In the Face of the Coronavirus Crisis, Hong Kong’s Art World Has Banded Together to Launch a New Online Platform for Art

Galleries, museums, and auction houses are hoping that ART Power HK will pave the way for a “post-virus comeback."

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Hong Kong’s beleaguered art community is pulling together to show the world that it remains a creative hot spot despite the coronavirus emergency.  

As efforts to contain the virus have put a damper on public gatherings including art exhibitions, auctions, and fairs, cultural institutions in the city have joined forces to launch an online platform to show the resilience of its art scene. The public health emergency comes on top of months of pro-democracy protests and clashes with the police. 

The new community-run platform, ART Power HK, offers the city’s cultural organizations an alternative way to show art. Launched on March 4, the platform already includes 60 of the city’s galleries, museums, and auction houses. Art world players are hoping that the initiative, which has been launched during Hong Kong’s usually buzzing Art Month, will give new life to the city that even before the virus hit was being disrupted by dedicated pro-democracy protesters. Gallery openings, auctions, and Art Basel Hong Kong have been postponed due to the epidemic. 

The platform will feature online viewing rooms for galleries, recorded and live-streamed exhibition walkthroughs, interviews with Hong Kong-based artists and collectors, studio visits, and online talks. A spokesperson for the campaign tells Artnet News that the initiative hopes to harness the resources that were already earmarked for art, culture and design projects in March.  

A campaign representative explains that the idea was born in February when a working group of partners came together to provide a “creative solution to the current challenges while driving positive energy and momentum for Hong Kong’s vibrant, strong, and prosperous art scene and the community around it.”

Organizers of the campaign have been reaching out to partners directly as well as launching an online call that extends to cultural centers, universities, and media outlets. Museums including M+, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and Liang Yi Museum have already come on board. 

“The desire to reassert and re-energise Hong Kong’s vibrant arts sector in preparation for a post-virus comeback has been the driving energy behind this initiative,” the director of M+, Suhanya Raffel, tells Artnet News. She says that the community-based campaign hopes to focus Hong Kong and international audiences back on the great work being done in the city’s art scene. 

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