Affordable Art Fair is this weekend in Hong Kong (15 – 17 March 2013), will highlight contemporary artists with works priced between HK $1,000 and HK$100,000. I sat down with Camilla Hewitson, Fair Director of Hong Kong & Singapore to chat about young talents in Asia, and buying your first piece of art.
Where is the most exciting hub for rising artists at the moment?
Everywhere has its merits. Indonesia has a great deal going on but then so does the Philippines, as well as places like Singapore and Hong Kong. This is what makes Affordable Art Fair a great place to see emerging talents and for visitors to gain an insight into these exciting markets.
What Hong Kong exhibition are you excited about?
We are very excited about the Hong Kong Young Talent Exhibition to support local and emerging artists. The inaugural Fair has invited Hong Kong curator Eric Leung Shiu Kee, to curate the exhibition. 16 up and coming local artists, all below the ages of 35 will be showing their work, most of them recent graduates from local art institutes. The theme is ‘city’.
Has digital or social had an impact on the artist people are drawn to?
The internet is a great way of letting people know about the ‘brand’, whether a fair, gallery or artist, and the kind of works you have on offer. But you really shouldn’t buy art from a screen, you need to get up close to it to see the texture, plus the color is distorted and you can’t get a feel for the quality or a sense of framing either. It’s rather like buying clothes on the Internet – it’s a risk. You may be lucky, but you really want to see it in the flesh to buy.
For a first time art buyer, how do you know a particular piece is for you?
The Affordable Art Fair has a strong track record of inspiring visitors to become first time buyers, at each fair, approximately 30% of visitors have never bought an original artwork before. The price point breaks down so many perceived barriers about the pricing of contemporary art. Some people hear about huge auction prices for contemporary works so assume they cannot afford any original contemporary artworks – but the price cap dispels that myth and encourages people to visit the Fair to find something that suits their taste and style. We advise to “buy what you love”!