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Hong Kong's 'Unscheduled' Art Fair—An Interactive Experience

Everything you need to know about Hong Kong's UNSCHEDULED art fair coming this September.

By Aaina Bhargava
August 26, 2021

Hong Kong’s homegrown art fair UNSCHEDULED is back for its second edition, kicking off the city’s fall art season. Organized by the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association (HKAGA), the fair will take place from Sept 2nd - 6th at Topshop’s former flagship location on Queen’s road, Central.

Conceived during the advent of the pandemic as a means to reinvigorate the local art community, after the cancellation of Art Basel and subsequent art events, the fair follows an incredibly successful inaugural iteration (which took place in June of 2020 at Tai Kwun). In keeping with its refreshing and spontaneous approach as indicated by its title, UNSCHEDULED’s organisers seek to recreate the intimate and accessible feel of the first edition, in a starkly different setting. 

Sprawled over two levels, the 20,000 square foot space has been redesigned by BEAU architects to stage a more interactive and engaging viewing experience.  “We’ve chosen to embrace the unorthodox remnants of the space,” explains Willem Molesworth, Vice President of the HKAGA. “Within the fair, mirrored hallways lead to cavernous corridors, tiled check-out counters, changing rooms, and narrow stairways. Transparent PVC curtains further divide the space into separate booths, creating a unique experience for viewers to freely navigate.”

The history of the space as a retail venue will be reflected in selected works on view, as well as the curation of the exhibition, which will be overseen by local curators Jing Chin-yin Chong and Clara Wong. In addition to broaching the relationship between art and fashion, they also seek to incorporate aspects of Hong Kong’s cityscape and life in the show. 

Kesang Lamdark, Golden Shirt | Photo: Courtesy Rossi Rossi

With a strong focus on the local scene, fifteen Hong Kong-based galleries are participating in the fair, each presenting solo artist booths. Artists to feature at the event are all either from Asia or have a connection to the region. Noteworthy presentations to lookout for include Hanart Tz’s selection of colorful ink iterations by legendary Hong Kong artist Luis Chan, Tibetan artist Kesang Lamdark’s bold and tactile sculptures featured by Rossi Rossi, and Pixy Liao’s sensual and ironic photographs on view at Blindspot gallery, among others. 

In addition to artworks, a special showcase of Hublot’s watches will be displayed at the VIP lounge section, as the company is sponsoring the 2021 edition of the fair. 

Pixy Liao, Get a Firm Grasp on your Man (2010) | Photo: Courtesy of Blindspot Gallery

The event strives to be a cross between an exhibition and a platform through which local art practitioners and audiences can connect, beyond the standard commercial incentives by which most art fairs operate. “This means visitors can not only expect the highest quality presentations, it also means they can expect a rich and meaningful juxtaposition of art they would not normally find in an art fair experience,” says Molesworth. Further highlighting the strength of the local arts community, both Molesworth and Fabbio Rossi, president of the HKAGA emphasise, “Our gallery members and the community of curators and collectors here in Hong Kong inspired us to host the fair a second time. There is still a huge desire for an event to showcase and highlight the incredible creativity and strength of the community in the face of ongoing hardships.”