The city’s well-heeled denizens — not to mention international jet setters — are in for a glittering itinerary this coming week as Hong Kong’s biggest art fairs set up shop, bringing gallerists, celebrities, and their distinguished guests to town. All in the name of celebrating art, here are the best VIP parties and exclusive events you’ll want to mark in your calendar. Hope you’ve managed to score yourself an invitation!
Thursday, 22 March
Art Week Opening Party
It starts tonight: While the city is getting full on gourmet dishes and imbibing on bevvies at Taste of Hong Kong this week, Prestige and Lifestyle Asia are hosting a soiree to kick off an early start to art week, complete with Perrier-Jouet and a performance by Cirque Le Soir. Sorry, invitation only.
Dragon-i, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3110 1222
Saturday, 24 March
Asia Contemporary Art Show HK Liquor Store Art Night
The Asia Contemporary Art Show opens with the invitation-only UnionPay Private View and VIP Collector’s Preview evening on the 23rd, complete with exclusive Champagne pours. But you might be swayed to head to the intimate art fair on the 24th instead for HK Liquor Store Art Night. Welcoming over 20 artists participating in Artist Dialogues to the fair, guests will be served “Eve’s Spirit,” a specially created whiskey cocktail made with Gold Bar Whiskey. There’ll also be an exclusive whiskey tasting on the 41st floor, perfect to mix and mingle with artists and fellow art lovers.
Asia Contemporary Art Show, 40–43/F, Conrad Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Monday, 26 March
Art Central First Night
Art Central’s big tent finally opens, putting us squarely in the midst of Art Week. After the VIP Preview in the afternoon, Art Central First Night is open to VIPs and select ticket holders who will be sipping Champagne and getting first picks of the art. You don’t want to sleep on the interactive projects and thought-provoking highlights at the fair.
Art Central, Central Harbourfront Event Space, 9 Lung Wo Road, Central, Hong Kong
H Queen’s Vertical Art Walk
Celebrating art week and the latest new galleries setting up shop at H Queen’s, the tower is hosting a vertical art walk where you can freely explore all the exhibitions opening with Champagne receptions this evening, with some of the most highly anticipated shows in Hong Kong: Don’t miss Yoshitomo Nara at Pace Hong Kong, Ai Weiwei at Tang Contemporary Art, Mark Bradford at Hauser & Wirth, Wolfgang Tillmans at David Zwirner, Dale Chihuly at Whitestone Gallery, Xiao Xu at Galerie Ora-Ora and more.
H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong
HKAGA Art Gallery Art Night
It’s going to be a busy night for art lovers for sure, with other big ticket openings that night in the city such as KAWS at Perrotin Hong Kong or Jim Shaw at Simon Lee Gallery. As part of a wider celebration of art openings from Wong Chuk Hang to Central to Kwun Tong, the HK Art Gallery Association’s member galleries are all in fact hosting fun (wine-soaked) events presenting new works. Over at nearby Pedder Building alone you’ll find Inga Svala Thorsdottir and Wu Shanzhuan at Hanart TZ Gallery, OSGEMEOS at Lehmann Maupin, and plenty more. See the full list here.
amfAR Gala 2018
The amfAR Gala is one of the most prominent fundraising balls in town, hosted by the American Foundation for Aids Research each year. Within three years, the amfAR Hong Kong has raised more than US$11 million to support critical AIDS research programmes. It’s also one of the most anticipated events of the year, where the who’s who of Hong Kong and international A-listers come to clink Champagne glasses in the name of a great cause.
The fourth gala this year honours American pop artist and designer KAWS and Cathy Lee, longtime goodwill ambassador of Chi Heng Foundation and patron of a number of charities. In previous years, the amfAR Gala was hosted by Hong Kong business leader Pansy Ho, but this year she serves as Honorary Chair. The black-tie event comprises of a cocktail reception, dinner, live auction and performances by pop legend Kylie Minogue and Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Tove Lo. See more details here.
Shaw Studios, 201 Wan Po Road, Tseung Kwan O, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tuesday, 27 March
Art Basel Private View
When: From 2pm
If you managed to snag an invitation to this exclusive preview, no doubt you’ll be jostling at the doors (they open to the media at 2pm) to lay first eyes on this year’s prized pieces at Art Basel Hong Kong. Details here.
Convention & Exhibition Centre, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Ruinart: Reveal the Invisible Party
If you’ve already made it to the Art Basel invite-only Private View earlier today, chances are you would have already caught a look at Maison Ruinart’s collaboration with Chinese artist Liu Bolin in a newly commissioned series, “Reveal the Invisible.” Kicking off a mini pop-up exhibition (27–30 March), Ruinart is also hosting a soiree at Aberdeen Street Social where you’ll be able to catch three works — and sip plenty of Ruinart.
