The Best Events Around ART HK 2012, From Sotheby's Yayoi Kusama Show to an Occupy-Inspired Debate

The Best Events Around ART HK 2012, From Sotheby's Yayoi Kusama Show to an Occupy-Inspired Debate
ART HK runs from May 17-20, but that's not the only thing going on in the harbor city.
(Courtesy ART HK)

HONG KONG — ART HK kicks off this week and the Harbor City is girding its loins. You might think that the 266 participating dealers at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) would be enough to keep the art crowd busy, but the city’s commercial galleries, art and educational institutions, and auction houses certainly don’t think so. ART HK's organizers estimate that there are more than 150 parallel events around the fair this year. There’s even a satellite fair, Hong Kong Contemporary, running at the Central neighborhood's Park Lane Hotel

Mindful of how easily you could get lost trying to navigate all that’s on offer, ARTINFO Hong Kong presents our easy guide to the best events around the city during the fair, May 17-20.

Around ART HK/Wanchai:

The Hong Kong branch of the Asia Society will be hosting a panel discussion between Hans Ulrich Obrist, Melissa Chiu (director of the Asia Society Museum in New York), and Philip Tinari (director of Beijing's Ullens Center for Contemporary Art), as the first part of a new series published by the Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli entitled “The Future Will Be.... ” The first country to get the future treatment is China, with Obrist “curating” the contributions of dozens of Chinese artists to the debate. Some of the contributing artists will be in attendance at the discussion. May 16, 12-2pm at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center

The Asia Art Archive is staging a series of "Backroom Conversations" in association with ART HK, with an impressive lineup of speakers, including curators and artists, weighing in on the art world today. Check online for the full program. May 17-19, HKCEC

In a nod to the Occupy Wall Street movement, Intelligence Squared Asia offers the proposition “Contemporary Art Excludes the 99 percent” for debate. Artists Paul Chan and Ben Lewis speak "for" the proposition, while artist Joseph Kosuth and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor opposing. May 18, 6.30- 8 pm, HKCEC

In Central (around 8 minutes from ART HK):

Some of the city’s leading galleries have scheduled new shows to open on the evening of May 15, including new players on the Central Hong Kong scene Galerie Perrotin, Sean Kelly, and Pearl Lam.  This is a great chance to sample some stellar art with better-than-usual refreshments on hand.

At the Pedder Building:

Gagosian Gallery presents Andreas Gursky

Simon Lee Gallery presents Sherrie Levine

Hanart TZ Gallery presents Yang Jiechang

Pearl Lam Gallery presents the group show “Abstract in China 1983-2012”

At 50 Connaught Road:

White Cube presents Anselm Kiefer

Galerie Perrotin presents KAWS

At 68 Connaught Road:

Saamlung presents the new painting series “Impure Light” by Jiang Zhi.

Already open in Central are the following must-see shows:

Ben Brown Fine Arts presents Alighiero Boetti

Edouard Malingue Gallery presents Laurent Grasso

de Sarthe Gallery presents Bernar Venet

Finally, auction giant Sotheby’s will be celebrating the opening of its new exhibition space at One Pacific Place, Admiralty, with two selling exhibitions. The first features some 40 works by Yayoi Kusama under the title “Yayoi Kusama – Hong Kong Blooms in My Mind,” and the other is a celebration of the importance of landscape painting to French modernism, “Corot to Monet — French Landscape Painting in the 19th and 20th Centuries.” With the opening of this major gallery space Sotheby's signals its intention to make its mark in Hong Kong beyond the auction room. Opens May 19 and runs till May 31

In Sheung Wan and the Western District (10-15 minutes from ART HK):

Hong Kong’s edgy non-profit Para/Site presents “Taiping Tianguo, A History of Possible Encounters,” which imagines how the lives of Chinese artists Ai Weiwei, Frog King Kwok, Tehching Hsieh, and Martin Wong could have intersected during their time in New York during the ‘80s and early ‘90s. Opens May 12

Cat Street Gallery, in collaboration with the Fine Art Society, London, presents “The British Cut,” featuring work by 28 British artists, including Marc Quinn, David Hockney, Peter Black, Martin Creed, and Emily YoungOpens May 19

2P Contemporary Art Gallery presents a two-person show, “Limit of Visibility,” pairing Chow Chun Fai and Yuk King TanOpens May 15

On South Hong Kong Island (20 Minutes by taxi from ART HK):

Southsite showcases young Hong Kong artists in the group show “Why Do Trees Grow Till the End?

FEAST Projects inaugurates their new space with a performance by Rashaad Newsome on the evening of May 18.

At Chai Wan (15 minutes by shuttle bus from ART HK):

Make next Friday the time to check out Art East Island, the cluster of art spaces and warehouse studios at Chai Wan Industrial City, when three great new exhibitions will be complemented by a program of “open studios” in the design center of Chai Wan MeiMay 19, 11 am-9pm

— 10 Chancery Lane Gallery presents Dinh Q. Le

— Platform China presents Jia Aili

Asia One Vertical Art Space presents Liu Heung Shing

On Kowloon side:

— Hong Kong’s future museum M+’s "Mobile Program" has planted a series of site-specific installations by Kwan Sheung Chi+Wong Wai Yin, Leung Mee Ping, Erkka Nissinen, Pak Sheung Chuen, Tsang Kin Wah, and Yu Lik Wai in Kowloon’s Yau Ma Tei neighborhood. A great chance to see art by Hong Kong artists directly inspired by their urban environment. (about 15 mins by MTR from ART HK)

Osage Gallery presents four exhibitions in their massive industrial spaces in Kwun Tong, including a solo exhibition by Robert Chabet, two group shows “Sigma Asia 2” and “Market Force” featuring Asian artists, as well as the new project “Cell 1, Room 2, Hostel Room” by Wu Yuren, Shen Shaomin and Sun Yuan. (via shuttle bus from ART HK or about 20 mins by MTR)

Hanart Gallery presents two exhibitions celebrating Hong Kong's artists in its warehouse space in Kwai Chung district: one a group show paying tribute to the Hong Kong Masters Luis Chan, Irene Chou, Gaylord Chan, Liu Kuo-Sung, Chu Hing Wah, Wucius Wong, and Leung Kui Ting, and the other, "Inventing Dreams" curated by Kurt Chan,  considers the coming generation. (about 45 minutes by MTR from ART HK) Opens May 19

A version of this article originally appeared on ARTINFO Hong Kong.