Art Basel’s Hong Kong Opening Signals Shift Toward Asia

by swisscham in Culture & Society

Since the 1970 launch of Art Basel, the summer art fair in Switzerland has been integral to the international art scene, drawing 60,000 artists, collectors, curators and gallery owners to an annual promotional platform widely regarded as the art world’s most important event. The fair’s winter edition, begun in Miami in 2002, attracts some 50,000 visitors. This month, Art Basel expands to Hong Kong, taking over ART HK, a successful fair founded in 2007 under the direction of Magnus Renfrew. Art Basel owners MCH Group in 2011 bought a 60 percent stake in Asian Art Fairs Ltd, producer of ART HK, which had some 67,000 attendees last year.
The rechristened and streamlined Art Basel HK, which also will be led by Renfrew, signals a recognition of Asia’s growing role in international art. More importantly, Art Basel now has a platform for art business on three continents, during three seasons a year. That Hong Kong is one of these platforms is a watershed.
Art Basel HK will run May 23-26, two weeks after the outdoor Frieze NY. The

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