HONG KONG - They came, they saw, and they bought.
The sophomore outing of the prestigious Art Basel fair in Hong Kong drew collectors of all ages, nationalities and tastes, driving sales in excess of US$4.7 million (S$5.87 million), which is tallied from reported highlight deals at the fair’s private preview this evening (May 14).
This edition features 245 galleries from around the world, more than half of them with outposts in the Asia-Pacific region. The modern and contemporary art fair is also held in Basel, Switzerland and Miami Beach in the United States.
The most expensive reported sale for the day was an oil on canvas painting titled Red (2013) by Chinese artist Hong Ling. The US$600,000 work was sold by Soka Art from Taipei.
Home-grown Singapore galleries participating in the fair also enjoyed brisk sales.
Gajah Gallery sold no fewer than four works, including a S$220,000 mixed media work by Bali-based artist Ashley Bickerton.
The Singapore Tyler Print Institute also sold a sculptural painting by Filipino artist Ronald Ventura for S$125,000.
The institute’s director Emi Eu, 45, who is also a member of the Hong Kong fair’s selection committee, says: "The content is really strong at each gallery, the presentation is very good and I get the sense of a really settled and mature fair this year."