New contemporary art fair slated for Hong Kong

A new art fair devoted to "affordable" contemporary art will be held in Hong Kong next year, organisers said Wednesday, confirming the city's new status as a regional art hub.

The fair is being put together by Affordable Art China, which has mounted a similar event in Beijing since 2006 and is opening a new franchise in Shanghai later this year.

The new fair will sit alongside the established Hong Kong International Art Fair (Art HK), which opens its fifth annual edition on Thursday with more than 250 galleries represented.

Affordable Art China chief executive Tom Pattinson said his event would offer smaller galleries and emerging artists access to the booming art market of Hong Kong, third only to New York and London in terms of art auctions.

There was a proven demand for "accessible contemporary fine art in the region" he said, defining its maximum price as US$5,000.

He said 70 percent of all art sold in Western markets was priced below the mark, while the value of the "affordable art" market in China was estimated at $1.1 billion a year and was doubling annually.

Art HK director Magnus Renfrew said the new fair would not be a threat to his organisation, which was bought last year by Art Basel, one of the world's oldest and biggest art fairs.

He said Affordable Art catered to a "very different audience" to Art HK, which attracts the some of world's most prestigious galleries offering top-end art to the wealthiest collectors from around Asia and the West.

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