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The 2011 Art HK
The 2011 Art HK

ART BASEL HEADS TO HONG KONG

May 8, 2012

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Since buying a majority share in the Hong Kong International Art Fair last year, Art Basel owners MCH Group have outlined plans for the first edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, taking place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, May 23-26, 2013.

One funny wrinkle -- the Art Basel people are resisting branding the fair as “Art Basel Hong Kong,” instead referring to it as “Art Basel in Asia” or “Art Basel’s edition in Hong Kong.” The idea, apparently, is to “emphasize a sense of continuity for the Basel name for year-long presence” while still emphasizing that each show is unique, i.e. about half of the galleries in “Art Basel in Hong Kong” are expected to be Asian.

No galleries have yet been announced, but Art Basel’s Asia director Magnus Renfrew, who previously led Art HK, expects participation from about 250 exhibitors. He told the Wall Street Journal that dealers shouldn’t expect automatic admittance to the Hong Kong fair just because they’ve exhibited at one of the other Basel events in Switzerland or Miami.

“Every gallery has to apply every time to every show,” he told the paper. “We want [to avoid] shows that all look the same. There will never be a get-in-once, get-in-three times concept, though that would make our lives simpler.”

In the meantime, this year’s installment of the show goes ahead under its current name, Art HK 12, May 17-20, 2012.

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