After a one night break of gallery openings in order to make way for the vernissage of Art HK itself, last night (Thursday) saw another round of openings and private views. Galerie NeC Nilsson et Chieglien was the second gallery to open during Art HK week. It launched with a show of work from Danish ceramicist Steen Ipsen, whose bulging spherical forms stood on plinths resembling molecular structures created by a mad scientist. The sculptures were complimented by the rows of macarons from Patisserie Paul Lafayet, which were presented in similar colour to some of the art works (but tasted much better than them).
Next up was a trip to purveyor of luxury goods, Shanghai Tang. No, not to look at the clothes, but to see the installed art by Huang Rui, selected by 10 Chancery Lane Gallery. On the ground floor was a large piece called Earthquake. The beaded piece was made in response to the Sichuan earthquake in 2008, the idea being that when you move through the piece, the movement and sound is reminiscent of the earthquake. The pattern of the beads is because Sichuan is known for its panda population.
Upstairs was a more light-hearted piece – the Musical Ping Pong Table. The work combines one of China’s most popular sports with traditional Chinese percussion instruments. Chaos ensued as loads of drunk people got involved and fired ping pong balls around the store (accidentally, of course!) as the sound of the symbols reverberated.
As well as the large galleries at Art HK, there are two other types of booths at the fair. 35 international galleries were part of Art Futures. The criteria was that the gallery had to have been established in 2004 or later, could only show one or two artists at their stand, and these artists had to be aged 35 or under.
As Hong Kong prepares for its art fair, the last one to be branded as ART HK before it becomes Art Basel in 2013, the galleries have kicked off the week with a series of private views to capitalise on the international visitors who are in to town