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Hong Kong booming as international art hub


03-24-2017 08:16 BJT

(Source: CGTN)

Organisers of this year's Art Basel Hong Kong say the fair is bigger than ever before - thanks to international galleries wanting to take advantage of the Asian market. It's the latest in a line of prestigious art fairs to throw open its doors in Hong Kong, which has become Asia's main art trading hub.

Paintings, large scale art installations and audio-visual art work fill the galleries of Art Basel Hong Kong.

242 galleries from 34 countries and territories are exhibiting works at the show, which is open to the public for three days starting on Thursday.

Art Basel Hong Kong is now in its fifth year.

"In terms of the progress of the past years, I think everything has been very positive, I think the quality of the show is improving from year on year, and I think also in terms of the collectors and people who come and visit our shows, the number of museums and institutions, so definitely I would like to think we are moving from strength to strength," Adeline Ooi, Asia Direcor with Art Basel Hong Kong, said.

And talking about a reinterpretation, these yellow taxidermied rats have been painted to look like Pikachu, a character in Pokemon. The artist, Chim Pom, caught the rats in the streets of Tokyo's Shibuya and turned them into art.

"These rats were actually caught in the streets of Shibuya and where the rats are abundant, and they are despised, as they are pests. But they are called 'Super Rats' by the exterminators, because they developed their tolerance, and they got smarter to not to be caught and killed. So they are over-wrapping themselves with a super rat survive in urban setting and striving. So they are kind of like self-portrait for the artist as well. And because around that time, Pikachu was on trend and the girls were dressing in outfits like Pikachu, so that also operated the idea of copying the Pikachu lookalike," Yukio Kakiuchi, assistant director with Mujin-To Production, said.

This year's show features 29 new galleries, and half of all galleries presenting their work have exhibition spaces across the Asia and Asia Pacific region. Art Basel Hong Kong takes place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and runs until Saturday.

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