Thursday, May 27, 2010


Last night was the preview and “vernissage” of the ARTHK10. I didn’t go to the preview which was from at 4 to 6pm, as I was still in the office slaving away. So, I arrived at around 6:30pm ready to use my “VIP” card to enter the vernissage; but what I found out was that my “VIP” was actually not very “VIP” as there were tons of people. Well, the word ‘vernissage” has definitely come a long way.

The word “vernissage” means “varnishing” in French. These days, the term refers to the formal opening of an art exhibition to the public, while if it is for invited guest only, then it is called “private viewing”. But what does “varnishing” has anything to do with a formal opening of an art exhibition? Apparently, in the past, there is a custom of patrons and the elite to visit the academies during the day (a day prior to the formal opening) when the artists would give a final touch to their pieces by varnishing them. These days… well… it means “the selling” starts!

ARTHK10 is definitely bigger than last year. In fact, I was only able to visit half of the exhibition. Seemingly, a lot of selling and buying has already been done. Like last year, there was a good mix of established and "up & coming" artists.

My visit last night was for dual purposes, one is to attend the exhibition and two is to pick up a painting I have bought beforehand. What really surprised me was the amount of time I spent in one exhibitor’s booth to buy 2 pieces of Liu Jian Hua’s work. The business in this booth was so brisk that they hardly had anytime for me. At the end, I was able to bring home one piece last night and would need to get the other one maybe on Saturday (they have ship the other piece from Beijing).

I hope to be back there on Saturday to see the other half of the exhibition.

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