Mar 31 2018

Highlights From Art Central 2018

by Mimi Wong

RYOTA UNNOHong Kong Life, 2018, mineral pigments (iwa-enogu), acrylic and gold foil on Japanese paper, 160 × 320 cm. Installation view at the booth of Art Projects Gallery (Hong Kong), Art Central Hong Kong, 2018. All photos by Mimi Wong for ArtAsiaPacific.

Art Central returns this year with over 100 galleries. In addition to featuring participants from well-trodden art hubs such as Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul and, of course, Hong Kong, the fair offers a sampling from Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila and Tainan. Works by European and Latin American artists who are loosely connected by materials or subject matter to the Asia-Pacific region make an appearance as well.

The urban landscape—imagined and real—emerged as a recurring theme for many artists seeking to reflect the ever-shifting world around them, while also paying homage to the cosmopolitan setting of the fair’s host city. In other instances, modern-day politics fueled creative responses, including dark depictions of controversial figures. Further emphasizing the of-the-moment feel, a mix of high and low pop culture references offered a connection to the fair’s youthful attendees.

Presented in enumerate ways, large-scale installations and sculptures, along with inventively textured paintings, certainly play to the crowd’s love of Instagram-worthy moments. But many of the works also provide an opportunity to learn about stories behind the artists, and how they incorporate traditional and contemporary crafts into their practice. Without overwhelming visitors, Art Central delivers an easily consumable glimpse into a diverse and distinct array of work emerging from or inspired by the region. Here are some of the highlights from the fair.

FJ KUNTING, Talk, 2018, performance. Presented as part of Performance x 4A at Art Central Hong Kong, 2018.
FJ KUNTING, Talk, 2018, performance. Presented as part of Performance x 4A at Art Central Hong Kong, 2018.

Mimi Wong is a New York desk editor of ArtAsiaPacific.

Art Central runs through April 1, 2018.

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