Fine Art Asia marks 10th anniversary

Fine Art Asia opens with a preview in Hong Kong on October 3. The Fair, which marks its 10th anniversary this year, runs from October 4-7. The event runs in parallel with Sotheby’s Hong Kong Fall sales and the date coupling ensures that serious Asia art and antiques enthusiasts will flock to Hong Kong at the end of this week.

Andy Hei Founder Andy Hei

The event is organised by Art & Antique International Fair (AAIF) and the men behind it are Hong Kong-based Andy Hei, the well known HK art and antique dealer, and Calvin Hui, who joined the event in 2011. It is, as a rule, attended by a significant number of Western galleries seeking to establish an Asian clientele.

The range of goods on display is wide: Asian art of all periods and types and traditional European art and antiques. Most of the visitors are from Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China. Recently, they have been supplement by a small, growing band of collectors from SE Asia. There are 23 exhibitors in all.

Side events include a loan exhibition of Chinese Imperial furniture, porcelain, etc. and a lecture programme.

The event takes place at the prestigious Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on the Wanchai harbour front. More information at

Fine Art Asia Fine Art Asia at Hong Kong’s Convention and Exhibition Centre


Upcoming International Art Fairs for collectors of Chinese art


Affordable Art Fair London June 2014 Photo Paul Harris

***Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong Exhibition Centre May 13-15 2016 Down to earth, everything-priced (reasonably) fair for both new and established artists.

*Affordable Art Fair London Battersea March 10-13 2016 Hampstead Heath June 16-19 2016 Cutting edge art at budget prices (maximum allowed in 2014 was £4,000). Vietnamese art represented Asia in 2014. Garden party atmosphere under canvas on Hampstead Heath.

**Art Antiques London June 24-30 2016 A Haughton International Fair in which approximately 70 dealers show in a purpose-built tent in Kensington Gardens, opposite the Royal Albert Hall. Noted for its garden party atmosphere. In 2014 and 2015, Asian Art in London participated with its own pavilion showing star items from its own participants.

*Art Basel  June 16-19 2016 For 45 years, one of the great premier shows for modern and contemporary art. Approximately 300 leading galleries show paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, video and editioned works.

***Art Basel Hong Kong  March 24-6 2016  The newest Art Basel show featuring galleries from Asia, Asia-Pacific as well as from  other parts of the world. There are many additional shows and events across Hong Kong’s vibrant art scene.

*Art Basel Miami Beach December 1-4 2016 A favourite winter meeting place for the international art world. Over 250 leading galleries display modern and contemporary works. Many satellite fairs now associated with this event.


Asian Art in London Pavilion, Art Antiques London June 2014 Photo Paul Harris

***Art Central Hong Kong March 23-6 2016 Central Harbourfront, Hong Kong island The new kid on the block, mounting a determined challenge to Art Basel Hong Kong. VIP Private View March 22. Over 100 exhibitors with cutting edge contemporary art. 30,000 visitors in 2015.

***Asian Art in London Across London November 3-12 2016 London’s major acknowledgement of the world of Asian art, encompassing a range of exhibitions of private and public works of Asian art, as well as important auctions by Bonhams, Christie’s and Sotheby’s. Many provinicial auctioneers also schedule Asian art events around this event.

**Asian Art Week, London (Spring 2015) Series of auctions rather than actual fair

**Asian Art Week New York  (March 15-18 and also autumn) Series of auctions rather than actual fair. Heavily hyped.

Edinburgh Art Fair November 18-20 2016 at the Old Corn Exchange. A wide selection of Scottish contemporary art

Edinburgh Art Festival Across the city end July 28-August 28 2016 Now developed into a major festival with events throughout the Festival city; running in tandem with the official Edinburgh Festival and the Fringe.

***Fine Art Asia Hong Kong October 2-6 2016 HK Convention & Exhibition Centre Started in 2006, this event is possibly Asia’s leading international fine art fair timed to coincide with a rash of commercial Asian art auctions in the city.

Frieze London  October 6-9 2016 Contemporary art on show in Regent’s Park

Frieze New York May 5-8 2016 on Randall’s Island, Manhattan

International Antiques Fair Hong Kong May 24-6 2016 Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Hall 5BC

*International Fine Art & Antiques Show, t.b.c, Park Avenue Armory, New York. A strictly vetted showcase for exceptional works of art and antiquity.

Masterpiece London  June 30-July 6 2016 A heady mix of art taking place at The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, near to Sloane Square

*New York Ceramics & Glass Fair January 21-24 2016 Private view January 20. Long established fair rebranded in 2015 to include glass. Includes dealers from China.


Ajassa stand at Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair June 2014 Photo Paul Harris

Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair June 27-July 23 2016 The summer version of the Winter Fair, both operated by Clarion Events. A ‘quality’ event being challenged somewhat by the Haughton fair, Art Antiques London (see entry above).

**Olympia Winter Art & Antiques Fair  October 31-November 6 2016 Private view October 31. Premier event with around 130-50 top dealers participating. Now moved to the National Hall at Olympia.

**TEFAF Maastricht, Netherlands March 11-20 2016 The major, big money art and antiques fair which tends to set new record prices every year. A major event for the big spenders.

**Venice Biennale  Since 1895 An amalgam of events and fairs taking place between May and November 2016 at various locales including the Arsenale and Giardini. Now featuring a Chinese pavilion.

Photographs by Paul Harris



Fine Art Asia wins race for Beijing fair

The successful Hong Kong Fair, FIne Art Asia, started by dealer and entrepreneur Andy Hei in 2006, has won the race to start up a major Beijing fine art event. So far others with ambitions to start such a fair (like TEFAF who operate the successful Maastricht event) have been discouraged by seemingly insuperable red tape and the high costs involved.

andy hei Andy Hei Photo courtesy SCMP

The new fair will be called Guardian Fine Art Asia (GFAA) and will be effected as a partnership between the Hong Kong Fair and Beijing-based auction house China Guardian. Behind the fair is a powerful group of interests who will be associated with the event: China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), The Ministry of Commerce, The People’s Government of Beijing Municipality and, even, the World Trade Organisation. Such heavyweight backing seems bound to ensure the future of the event and the first fair will be held May 28-June 1 this year.

Clearly, on this tight time scale, dealers who want to exhibit will need to get a move on. Fortuitously, the new Fair will benefit from arrangements it has secured with Chinese officialdom. Normally, any goods imported into China, even for an exhibition event, are liable to substantial import duties, levied at a rate of at least 17.5%. Establishment of the value of items can take a very long time and produce an enormous amount of documentation. This is especially the case with fine art and antiques where there is no absolute definition of value.

GFAA will utilise the facilities of Fine Art Asia in Hong Kong. There are, of course, no import duties into Hong Kong and it is there that all exhibition materials will be gathered together. Fine Art Asia will then ensure bulk entry of exhibits to the PRC without payment of any duties by exhibitors.

Asked at a recent London meeting how Fine Art Asia had managed to get the operation successfully off the ground, where TEFAF and Sotheby’s had failed, Mr Calvin Hui, co-chairman and director of FAA and GFAA, is said to have observed, “Fundamentally, we’re the home team.”