‘Queer people may soon be forgotten if their estates are not properly cared for’: Patrick Sun on his philosophy for collecting
March 26, 2024
As Art Basel Hong Kong gets off to brisk start, young buyers make their presence known
March 26, 2024
‘Queer people may soon be forgotten if their estates are not properly cared for’: Patrick Sun on his philosophy for collecting
March 26, 2024
As Art Basel Hong Kong gets off to brisk start, young buyers make their presence known
March 26, 2024

The 1-54 brand is best known for its contemporary African art fairs in London, New York and Marrakech. However, this week in Hong Kong it is staging a different kind of event. After launching a programme of selling exhibitions in New York and London last year, titled 1-54 Presents, the fair has brought the new format to Asia. Like its predecessors, the show is hosted by Christie’s auction house, 1-54’s global partner.

Coalescent Lights has been curated by Kami Gahiga, who joined the fair as head of VIP and gallery relations last spring. It brings together 27 artists, including industry heavyweights such as Ibrahim Mahama and Zanele Muholi with rising stars such as Virginia Chihota. All the artists have had works shown at 1-54 before, Gahiga says, adding that the fair is keen to continue collaborations with its participating galleries outside of the flagship fair events. Galleries do not pay the stand fees associated with a fair for 1-54 Presents, although there are exhibition costs involved.

Moffat TAkadiwa, Between the Lines (2023)

Awareness of contemporary African art may not be as high in Asia as elsewhere in the world, Gahiga says, so it is important that the exhibition “resists generalisation”. A variety of cultures and artistic media are represented across five themes: spirituality and ancient knowledge, intimacy and the body, the environment, migration, and representation and visibility. The aim is to do more than “speak to the market”, Gahiga says, going beyond the popular categories of figurative painting or classical African art. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a talks programme in collaboration with Christie’s Education.

While the show is just a “slice” of what the continent has to offer, the hope is that it will advance the knowledge of collectors in Asia, providing a crash course in the rich contemporary African art scene.

Meanwhile, work is happening behind the scenes for a fully fledged 1-54 fair to open in Hong Kong in 2025. Although the launch is not yet confirmed, it is “one step at a time”, Gahiga says, and conversations are under way with galleries.

• 1-54 Presents: Coalescent Lights, Christie’s Hong Kong, 22/F Alexandra House, 18 Chater Rd Central, Hong Kong, until 30 March

First appeared on…

Comments are closed.