Para/Site Moves Up With 2012 Art Auction

It’s Fall at the end of the year, and you know what that means… Art Auctions. Yes, we attended the Annual Para/Site Art Auction this year located at Lane Crawford’s very cool One Island South company digs and was hosted by Board of Directors, William Lim of CL3, Yana Peel, Executive Director/Curator, Cosmin Costinas, with live auctioneer, Jehan Chu of Chaiwanese. 

Cosmin and Jehan below. 

It was really interesting to attend this particular auction, especially because i’ve been going to Para/Site auctions ran by Jehan for so many years now. I still remember when the auctions were small and held at the KEE Club back in the day. And now it’s a full dinner affair with friends and supporters. Very neat to see how far Para/Site Art Space and its programs have evolved over the years.

Ignacio checks out works on display for Silent Auction.

Some of my favorite pieces include this abstracted architectural topography by Joao Vasco Paiva, titled High Tide (2012) which sold at live auction for 42K HKD. The work was graciously donated by the artist and Saamlung Gallery.

This metallic skateboard by Olafur Eliasson, Your Mercury Ocean (2009), was donated by Vitamin Creative Space, and sold for 100K HKD.

I really liked Lot 62, a selection of prints by Sunjung Kim, Anton Vidokle, and Nikolaus Hirsch.

This one I liked, a DVD by Ming Wong, called Honeymoon In The Third Space (1999).

A good seller, Heman Chong’s, muted geometric composition from Never Let Me Go (2011), caught my eye. This painting on canvas sold well at 50K, and is a donation from Vitamin Creative Space.

Are you cool on your island? I absolutely loved this work by MAP Office, titled Honeymoon Island (2011), which I hope found a great home via silent auction.

This print, Cheng Ran’s Still of an Unknown Film (2008), sold at 60+K HKD, and a donation by the artist.

And there was no way I can do a post about Hong Kong art, without a work by my favorite artist, Nadim Abbas. This piece, Chernobyl_Core.gif (2012), is a print donated by Abbas and Saamlung Gallery.

The work of emerging artist, Trevor Yeung drew plenty of fans. Here G.O.D.’s Benjamin Lau and Alan Lau admire Yeung’s work, Sleepy bed (Sao Paulo Hostel 1) (2012). Yeung photographs subjects, usually male, all around the world, and turns them into multi-layered compositions which involve the photographic image as well as an overlay of illustration.

Next to the work, Lot 30, is a piece by Antony Gormley. Body XI (2011), was the biggest seller of the night and sold at 160K HKD by an absentee bidder. The work was donated by the artist, and Vitamin Creative Space.

In attendance was artist, Adrian Wong, and Xue Tan. Adrian was actually working on the composition for his Fall 2012 Saamlung show with his rabbit. Dont Ask.

We also spotted Alex Seno and Lane Crawford’s Eliot Sandiford. Thanks Alex for the invite!

Great to finally meet Claudia Albertini of Platform China.

The room was full of super couples as well. There’s no art shindig without the following… Tangram’s Igancio and Paola who will soon be unveilinga new collection in December. Here they are channeling the work of Chow Chun Fai, aptly titled Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera (2011), which sold at live auction for 75K HKD. Perfect.

Supercouple #2, FIOL Prosecco addict Pietro and Whitney of the Gagosian Hong Kong. 

Supercouple #3, Tim and Marc, here standing next to Yuk King Tan’s The Mandate of Heaven (2011). Love.

Supercouple #4, cool peeps Michelle and her husband, Varun. Great to see them here.

Twitter Supercouple Bonus, my gal, artist Yuk King in Tangram. Hello Yuk!

The tables at the canteen.

Whitney’s favorite works.

Pals on my table, Benjamin and Alan. Nice to meet you both!

Para/Site IS Hong Kong’s leading contemporary art space, the oldest, and most active. They exhibit, they publicize, they create discourse, and you wouldn’t think that based on their tiny space in Sheung Wan, that they are paving the way for many emerging artists. The point is, they’re moving spaces and adding curators, and they’re thinking big. Check out the works that were at auction here.

That said if you missed out on the Para/Site auction, but would still love to purchase work as well as contribute to a good cause, the Asia Art Archive Annual Fundraiser site is now up, and you can actually bid on your favorite work online. Yes. Contemporary Art at your fingertips. Many of whom had works that sold well at the Para/Site Auction. Good luck!

ART Para/Site


ArtHK11 (Part 5): TOP 8 Shows

Okay, so I guess I have to make it clear to myself, even if it WAS open to the public, ArtHK11 is first and foremost a “market” and “trade show”. “Market” because galleries are renting booths to sell the Art as a primary objective (of course.)  ”Trade Show” because really in the end of the day, Museums, curators, and agents come here to source for collection. And Artists are looking to be represented in different global markets.

Got It.

BUT. Since it IS open to the public, the Education possibilities are very much one of the most important aspects of the this show. Especially since Hong Kong is constructing a Contemporary Museum to be built on the Police Station Headquarters grounds in SOHO, and the M+ at the West Kowloon District.  And yes there are educative talks, workshops, and tours arounds the site… but, above else. It REALLY does not hurt for Galleries TO. BE. NICE.  Suraya of the Heart Fairs Blog mentioned herself (sorry Suraya, but I do have to quote you on this…) that the same friendly Galleries that exhibited in the Singapore Biennial earlier this year were not so Friendly this year.  Shockingly, European galleries, like the ones from Germany and Norway that I’ll mention here, were some of the most welcoming and informative of the group.  Other galleries (ie. Hong Kong and China) were not really that nice. Maybe sales were so strong they were just all stressed out?  

