The rise of hotel art expo

04 2016 | Issue 14

Text/Jason Leong

As early as January this year, POLY Auction Macao Limited (POLY) and Chiu Ying Culture Co. Ltd. (Chiu Ying) co-organised a series of art exhibitions and art auctions in Macao to promote exchange among artists and art collectors, offering showcasing and learning opportunities for local artists.

Held in Regency Hotel Macau in Taipa, the “6075 POLY Macau Hotel Art Fair” is one of its kind to exhibit art in a hotel setting, a trend that has taken place in neighbouring regions. As many as 60 artists were allocated a hotel room, which became a solo exhibition space for them to showcase their work to collectors and general public. Ho Chiu Ying Sabrina, director of POLY Auction Macao Limited and founder of Chiu Ying Culture Co. Ltd., said she is satisfied with the sales.

All of the artists taking part in this event were born after 1975. Ho said: “In Macao, there are few opportunities like this to give a platform for young artists to articulate and to learn from abroad. This innovative style of art expo can generate a direct dialogue between the art audience and the artists, so that the artists can find out about what the collectors think and to understand the market trends. This will help them to grasp the latest happenings in Asia as well as internationally.”

Participating artists are supportive of the project. Wong Sui Lun, for example, said: “The idea of using a hotel room to showcase our works makes it very interactive. It also creates a harmonious atmosphere among the artists.” Another artist, Pakeong, pointed out: “In this expo, there is a Macao-themed showcase, which aims to reveal the strength and profile of Macao’s local artworks. I find this initiative helpful to boost the confidence of Macao’s homegrown artists.” He also mentioned that he has successfully sold over half of his works at the expo, making it his most profitable recent art exhibition. Both artists are keen to take part in similar art expos in the future.

Other than “6075 POLY Macau Hotel Art Fair”, Chiu Ying and POLY also organised “POLY Macau Inaugural Art Auction” in January, where about 150 expensive artpieces from all over the world were auctioned, attracting a number of important art collectors in Asia. The auctioned amount exceeded HK245,000,000. In the pre-auction show, the artpieces were also exhibited for public enjoyment and appreciation.

During the same period, Chiu Ying also convened a Young Artists: A Development Forum for Young Artists from the Mainland, Taiwan and Macao, an event where young artists and professional scholars from these three regions met to discuss the future development and prospects of young artists. Ho pointed out: “Owing to a lack of time, there is room for improvement and fine-tuning for this recent series of activities. We hope that these activities can broaden the opportunities for cultural exchange within the art-loving community.”

Chiu Ying, the organiser of these art activities, is an arts organisation set up in October 2015, with a mission to promote commerce-focused art events such as art auctions, art expos and arts consultancy. Its founder said: “I think that we should not leave art development to the government. After all, the community can come up with lots of ways to make the art scene in Macao much more interesting. What we are trying to do is to use commercial means to promote the cultural arts in Macao. The art auction and expo this time have achieved great success, and help to prove that the local artists can find their audience if there are good opportunities. After all, it is important for those who create art to find an appreciative market or audience. Our next step would be to organise an art show for the fine art and design graduates in Macao.”

As a fine art graduate herself, Ho explained: “In Europe and the US, these graduate art shows are very important events to help these young artists locate an audience. Many art gallery owners and curators will come to these shows to spot the emerging talent. We hope that our connections can help us organise these activities in Macao, so that we can help the local art graduates find their audience.”