakers and panellists yet. As the HKAGA has solidified its influential position in the city, we are thrilled to include an outstanding roster of influencers from Asia and beyond such as Victoria Sung and Lola Lenzi; legendary gallerists such as Emmanuel Perrotin; and well-known artists including Ellen Pau.”

Over the past decade, Hong Kong has developed not just as the centre of art business in Asia, but as a global art hub. Today, Hong Kong hosts Asia’s premier international art fairs, auction houses and galleries. With London and New York, it has become one of the top three art centres in the world. The development of West Kowloon Cultural District and its contemporary art museum M+, as well as Tai Kwun in Central, will further contribute to Hong Kong’s significance as a world art hub.

Fernando Prats in his studio. Image courtesy of Hong Kong Art Gallery Association. 

The HKAGA Art Symposium examines the different facets of Hong Kong’s dramatic rise as well as the challenges it will face in the future. Four talk sessions led by renowned international and local art experts address some of the most pressing topics for the future of the visual arts in Hong Kong. Opening the Art Symposium on Friday, 16th November, Cuauhtémoc Medina, Chief Curator of the 12th Shanghai Biennale will speak about China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative which will undoubtedly transform trade and cultural relationships, including the art world. A panel of experts will discuss Hong Kong’s position within this scenario and its role as a window to China, the Asia Pacific region and the West.

Increased global interest in Asian art in the past few decades has radically changed the way in which the West views this previously overlooked region. In the 2nd talk on Friday, Boon Hui Tan, Director of the Asia Society Museum will ask “How are Western Museums collecting and understanding contemporary art from Asia?” Curators from Western and Asian museums will discuss how Asian artists are now featuring in their acquisition programmes and what further work needs to be done.

At the time of the #MeToo movement, female artists have been chosen to represent Hong Kong at the Venice Biennale and Asia Society presents an exhibition by pioneering female Chinese artist, Pan Yuliang. The Symposium will highlight the crucial role that women artists, curators and dealers play in the Hong Kong art scene. On Saturday, 17th November, Freya Chou, Curator of Para Site, will talk about “Female Artists in Asia” and together with renowned curators, artists and collectors will discuss the realities faced by women in the art world and the opportunities and challenges for the future.

Tobias Berger, Head of Arts at Tai Kwun. Image courtesy of Hong Kong Art Gallery Association. 

Hong Kong has become the hub for the top international art galleries to enter the Asian market. Gagosian and White Cube led the way, followed more recently by Hauser & Wirth and David Zwirner. In the 2nd talk on 17th November, Magnus Renfrew, Managing Director & Founder, ARTHQ Group, will speak on “New Trends, the impact of the next wave of international gallery openings in Hong Kong and beyond.” A panel of experts including art fair directors and dealers will evaluate the impact of these developments on the region, local small and medium-sized galleries, artists and the relationship of Hong Kong with the rest of Asia.

The Art Symposium will conclude on Saturday afternoon, 17th November with a Keynote Presentation by Tobias Berger, Head of Arts, Tai Kwun. The Art Symposium is open to the public on a first-come, first served basis. Pre-registration is available on the HKAGA website only,, two weeks before the event date.

A cocktail reception on Friday evening, which is by RSVP only, will feature two live performances. The first is by Chilean artist Fernando Prats who, since representing Chile at the 54th Venice Biennale, has achieved international acclaim for devising a new and deeply personal pictorial system. The artist will produce a new work from his renowned Painting of Birds series live and the resulting artwork will be donated to The Nature Conservancy in Hong Kong. The second is a “Spoken Poetry” performance by Redic, a Chicago-born artist now based in Shanghai. Attendees will also be able to try a VR experience by Desmond Leung throughout the event. Leung is a media artist and creative director who explores contemporary aesthetics and meaning by combining ink painting, moving image and new media into a new visual language.

The HKAGA is grateful to H Queen’s, Art Basel and Artsy for their support of the event.

About the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association (HKAGA)
Founded in 2012, HKAGA is a member-based non-profit organisation of established art galleries in Hong Kong. With over 50 member-galleries, the mission of HKAGA is to advance the Hong Kong art gallery community by providing one voice to its members, reaching out to the local and international art community, and helping deepen market knowledge and best practices among members. Since 2014, HKAGA has been officially recognised as a grant recipient of Hong Kong Arts Development Council for its dedication and promotion of the arts scene in Hong Kong.

For more information on this year's HKAGA Art Symposium, click here
To find out more about the special event's schedule, click here

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