March 18, 2014

Are you ready for Affordable Art Fair 2014?

Buying art can be intimidating. So often new buyers wanting to start a collection confront myriad of questions and concerns such as, “What should I be looking for when I buy a piece of art?” “Should I buy it based on the reputation of the artist?” Or should I focus on what moves me?” “Am I buying this to hang in my home or do I hope to sell it one day?” For those who want to embark on this journey, I highly recommend you start at the upcoming Affordable Art Fair being held at the Hong Kong Convention Centre from 21 March to 23.

I attended this very successful event last year and walked away with three works – a photograph from a local Hong Kong artist and two lino prints from a Spanish printmaker. The purpose of the fair is to give the artists and the galleries that represent them a welcoming platform to show and, for some, debut their art to the public.

With 120 local and international galleries participating, the exhibition gives viewers a wide range of art to choose from with prices ranging between HK$1,000 and HK$100,000. Additionally, a newly curated part of the fair will include an “Under HK$10,000 Wall”.

South Ho Siu Nam, Affordable Art Fair

South Ho Siu Nam, Affordable Art Fair

In addition to viewing and buying the art, the fair offers complimentary art talks, creative workshops and a children’s art studio.

Curator Eric Leung will also be featuring at the fair the 2nd edition of Young Talent Hong Kong – an exhibit that highlights 11 up-and-coming Hong Kong Artists. We were lucky to have an opportunity to ask Elvis Yip, South Ho and Vanessa Wong some questions and to learn a bit more about them:

RAW: What inspires you and your work?

Elvis Yip Kin Bon:  When I was in college, I enjoyed using masking tape by aligning it to form a big creamy white plain. The subtle straight line between the pieces of tape when arranged neatly create a sense of calmness and distillation to an ordinary material. My current works, Before Typhoon and After Typhoon, depict the change of a cityscape – the before and the after of an extraordinary scene brought on by a natural phenomenon.

South Ho Siu Nam:  My work is a combination of my life experiences. I tell my stories and my views of life through my artwork. I feel that everything is relatable. It is meant to provoke the audience to think and reflect on their own lives and to provide them with some insight on human nature.

Vanessa Wong Shun Chi:  My work explores the relationship between humans and objects in our society of consumerism. With the cultivation process of my aesthetic sense, one foot in humanistic tradition and the other in pop culture, my art reflects on the inseparable relationship between humans and objects of consumerism. I distill the elements from our daily life, pop culture, consumer products, body parts and human organs into fine detailed paintings using high key colors, giving them a sense of seductiveness, metaphoric for human desire and consumer culture.

Elvis Yip Kin Bon, Affordable Art Fair

Elvis Yip Kin Bon, Affordable Art Fair


RAW: The Affordable Art Fair is a great opportunity to show your art to the public. Do you feel that Hong Kong is supportive of young new artists?

Elvis Yip:  Yes. There are quite a lot of opportunities for exhibitions, just like this fair. However, it would be better if there was more support for affordable studio rentals, especially for young artists in the early stages of their career development.

South Ho: Rent is expensive in Hong Kong – young artists who want to exhibit their work are always faced with very high costs, and this affects their opportunities for exposure. Additionally, there is a lack of notable competitions for young artists that support and encourage them to keep creating.

Vanessa Wong: I do appreciate the opportunity provided by the Affordable Art Fair. But I don’t think Hong Kong is really supportive of local young new artists. We still lack space for exhibitions & art studios due to the expensive rent in Hong Kong. But I can see some improvement nowadays – we do have more opportunities than the past.

Vanessa Wong Shun Chi, Affordable Art Fair

Vanessa Wong Shun Chi, Affordable Art Fair

There are 16 Affordable Art Fairs held around the world each year. The ongoing success of these fairs shows the demand and keen interest in reasonably priced contemporary art. Carve out time in your weekend schedule to attend this year!

Affordable Art Fair, Hong Kong runs from Friday 21 March to Sunday 23 March 2014 at Hong Kong Convention Centre.

About the Author

Molly Lukins Burke
Molly brings her love of art to Hong Kong from New York City, where she was born and raised. Professionally, Molly has a master’s in art history and has worked at auction houses (Sotheby’s and Christie’s) and art galleries in New York. Before moving to Hong Kong in 2012, Molly was working on the team drafting the Catalogue Raisonné for Jasper Johns’, one of America's most celebrated artists. Personally, Molly is thrilled to be living in Asia's cultural capital with her husband and two children, and is excited to explore what Hong Kong has to offer in local and international art. 


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