Among the art bazaars happening in Asia this year, Thailand’s recent Hotel Art Fair 2014 won’t set any records in terms of attendance or sales. But the lively event clearly succeeded at tapping into the easy-going verve and quirkiness of the local art scene.
Despite imminent tropical rainstorms, Art Basel in Hong Kong opened to the assembled VIPs and press on Wednesday, May 14, without a glitch. During the press conference at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, fair directors Magnus Renfrew and Marc Spiegler remarked that the level of presentation had been substantially raised, with an improved range of exhibitors from both Eastern and Western quarters, alluding to the fact that the vestiges of ArtHK (Art Basel in Hong Kong’s predecessor) have finally been smoothed away.
At this year’s Art Dubai, journalists, collectors and art enthusiasts were invited to press their lips against history and breathe life into it, using art as a means for review and reflection. “When we resuscitate someone it’s somewhat disrespectful,” said Payam Sharifi a member of Slavs and Tatars, the artist collective who curated the Marker Section, which this year was devoted to works from Central Asia and the Caucasus. “They didn’t ask you to put your lips on theirs,” he cautioned.