"Furthering artist careers is the basis of all of the gallery's work, and we feel that now is the right time to give our artists support on the ground in Asia," Ms Lehmann said. "Hong Kong is transforming into a rich and fast-growing contemporary art centre, attracting both international and local audiences. The Pedder Building is the gallery destination in Hong Kong, and we are excited to be part of the rich developing gallery hub."
Work by Korean artist Lee Bul was the debut exhibition at Lehmann Maupin Hong Kong
Courtney Plummer, Lehmann Maupin's Hong Kong-based partner, described Hong Kong as "the perfect crossroads of culture and commerce," Making the city an effective conduit between Asia's developing art scene and the rest of the world.
"As a city for exhibitions, it provides a lot of exposure and connection with a high number of travellers globally passing through. The audiences in Hong Kong are increasingly culturally sophisticated," she said.
"I first visited the city in 2007, and am struck by how rapid the changes and developments in the now vibrant arts scene have been here," Ms Plummer noted. "We see Hong Kong as the core hub for contemporary art in Asia, with an established commercial art market and a thriving local art scene. The convenient location that makes Hong Kong accessible internationally and no import and export tax are key factors for encouraging more international artists, collectors and curators to come to the city."
Art Fairs Attract
ART HK, rebranded this year to become Art Basel Hong Kong (23-26 May), has had a great impact on the cultural scene of the city, said Ms Lehmann, promoting art to audiences of different generations and engaging the general public. Now that it has a presence in Hong Kong, Art Basel will provide "a major platform from which to promote Asian art and encourage the dialogue between East and West. It is exciting to be part of this significant moment," she added.
To coincide with Art Basel, Lehmann Maupin is launching a second exhibition in the gallery, "Writing without Borders, a group show featuring the work of Hong Kong artists Tsang Kin Wah and Tozer Pak. Ms Lehmann said that this is in line with the gallery's focus on identifying, supporting and cultivating new talent.
"By opening a new space in Hong Kong, we hope to situate ourselves much more within Asia and to gain a closer relationship to the art scenes in Hong Kong and across the region. We are hoping to discover new talent, and are definitely looking to expand the number of Asian artists we represent."