As spring slips stealthily into town, shrouded in its customary clouds of fog, Hong Kongers’ thoughts are fixed firmly on all matters artistic. For with the forward shift in schedule of Art Basel in Hong Kong from its former slot in May, and the announcement of the first Art Central event that will be held almost contemporaneously with the larger fair, March has become a feast for everyone with even a passing interest in visual culture, whether that be painting, sculpture, moving images or installations.
To mark the arrival in town of the region’s leading jamboree of contemporary art, which is expected to attract tens of thousands of artists, gallerists, collectors and aficionados both locally and from around the world, we are delighted to present with this issue of Prestige a 40-page primer on everything you need to best appreciate the treasures on show. Last year’s event achieved a critical mass that seemed set to establish Hong Kong as East Asia’s undisputed art hub – in much the same way that Art Basel has helped spur a similar tranformation in Miami – and we’re certain that the next few weeks will confirm that position for our home city. Naturally we have our own presence at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre during the fair, and we look forward to welcoming all readers and friends who care to drop by.
Our choice of a cover personality for this month’s issue firmly aligns with its artistic orientation, for it’s difficult indeed to pin down the mercurial genius of James Franco. Although best known for his work as a Hollywood actor, Franco’s multifarious array of talents stretches to film directing, performance art, poetry, painting, installations, music, dance and teaching – and that’s probably only half of them. If Franco has you wondering – as indeed he had us – whether his very existence is one big creative installation, we suggest you turn to page 216 and make your own decision.
Art aside, we also present our customary mix of society, personalities, culture, food, drink and travel, as well as the best of spring/summer women’s fashion in the 104-page Prestige Runway magazine that accompanies this issue. It’s yet more food for thought in a month that promises unusual stimulation for the grey matter.