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Art Central opens today at Central Harbourfront
The fair is set to showcase the most exciting and the best of contemporary art practices.

HONG KONG.- Art Central, presented with Lead Partner United Overseas Bank (UOB), today launched the fair’s fifth edition with the strongest presentation of Asian and global contemporary art to date. Featuring 107 international galleries, 75% of which hail from the Asia-Pacific region, the fair is set to showcase the most exciting and the best of contemporary art practices. Staged in a custom-designed 10,000 sqm structure on the Central Harbourfront, Art Central is open for public view from Wednesday, 27 March to Sunday, 31 March 2019 [VIP Preview & First Night 26 March].

Charles Ross, Managing Director, Art Central said, “Now in its fifth year, Art Central has firmly established itself as the region's leading event during Arts Week. This year, we are proud to present the strongest programme to date, with pioneering 20th century artists and exciting emerging talent from across the region and beyond. From thoughtful gallery presentations, to critical and progressive curated sectors, we believe the dynamic offerings of the Fair will continue to resonate with collectors, art enthusiasts, and the art-loving public. We are thrilled that UOB returns as a Lead Partner for the third year and with a strong installation and art programme of its own at the fair. In collaboration with Art Central, UOB continues to jointly develop the local art ecology, creating opportunities for exchange and exploration. We look forward to once again being a hub for everyone to discover the best in contemporary art today.”

Christine Ip, Chief Executive Officer – Greater China, UOB said, “We are proud to have entered the third year of partnership with Art Central. The partnership is part of UOB Group’s long-term commitment to supporting art, children and education. For this edition, we have developed a series of programmes including an exhibition of the winning artworks of 2017 and 2018 UOB Art in Ink Awards at the UOB booth and UOB Art Space at Art Central. We are also thrilled to present an interactive art installation called “The Huge Brush Ink” by the world’s first TECH-iNK artist Mr Victor Wong from Hong Kong. The installation, coupled with the UOB Art in Ink Workshops at the UOB Art Space at Art Central will help raise the public’s awareness of and interest in ink and deepen their understanding of the different forms of contemporary ink art.”

Galleries Featured Across Central and Context Sector
Art Central will return with 107 international galleries featured across its Central and Context sector. Sustaining the fair’s strong regional presence, 75% of participating galleries will hail from the Asia-Pacific and are set to showcase the best of contemporary art practices in the region. 32 galleries will participate in the fair for the first time, including exciting new exhibitors from Thailand, Russia, Israel and South America, creating a geographically diverse range of presentations at the fair. As a place of discovery and a platform to present museum quality artworks from more established names alongside cutting-edge works by emerging artists, Art Central continues to embrace its identity as a cultural platform that pushes boundaries and fosters experimentation in contemporary art.

Art Central’s main gallery sector, CENTRAL, provides a significant platform for new and established galleries, in the form of multi-artist group presentations or focused solo booths. Highlights include a programme of high-caliber Korean art which represents the diversity of the Korean art scene from Gallery Hyundai (Seoul) [B01] including Dansaekhwa master Chung Sang-hwa alongside Korean contemporary painters Kangso Lee, Suh Seok, Seung-taek Lee, and, Minjung Kim. Additionally, a selection of significant Western artists including compelling installations by Ivan Navarro and Fred Wilson, and distinguished names such as Michael Craig-Martin, Robert Indiana and Thomas Struth will be exhibited. Puerta Roja (Hong Kong) [C01] presents a group exhibition comprising established and emerging artists from Spain and Latin America, exploring - through different approaches to abstraction - the concept of movement, including acclaimed Franco-Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, considered to be one of the fathers of optical and kinetic art in the 20th and 21st century and respected Chilean artist Fernando Prats; MARC STRAUS (New York) [A02] presents a three-artist showcase consisting of American pioneer of hard-edged shaped canvases, Charles Hinman, alongside renowned Italian modern artist and sculptor Sandro Chia, and photorealist painter Clive Smith. Hinman was included in the landmark show Young America at the Whitney Museum in 1965, and major works have been collected by MoMA, the Albright-Knox Gallery, and the Rockefeller Collection. S.A.C Gallery Bangkok (Bangkok) [C10] presents ‘The Macro Movements of Material”, a curated group exhibition by emerging Thai artists Kwanchai Lichaikul, Thanathorn Suppakijjumnong, Israkran Yingyong, and Weerapong Sansomporn. Collectively, the works, which all explore medium and materiality, address a central topic – the hyper-development of global economies juxtaposed against the daily fracturing and reassembling of cultures and societies, and the imbalances created.

