When it comes to art, Stephanie Kelly knows a thing or two.
Hailed from New Zealand, Stephanie has spent the last few years living in London and Singapore before settling in Hong Kong. She is currently the Director of Affordable Art Fair in Hong Kong which continues to develop audiences across the region and internationally.
Just after the success of this year’s Affordable Art Fair, we jumped at the chance to speak to Stephanie to pick her brain about Hong Kong’s art scene and see how the fair has developed over the years.
What do you think of the current Hong Kong art market?
The Hong Kong art market has dramatically evolved over the last 10 years with an explosion of art fairs and galleries. Separately, there is a growing art scene made up of lots of independent artists, groups and organisations such as Spring Workshop, Oi!, HKwalls street art group and MakerBay. Also, art therapy groups are blossoming with disabled or ill artists using art to express themselves.
How do you think Affordable Art Fair has contributed to Hong Kong Art Scene?
At Affordable Art Fair, we showcase a range of talents from established artists to the best of art students to a number of local artists. Our Young Talent Hong Kong exhibition was one of the highlights of the fair and over the last 3 years, it has been a successful springboard for a number of Hong Kong talents to launch their careers.
We’ve also provided great opportunities for galleries to connect with collectors as well as meet new art buyers. Most galleries are independently run by passionate directors and the Affordable Art Fair provides a platform for accessible galleries to showcase their work in Hong Kong and abroad.
How has the fair developed over the last few years?
The Affordable Art Fair has been a great platform for local galleries to build their clientele as well as give them the chance to promote artists from Hong Kong and around the world. We were thrilled to see so many visitors returning to the fair in 2016, many of whom have grown with us over the last four years and have now begun to develop their own collections, with visitors snapping up artwork from $1,000 right through to $100,000.
How do you foresee the future of the Art market in Hong Kong in terms of art industry and also fair industry?
- Hong Kong will maintain its position as the Asian art hub and the collecting culture will continue to develop- especially with first generation art buyers.
- Art fairs will continue to play a key role in providing a physical platform to discover new artist and build relationships with galleries but will need to complement the fairs with an online presence where people can delve more into the artist story and learn at their own speed.
- The digital revolution will also bring transparency to the art market and disrupt some of the traditional channels.