23 February, 2013

Asia Hotel Art Fair 2013, Mandarin Oriental

An invitation to the Asia Hotel Art Fair (AHAF) press opening is hard to resist – a look at some interesting art and a snoop around the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, checking out various room types? Two of my favourite things in one, couldn't get better.

That said, I didn't expect much from this event, not having been before. Over the years I have come to love ARTHK and seen it improve and become more dynamic in terms of what's shown.

But I was wrong, the AHAF was not boring at all. Showcasing a range of galleries including some smaller independent Hong Kong galleries like Above Second and Voxfire, as well as an awesome range of contemporary Korean art and jewellery. I've interviewed quite a few Korean artists now, and they really are a creative bunch.

The AHAF has been held since 2008, in various hotels across Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul. While it's supposed to help visitors imagine their work at home, I saw property developers walking around trying to fill their new buildings for Tokyo and a number of VIPs.

But one thing that's undeniable is the price range. Not everything is too expensive for the average person. I nearly fell into buying a piece by Korean artists Park Tea-who. So it's worth visiting if you want to adorn your home – more affordable than ARTHK by far.

Korean artists 
Ahn Jun is a highly popular Korean artist, who takes photos of herself on the edge of buildings, including the one where she lives. Here, you can see the Shun Tak center in Sheung Wan.

Bae Chan-hyo is another popular Korean artist. His self-portraits remind me of Yinka Shonibare's self portraits like Dairy of a Victorian Dandy.

I was pleased to find a bit of Korean whimsy by way of illustration, care of Kim So-hee.

But this is the artist who stole my heart, through our shared love of birds. Park Tea-who represented by Nine Gallery on the 4th floor (room 423).

Korean jewellery was a real treat – inspiring, attractive and well-made. Check out room 612 and look here.

I want a dog too. But the ring by Shin Moonyoung will do and I presume it's less maintenance...

They have ceramics too...

And some interesting things to boot.

Hong Kong artists 
One of the reasons I wanted to go to the fair was to visit Hong Kong galleries like Above Second, who were representing Federico Fiorentini, who I love...

and Voxfire, who recently had an exhibition featuring my friends Danny Kostianos and Shann Larrson, who is featured in the photo below:

To see my tweets from this event, look here.

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