Installation view of “100 Faces of Tai Kwun,” at Duplex Studio, the Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts.

“Unscheduled” Art Fair to Launch in Hong Kong Next Month

A new art fair, “Unscheduled,” featuring presentations from twelve galleries at the Hong Kong nonprofit Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts’s Duplex Studio and organized by the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association (HKAGA), will make its debut in June. The fair emerged as a response to the Covid-19-related cancelations and suspensions of art fairs, museum openings, and other cultural events—including Art Basel Hong Kong, which was canceled in February. It will have timed ticketing, a floor plan designed by BEAU Architects to facilitate decentralized traffic flow, and other measures in place to minimize crowding, and will run from June 10 through June 27, 2020.

The fair’s organizing committee, spearheaded by Willem Molesworth of de Sarthe Gallery and Fabio Rossi of Rossi & Rossi, who are also both board members of the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association, tasked independent curator Ying Kwok and artist Sara Wong with leading the independent selection team. Wong has described Unscheduled as something between a fair and a curated exhibition. Only Hong Kong–based galleries presenting solo shows of modern or contemporary art from Asia were eligible to apply.

“Events [like Art Basel] represent a moment, a gathering together of collectors and curators from all over the world, and obviously we’re missing that,” said Rossi. “But that negative moment led to some opportunity, and one of the effects that to me was very special was that the HKAGA was approached by different public spaces in Hong Kong asking, ‘How can we help the galleries? We understand that this is a crisis—or at least a missed opportunity.’”

Molesworth and Rossi also expressed appreciation for the organizers of Art Basel Hong Kong and Art Central who offered advice and guidance as they worked on the event. “They understand that these are challenging times and they need galleries to survive as well. If galleries don’t survive, fairs suffer too. We’re all in the same boat, so they’ve been as supportive as they can be.”

As of this week, Hong Kong’s population of nearly 7.5 million recorded just 1,066 infections and four deaths. Social distancing rules have now been relaxed, although a ban on gatherings of more than eight people has been extended to June 4.

The proceeds from ticket sales will be split between the participating galleries and the local charity partner Hands On Hong Kong. The full list of participants is as follows:

10 Chancery Lane, Hong Kong

Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong

Contemporary by Angela Li, Hong Kong

de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong

Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong

Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong

Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery, Hong Kong

L+ / Lucie Chang Fine Arts, Hong Kong

Leo Gallery, Hong Kong

Over the Influence, Hong Kong

Pearl Lam Gallery, Hong Kong

Rossi & Rossi, London

Whitestone Gallery, Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, Karuizawa, Ginzu