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Asia’s first Digital Art Fair opens to public – Highlights ahead

Something is changing in the art world.

When Christie’s rang the auction bell earlier this year in March, Mike Winkelmann, an avant-garde digital artist better known as Beeple, became one of the top three most valuable living artists in the world overnight. A record-smashing NFT (non-fungible token) of his artwork, Everyday: The First 5,000 Days, sold for US$69.4 million. Immediately after this historic feat, Gillian Howard and Heiman Ng started a dialogue to get the inaugural edition of Asia’s first Digital Art Fair right here in Hong Kong. 

Running from October 3 to 17 at the former flagship location of Topshop on Queen’s Road in Hong Kong, the Digital Art Fair Asia (DAFA) is Asia’s first physical art fair that showcases new media art, 360° immersive experiences and NFT crypto art. The two-week-long revolutionary contemporary art experience will feature artworks  – both in physical and virtual format –  by over 40 world-class local and international artists.

Whether you’re a fan of the modern high-end, intangible art trend or not, a visit to this fair is a surreal experience, one that shouldn’t be missed. Keep scrolling for the fair highlights:


The Venue

Set right in the middle of Queen’s Road, the Digital Art Fair comes alive in the 20,000 sq. ft venue. More than 200 pieces of impressive digital, NFT art, augmented reality and virtual reality experiences, digital photography, interactive installations, animation  are on display.  

Though Covid is no longer a looming threat but with travel restrictions still in place, majority of contemporary talent showcasing their work is local. And that’s a phenomenal opportunity for the homegrown artists, in the absence of star international players, this is terrific chance to drive multi-million-dollar sales. 

The Zones

The impressive selection of art is split across five different zones, Immersive, Prestige, Pioneer, New Media and Virtual Reality Art Experience.

The Immersive Zone lets enthusiasts embark on an art journey through innovative technologies; Prestige Zone is where digital artworks by some of the most iconic artists like Andy Warhol and Jacky Tsai are being showcased; Pioneer Zone has been curated by Hong Kong-based photographer Derry Ainsworth and urban art specialist Hannah Smith to introduce artists who are at the forefront of the NFT art movement, expect to see works by the likes of Sean Foley, @surrealHK (Tommy Fung), Szabotage, and more. New Media Zone puts the spotlight on local talents including NFT sound artist and  ‘Godfather’ of Chinese hip hop, MC Yan, and influential Hong Kong digital artist Henry Chu and Victor Wong, the world’s first artificial ink artist; Virtual Reality Art Experience Zone, is an alluring section where visitors can explore the first virtual museum by Paris-based collectors Sylvian and Dominique Lévy, set up in 2005 by dslollection.  

Highlight Booths

Most of the artwork on display at the fair has been exclusively made for this event. Once created, NFT art is digitally traceable and cannot be duplicated or traded without permission.

One of the galleries making waves at DAFA is a complete 360° immersive gallery by Turkish new media artist Refik Anadol (born 1985). The fusion of art, technology, digital projections, VR, holography, amongst others bring to life a unique, experiential 15-minute artwork made by using over two million fascinating raw images by the International Space Station, the Hubble and MRO telescopes. 

 Titled Machine Hallucinations — Space : Metaverse – the mesmerizing visual treat explores our fascination with the intricate connections between obscurity and openness through both digital and physical mediums – a rare journey of space exploration, to go where humans cannot travel just yet, was the inspiration behind Anadol’s masterpiece. Commanding an impressive HK$ 5.5 million bid – the work is a visual and visceral treat. 

Late iconic artist Andy Warhol’s first ‘selfie’ – titled ‘Untitled (Self-Portrait) – made on a floppy disk in 1985 is on display and up for auction at an undisclosed price. 

Digital Art Fair Asia Edition 2021 is running from October 3 to October 17 at G/F, Asia Standard Tower, 59-65 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong.

Also Read: Art makes a comeback in Hong Kong after a year off site!

2021-10-05T10:46:24+00:00 October 04, 2021|Art|