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Thursday, 17 May 2012

Culture Shock: ART HK 12 & Le French May

The perpetual whinge that Hong Kong is all skyscrapers and no culture is not going to hold much sway this month.  Hong Kong is currently awash with culture.

There's ‘Le French May’,  a French arts festival which is currently in full swing.  With over 500 events ranging from dance to opera, photography to sculpture and fashion to food, Le French May has all bases covered.  I’m most excited about Crazy About Yves: a free fashion exhibition featuring stylist, Olivier Châtenet's private collection of Yves Saint Laurent clothing collected over the last fifteen years, and the Picasso Masterpieces Exhibition: an exhibition of 55 Picasso works which belong to the the Musée National Picasso in Paris and span the eight decades of his career from his Blue Period to Surrealism.  Events are taking place all over the city.  Get your tickets via: www.urbtix.hk/ to avoid missing out.

And if that's not enough ART HK kicks off today...  Now in its fifth year, Art HK is the leading international modern and contemporary art fair in Asia.  Over 266 galleries from 38 countries have set up shop at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre and for the next four days will be exhibiting diverse work from artists that range from household names to the up and coming.



Yesterday evening, I joined the art crowd at the opening night preview to drink champagne, people watch and most importantly, take a sneaky peek at the art.  Within a couple of steps of the entrance I was handed a glass of Veuve Cliquot as I spied a Litchenstein, two Degas, a Picasso and a Miro... I knew it was going to be a good evening.  

From sculpture to photography and everything in between, ART HK has it covered.  A Jeff Koons mirror reflects a Richard Prince cowboy; Picassos hang alongside Hirsts and right in the middle of all this art amizingness there's a Warhol painted BMW Art Car. 

 

The Art Car was created by Warhol in 1979 and was the fourth in the BMW Art Car series.  Other artists who created cars for the series (including Hockney, Litchenstein and Koons) crafted their designs on 1:5 scale models with technicians reproducing each design on the cars themselves.  Warhol however, shunned the scale model method and insisted on painting directly onto the car himself.  The end result is a patchwork of colour in a palette that's reminiscent of Warhol's infamous Marilyn.  The car's displayed complete with signed back bumper next to a wall emblazoned with Warhol's take on the car: "I love that car, it has turned out better than the artwork".  

Check out this making of video showing Warhol at work...  


Cars aside, ART HK is a must visit for anyone who loves modern art.  Whether you're in the market for something new to adorn your walls or just fancy whiling away an afternoon browsing, the HKCEC is the place to be this weekend.

For a flavour of what to expect, scroll through the photos I managed to snap before my camera battery died...


Joan Miro

Andy Warhol

Pablo Picasso



William Klein

Mel Bochner

Mel Bochner

Mel Bochner

Gilbert & George

Gavin Turk

Damien Hirst

Ed Ruscha

Andy Warhol




Damien Hirst 

Wilfredo Lam

Wilfredo Lam 



Hong Kong International Art Fair
Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wanchai, Hong Kong Island
(852) 3111 9660
noon-7pm 17-19 May
noon-5pm 20 May
Admission: HK$250 adults; HK$125 people with disabilities, full-time students and senior citizens aged 60 or above.
Tickets can be purchased via: http://www.hkticketing.com/

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