RTHK' s The Works focuses on Hong Kong's arts and cultural scene. The Works features news and reviews of visual and performing arts, design, literary and other “ works ” .
Statisticians tell us global inequality is growing, with half of the world’s wealth now in the hands of just 1% of the population. That’s not good news for most of us, but it can be good news for the art market. Millionaires and billionaires with money burning a hole in their pockets like to buy, or invest in, art. The art market generated an estimated US$63.7 billion last year. Art fairs and auctions are among the main drivers of such deals. In the last decade, the number of international art fairs has quadrupled. There are now more than 260 every year, and Art Basel is the brand that galleries and collectors don’t dare overlook. The sixth edition of Art Basel Hong Kong ended two weeks ago. The three-day fair attracted 80,000 people. 248 galleries from 32 countries took part, 28 of them for the first time.
Art Central was launched in 2015, by a team of art fair veterans who had founded the original ART HK that was later sold to Art Basel. Although the works of some of the same artists appear in both shows, Art Central’s founders say they don’t want it to be a mini Art Basel. They want instead to focus on artists who might not be quite as well established or quite as expensive. This year’s week-long fair ended on 1st April. Like the previous ones, it was held on the Central Harbourfront. Organisers say the fourth edition attracted a record 39,000 visitors. But as we saw earlier in the latest art market report, while things are going well for high end galleries, many smaller and medium-sized ones are having a tougher time.