Following the bustling art fair week in New York, collectors are hightailing to Hong Kong, where the local art scene continues to grow—evidenced by the new fair, Art Central—made evident through the continued rise of young collectors, artists, and fairs. In its first edition, Art Central highlights emerging art talent from the region. International and authentically Asian, the artists highlighted here create works that offer accessible entry points for new collectors as well as those who have already dipped their toes.
Ye Funa seems to draw inspiration from the rich tradition of the Pictures Generation, specifically works by Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, and most recently, Yasumasa Morimura. Focusing on issues of sexual identity and collective history, Ye Funa appropriates immediately recognizable compositions and art world characters such as Cicciolina and Ophelia, giving them a new identity.
The artist behind a large-scale solo exhibition at Tang Contemporary Art Center, Xu Qu created a brand new set of immersive works for the fair. To create his abstract series, “The Currency Wars,” Xu enlarged parts of banknotes; the resulting works serve as a commentary on the capitalist side of the art market.
One of 25 shortlisted artists in Saatchi’s annual New Sensations competition in 2014, Vivien Zhang creates intricate abstract oil paintings. Her compositions include recognizable images that clash with passages of pure abstraction; bright, popping colors and forms mesh with receding elements; gridded patterns are interrupted by sweeping, gestural brushwork; and ordered areas delightfully dissolve into chaos.
The winner of the UBS Art Award in 2000, Masatake has exhibited his works internationally, at the Sato Museum, the Fukushima Museum, the Koriyama Museum, and the Futyu Museum. Kozaki uses a unique medium, combining traditional materials such as ground mineral pigments, gold and silver leaf on rice paper, as well as modern oil and acrylic paint. In his works, the artist creates new hybrid characters and spaces, transporting the viewer into new realities.
Li Hongbo displays a complete mastery of material, pushing the limits of metal. He manipulates this medium by twisting and stretching it, acting on his creative impulses. Li Hongbo breathes unique life into his works and stuns and awes the viewer.