Aberdeen Street Social, G/F, JPC, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2866 0300
Lisson Gallery at Potato head
One of the longest-running contemporary art galleries in the world, Lisson Gallery is popping a few bottles in celebration of artist Ryan Gander’s installation for Art Basel’s Encounters section — an armature man which rethinks the body in new anthropomorphic forms. The gallery will be hosting a special event at Potato Head with attendance from the gallery’s other represented artists, including Shirazeh Houshiary, Lee Ufan, Ceal Flower and Stanley Whitney.
Potato Head Hong Kong, 100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 2858 6066
MEDIA x MUMM Harbour Art Party
As the official Art Gallery Night “After-Party,” this invitation-only shebang is one of the most talked-about Champagne celebrations in town during art week. Fill up on the new rosé Champagne by G.H. Mumm, and check out the launch of the new No1 Connected Bottle, the first which connects the physical with the digital.
Art Central, Central Harbourfront Event Space, 9 Lung Wo Road, Central, Hong Kong
Hauser & Wirth Opening Party
Hauser & Wirth is hosting a party at Sheung Wan’s Western Market to honour its inaugural exhibition in Hong Kong by Mark Bradford, with the presence of its artists as well as music by Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed.
Western Market, 323 Des Voeux Road Central, Sheung Wan, Central
Audemars Piguet After-Dinner Party
With the successful launch of its final Art Basel lounge design by Sebastian Errazuriz and this year’s featured art film by Davide Quayola, Swiss haute horlogerie brand Audemars Piguet brings the celebration to H Queen’s newest fine dining room for a lavish cocktail party. At the party, Quayola will be unveiling a never-before-seen work that will only again be seen by the public in its launch at Art Basel Miami Beach later in the year. Invitation and RSVP essential.
Ecriture, 26/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong
David Zwirner Party
After a day of running from fair grounds to event and back, it’s finally time to rest your feet at one of the most fabulous soirees all week: a private party by David Zwirner honouring artists Wolfgang Tillmans and Jeff Koons at the very top of The Murray hotel. Invitation only, of course.
Popinjays, The Murray, 22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong
Wednesday, 28 March
BMW Art Journey Hong Kong Cocktail Reception
After the madness of Tuesday night, everybody will want to take things slow. Rest up, hydrate, and get ready to pop bubbly once again with the folks at BMW Art Journey, who are celebrating the global art initiative in collaboration with Art Basel. Honorary guests include BMW Art Journey winner Astha Butail, and Cao Fei, artist of the 18th BMW Art Car — whose works are displayed at Art Basel — as well as Jochen Goller, President and CEO of BMW Group, China Region.
Ophelia, Shop 41A, 1/F, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Thursday, 29 March
South Island Art Day
While artists, journalists and guests are brunching in the UBS lounge (we hear of sculptor Antony Gormley’s attendance at a meal hosted by the Financial Times), elsewhere, South Island Art Day is in full swing. Head down under for a day out of guided tours and performance. See details here.
Asia Society Asia Arts Game Changer Awards Gala
When: From 6pm
The world’s biggest art collectors, artists, galleries and distinguished members of the art world gather to celebrate the Asia Arts Game Changer Awards, honouring and encouraging the latest contemporary Asian artists who have risen the ranks in recent history. A cocktail reception is followed by an award ceremony, dinner and art auction. This year, honourees include Subodh Gupta, Shirazeh Houshiary, Ju Ming and Park Seo-bo.
JW Marriott Hong Kong, One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Friday, 30 March
HKAGA Art Brunch
Missed out on the Art Gallery Art Night earlier in the week? This Art Brunch welcomes art lovers to over 40 galleries open early with special exhibitions, programmes with distinguished speakers, coffee and refreshments. It’s a great way to pick the brains of the most eminent thinkers in the art world. Full details here.
Dino Sadhwani for LACMA
When: 29 March
Hong Kong entrepreneur Dino Sadhwani and Princess Alia Al-Senussi, both integral members of the contemporary art world, are intent on bridging the gap between LACMA’s encyclopedic collection and Chinese museums and collectors. Following on from last year’s successful champagne-soaked bash at the Harilela Mansion, this year’s event is set to be a private affair at the iconic Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant, themed after a juxtaposition of Old Hong Kong and the golden age of Hollywood.
Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant, Shum Wan Pier Drive, Aberdeen, Hong Kong