ART ASIA, Miami’s first international Asian contemporary art fair, concluded its inaugural run. Along with its sister fair SCOPE, ART ASIA drew over 30,000 visitors. From December 4-7, ART ASIA’s 44 exhibitors from 17 countries came together to showcase Asian contemporary art. In addition, the fair presented a lecture series featuring experts from cultural institutions, academia and art publications to discuss the major impact of Asian contemporary art on both the art market and audiences worldwide. ART ASIA will continue its partnership with SCOPE when it makes its debut in Basel in June 2009.
ART ASIA’s opening night preview party at the Mandarin Oriental drew over 1200 VIPs and journalists, setting the tone for the fair’s dynamic five day run. The fair drew collectors, artists, and celebrities including Charles Saatchi, Melva Bucksbaum, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Richard and Eileen Ekstract, Michael and Susan Hort, Stephanie Ignacio, Arnold Lehman, Takashi Murakami, and Todd Oldham. ART ASIA had "strong sales" in the face of lowered expectations in a depressed market. In a dispatch on ARTINFO titled, “Confidence at Scope, Chutzpah at Art Asia”, Sarah Douglas, wrote, “Despite the gloomy global economic conditions, things seemed improbably chugging along over at the Scope fair and its new sister event, Art Asia.”
The Guild NY, a gallery dedicated to promoting contemporary Indian art, said, “The fair was very good for us, we made great sales, and met quite a few collectors who were always willing to learn more about Indian Contemporary Art. Art Asia was success in that it’s a great starting point for mainstream collectors to learn and appreciate Asian Art and artists. It is a great educational opportunity and the talks organized, with Charles Merewether and Vishakha Desai go a long way towards that education.”
“The fair proved that collectors are looking for works from the emerging markets in Asia and that demand in this region continues to remain very high. The main fair is still underweight in representing these emerging markets and so this fair proved to be an important venue for collectors,” said ART ASIA gallerist Kashya Hildebrand.
Among the 44 dealers in ART ASIA, many appeared to have seen quite a bit of action from collectors. An early painting by Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara – whose works fetch large sums at auction – sold for $120,000 to a German collector. Ma Baozhong’s monumental painting, Rise and Fall (2008) that was featured in ART ASIA’s entrance and was recently on view at the Shanghai Biennial sold for over a million dollars.
Tours of ART ASIA were given for a range of art world institutions including: RBC Financial Group, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Miami Art Museum, Christie’s Education- New York, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Corcoran Gallery of Art, National Gallery of Art, The Phillips Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, and Art in Embassies.
ART ASIA featured an extensive series of lectures and panel discussions on the development of contemporary art in Asia. Participants included leading curators, scholars, and writers. The keynote lecture was given by Wu Hung, Distinguished Professor of Art History; Consulting Curator, The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago. Among the other participants were Jérôme Sans, Director, Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing, Melissa Chiu, Museum Director, Vice President, Global Art Programs, Asia Society, Alexandra Munroe, Senior Curator of Asian Art, Guggenheim Museum, Chin Chin Yap, Specialist in Chinese Contemporary Art at Phillips de Pury, Alexandra Wang, Assistant Vice President, Specialist in Chinese Contemporary Art, Sotheby’s, Vishakha N. Desai, President, Asia Society, Richard Vine, Senior Editor, Art in America.
ART ASIA - 355 West 36 Suite 3001 New York / NY / 10018