This November, Hong Kong’s oldest contemporary art centre, Para Site, will host its annual fundraising auction. Artworks by renowned artists, such as Elmgreen & Dragset and Angela Su, will raise funds to support the centre’s upcoming exhibitions and fund public arts educational programs.
Art lovers will unite to watch these pieces go under the hammer at an invite-only dinner at the St. Regis hotel on November 25 in celebration of the art centre’s 25th anniversary. Hosted by Shane Akeroyd and Virginia Yee, the evening will see the city’s brightest stars show up for a chance to get their hands on the most coveted pieces.
This year, Para Site will award their NoExit Grants for Unpaid Artistic Labour to artists in the Philippines, giving 29 struggling artists in the country HK$20,000 each. The organisation has also been hard at work on another grant, the 2046 Fermentation + Fellowships Grant, which is aimed at Hong Kong artists who have graduated in the past five years. This award will pair the graduates with established artists and curators from around Asia to provide advice and support to better develop their work. An exhibition featuring the work of the 18 artists of the 2046 Fermentation + Fellowships Grant will open on December 3.
Leading up to the gala, all of the pieces featured will be showcased in a preview exhibition at Soho House from November 17 to 23. For art enthusiasts who can't wait until then, bidding begins online from November 11 at Givergy.com. Ahead of these events, here are the top lots up for auction at Para Site’s upcoming gala. See and read about the must-have pieces below.
The Hours (2019) by Elmgreen & Dragset
Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset reside in Berlin and draw inspiration from the everyday world, criticising the contemporary, social and political structure using an unsettling sense of humour. They are well known for their public architectural and performative installations that reframe their surroundings, such as Prada Marfa (2005).
At first glance The Hours (2019) looks like a simple burnt white candle on a wooden crate, but it is in fact crafted with white marble standing in for the wax in the candle, and bronze for the wood in the crate. This reflects the artists’ practice of transforming consumables into durable objects that demand maintenance and care, and thus questions the true value of the material. With this sculpture, the common painting motif of a burning candle addresses ideas of time, memory, and legacy, as the marble candle cannot burn. The artists have had solo exhibitions worldwide, including at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, the Rockefeller Center, Public Art Fund in New York, the Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Elmgreen and Dragset were appointed curators of the 15th Istanbul Biennial in 2017.