Other presentations in the CENTRAL sector include focused solo showcases, which foster greater awareness of a specific artist’s practice, development, and multi-disciplinary approach. These include “Point of Contact for 100 Incandescent Lamps”, by experimental installation artist Satoru Tamura by Tezukayama Gallery (Osaka) [A07]; esteemed Indonesian artist Heri Dono whose large –scale paintings will be presented by The Columns Gallery (Seoul) [B03] at their booth, alongside a suspended installation Smiling Angels from the Sky in Art Central’s PROJECTS public art sector; Gallery Sumukha (Bangalore) [B08] will present a multi-disciplinary showcase by Bengali-born artist Pareish Maity that discusses the accelerated pace of metropolitan living; Art Porters Gallery (Singapore) [C09] will bring Taiwanese artist Wu Kuan-Te’s solo exhibition Heaven and Earth Eternal , including a monumental painting “The Vast Heart” which was especially created for Art Central Hong Kong 2019, a masterfully executed and labour-intensive magnum opus with elaborate detail.

A platform for galleries to present progressive solo or duo artist projects, the CONTEXT sector highlights Art Central’s identity as a cultural platform that pushes boundaries and fosters experimentation in contemporary art. Nunu Fine Art (Taipei) [E09] creates a dialogue between two emerging Western and Eastern contemporary artists, Stijn Ank (Belgium) and Iabadiou Piko (Indonesia); TAFETA (London) [E17] presents contemporary African artists Babajide Olatunji and Niyi Olagunju - both interogating West-African history, myth and cultural production; Collaborative duo Yohei Yama and Annabelle Ng are brought together at Vin Gallery (Ho Chi Minh City) [E12] for an exploration of sound, movement and nature; while AF Labo (Tokyo) [E11] will feature a new series of works ‘Grey Composition’ from ‘Post-Monoha’ artist Noriyuki Haraguchi whose works first came to attention in Documenta 6, 1977.

Onsite Performances by Leading Contemporary Artists
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art will present a daily programme of onsite performances by leading contemporary artists from across the Asia-Pacific region, examining ideas of time and duration and questioning the futility and fruits of human endeavour. The programme features Hong Kong artist Siu Lan Ko’s New Territories Old Territories [P06], which incorporates text-based installations and durational performances to examine ideas of space, geography and nationhood; while Sydney-based Samoan, writer and performer Brian Fuata presents Care Disfigurements (flowers) [P03] from his iconic Ghost series. Traversing the fair, the performance will engage with works from booth to booth, providing visual stimuli for his evolving poetry. Elsewhere, Korean artist Minja Gu [P10] adopts the persona of a cooking infomercial personality, using the ubiquitous two-minute noodle packet as a tool to prompt conversational exchange about food culture and societal pressure to conform; while Hong Kong-born British-Chinese artist Bettina Fung [P05] invites the audience to play the role of the printing press by writing, walking and conversing about a contemporary culture of busyness, sharing their reflections on fatigue and labour relations, while simultaneously contemplating possibilities of “non-doing”.

PROJECTS Featuring Six Large Scale Installations
PROJECTS, curated by Ying Kwok, brings together a selection of stimulating large-scale installations in diverse mediums, including sound, kinetic movement, textiles, walk-in sculpture, and text-based painting, by six international and Hong Kong artists. Including three site-specific commissions for Art Central Hong Kong, these compelling and thoughtful installations are located throughout the fair to provide an immersive experience for the audience.

City Rhapsody - Project Roseate, a new work by Angela Yuen (Hong Kong) [P04] showcases an imaginary skyline made from locally sourced manufacturing objects, each marking a significant era from Hong Kong’s manufacturing past in the 1950s and 60s and commenting on the vanishing historical landscape. Sound and kinetic artist Cheuk Wing Nam (Hong Kong) [P01] incorporates new sensory elements into a site-specific reworking of the audience participatory ak7 shou3. Seungean Cha (Korea) [P08] re-enacts Korean and Western modern abstract painting through a distinctive weaving method, using textile as a medium to explore these aesthetic trajectories within the special commission work TRIPLE TWILL TRIPTYCH. Smiling Angels from the Sky by acclaimed Indonesian artist Heri Dono (Indonesia) [P02], known for his characteristic merging of traditional and folkloric elements, is a socio-political satire on contemporary existence narrated through a comical re-enactment of traditional Javanese motifs and mythology. Using the same architectural methods as traditional craftsmen, emerging artist L Giang (Vietnam) [P09] has recreated in plaster a traditional building from ancient Vietnam, the đnh, a public space for worshipping and communal gatherings. The monumental installation challenges the audience’s perception of authenticity and history, and the transmission of societal values within historical memory. PHUNK (Singapore) [P07] presents the large-scale text-based painting HOPE, ROCK, KISS, LIVE, which evokes the current state of the world, filled with uncertainties brought about by technological disruption, climate change, social inequality and political injustice.

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