Fine Art Asia 2015 recognises the growing market for design with a special furniture showcase. Tamsin Bradshaw reports.
Tying in with its 10th anniversary this year, Fine Art Asia celebrated by expanding into a new arena, Design and Decorative Arts. The annual fair, hosted at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 7 to 9 October, exhibited furniture design for the first time, collaborating with Olivia Putman of Studio Putman, Paris, founded by Olivia’s mother Andrée, as Global Ambassador of Design.
Putman created a special living room for the event, working with Hong Kong artist Chloe Ho to combine paintings with her original, handcrafted furniture pieces. “I chose to create a salon because I thought it would be a good idea for the furniture to converse with the paintings around it, like you’re entering a house,” says Putman.
As for the decision to work with Ho, whose black-and-white or blue-and-white work involves striking splatters of ink, Putman says, “I fell totally in love with Chloe’s work when I discovered it. It’s made by a woman, which is something that’s very interesting, particularly as it’s very strong work. It matched very well with what I wanted to do here.”
Putman worked closely with Calvin Hui, the fair’s Co-Chairman and Director, to create the space. “When we discussed this collaboration, it was inspired by nature,” says Hui, who drove the decision to include design in this year’s fair.
Design is an area we will see grow at future events, if Hui has anything to do with it. “I see the demand from collectors [in Asia],” says Hui. “They have become more educated, more open-minded. They receive all this information and they travel a lot. They want to acquire exquisite things for their homes, and for their collections.”
According to Hui, we will see growing demand for, and interest in, design in the years to come. “Backed by the growing economy, and the growth of taste, I think collectibles in art and design will receive a lot more attention,” he says.
Hui is keen to mix East and West in the fair’s design zone, and this year, he has done this successfully by showcasing tables by Zaha Hadid at the colourliving booth, tapestry pieces and woven chairs at Lebanon’s Bokja Design, cabinets by a designer from Kam Tin in Yuen Long and vintage mirrors for Chanel at 88 Gallery, and segmented leather chairs by French designer Philippe Nacson. Arik Levy’s sculpture was also amongst the works exhibited.
Fine Art Asia 2015