Rant Finished.

Okay here is the list of Galleries/Artists i’d like to focus on. Only because I like the work:


It wasnt really clear wether the gallery showed here before or if this was their first time, but I was really struck by these extra-large sized graphic prints on the wall.

These are the prints in scale, stepping back.

The works are very much tied to science-fiction.  Quite amazing installations by Olafur Eliasson.

Moon Rocks / Asteroid.

I also have to add that this gallery just wrapped up an Ai Weiwei show in Berlin. All weekend they were giving out free t-shirts and buttons to the public which printed “Where is Ai Weiwei?”


A first showing at ArtHK11 and will definitely show again next year, is the Gallerie Maria Veie from Norway.  In the last day of the Fair, there was a piece being completed on the spot by their star artist, Johannes Hoie.

According to Maria, the gallery owner, she and the artist were trying to figure out ways to create a piece in Hong Kong. But because their luggage got lost in transit, the artist, Johannes had to find ink and brushes locally. So he settled on the brush that the chinese use for calligraphy.  His work is very illustrative, with plenty of narrative, and bent on the “comic-book” kind of graphic illustration. His subject matter is created based on the moment and integrated within his surroundings.

Here is the artist making a contribution at the Kid’s area, Art Splash.

Maria sold very well in Hong Kong at the Fair with almost all prints by Johannes sold out.  Will most likely do a profile on Johannes soon, since I love these kinds of illustration… being a comic book reader myself.


This year’s ART FUTURES Prize, sponsored by Lane Crawford, was awarded to mainland Chinese artist Gao Weigang for his solo presentation at Magician Space, Beijing. The judges for the US$25,000 prize included Lars NittveExecutive Director of M+; Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programs and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery in London; and Elaine Ng, Editor and Publisher of ArtAsiaPacific Magazine.

I was really curious to see it. Compared to the flash and pizazz that was on exhibit in the Art Futures, the works by Gao Weigang was mostly silent, introspective… and can I say… angry?

Check out the eyes of this tiger rug.

Also this piece…

A bamboo stick leaning on a wall. But lean close and you hear cries of a girl in pain screaming from inside.  And below, a fragmented mirror:


This was the 2nd year Marianne Boesky Gallery was exhibiting in Hong Kong.  It was really unclear how “well” they did. But something tells me that it was purely exhibition and PR more than anything.  They have their base and they have their buyers. And Barnaby Furnass, who the booth was solely devoted to, hardly needs any introduction.

These works are bold, striking… and very very red. And make an impression from the outside.

The larger pieces are in the mid-six figures. The medium size prints, are in the mid-five figures USD.


Indian Art also made a splash at the show.  I loved these very architectural prints from non-architect, Zarina Hasmi.

The floor plans depict an idea of what living would be like in different cities around the world.

A diagram of Zarina’s home below:

and a diagram of a city:

From, Archana Jahagirdar, Director and CEO Gallery Espace, New Delhi:

It’s our first time at the Fair and we have a solo stand by Zarina Hashmi. We are showing 16 works and 13 have sold to collectors from HK and India priced at USD 5,500 to 21,000. We’ve had a great response and sold most of the work on the opening night. We would like to come back next year when we hope to meet more Chinese collectors.


New York artist based photographer O Zhang is front and center at Art Futures’ OO1BOTOS Gallery.  On display are two series’ each focusing on the role of women and children in the Far East.

Camera angles are set low, below the horizon line giving the subject matter quite a monumental position in the frame… set against familiar backdrops and wearing Western T-Shirts with aggressive statements.

Another series is “Daddy and I”, taking a look at Chinese girls who were adopted by Western American fathers.  The subjects are made to sit intimately close within a surreal garden backdrop.


One thing that I was curious about was how well Manila Galleries faired in the Fair.  Ive been attending this fair for the past 4 years, and every year the Manila representation faired fairly solid, and additionally the booths just got larger and larger, in order to display more works.  

The Drawing Room Gallery departed from their usual styles (“classical” painting) and moved towards a more mixed media offering this year.

Above is a photography set from Mark Sawatus.

Additionally there are these graphics and wood carvings on offer.

Silverlens Gallery also had similar media. Like wood installations.  This piece was sold already. Its called Heads, 2011 by Mariano Ching.

Plenty of paintings were also available by this artist.

and a photography series of the Pasig River.

Both galleries fared well this year.  They sold this year as well as the last, but both remarked that it was more difficult to catch the audience’s attention this year due to the increased number of galleries from non-Asian cities exhibiting.  The Drawing Room showed that it was more difficult to sell non-painting pieces, while Silverlens sold all their media, painting and non-painting alike just fine.  I was surprised to learn that the customer base for Philippine Art did not really come from Chinese speaking countries… but South-East Asian ones; still Indonesians, Singaporean, Malay, etc.


I wanted to end this article with a photo of a sculpture by Hong Kong-based artist, Linus Hui at Lane Crawford in the IFC.

I saw this after leaving the ArtHK11 and meeting some friends for tea at Lane Crawford.  Even after leaving the fair, you can still see Art everywhere you go.  And I was quite to surprised to see this sculpture in there. Linus is a good friend of mine, and happy to see work by a friend, in a place I least expected. For More Information Go Here:

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x JJ