Art week is upon us in Hong Kong which is exciting, but for some can be daunting. Most people with an interest in art should make the most of art fairs, they are a fantastic opportunity to see amazing things and meet amazing people. However, it’s not easy to do it all. So here are Red T’s tips on how best to navigate an art fair.
1. What do you want to get out of it.
If you’re a collector, in the industry or a culture vulture, there will be something that excites you about having a fair in town. If it’s the art, prioritise that, if it’s the people, prioritise the events and if it’s the learning, prioritise the talks and programmes.
2. Don’t even try to do everything.
There is so much on offer that trying to do it all will leave you exhausted and bewildered.
3. Do your research.
In an attempt to focus on your main objective and not do everything, you have to know at least a little bit about what’s on offer. Full programs and previews are often available on the art fair website.
4. Have a bit of a plan.
Pick two things each day you can attend the fair, do them and then everything else is a bonus.
5. Have some down time on site.
If you have the luxury of time, make at least one stop in the middle of the fair to read the program, go through the information you have gathered on exciting new artists in booths or re calibrate whilst people watching. You need to stop and breathe otherwise you’ll miss things.
6. Stop and ask questions at at least two things you don’t understand.
There is so much to art that we can walk by because it doesn’t aesthetically grab our attention, or it does but we don’t connect. So often there is an interesting explanation to a work whether it be in concept, process or creation. Educate yourself on the things you don’t understand and you’ll gain so much more from the experience. You may also find new artists to love.
7. If you’re not working at the fair, let it sweep you off your feet.
It is highly likely you will end up seeing and doing things you didn’t expect. Be prepared for that and if you’ve got the time, go with it and see where it takes you.
8. Be open minded.
The best thing about art is unpredictability. Be open to new interpretations and crazy concepts, some may resonate, some may not.
9. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Art is so subjective, no one expects you to understand a work just by looking at it, especially if you’re not familiar with the artist. So if you’re interested, ask.
10. If you can, feel the joy of acquiring art.
Building a collection or simply buying an art work that you love is a wonderful feeling. Art fairs are great places to do it as you see so much. Anything that speaks to you or that you see through the crowd is definitely a keeper. Our only advice, as always, is buy sensibly. Buy what you love, at a price you can afford and make sure the artist and gallery is reputable and has a solid future. Any doubt? Get in touch.
See you there!