Each week we spotlight the news shedding light on the world of Chinese cultural travel.
Since acquiring Art HK in 2013, Art Basel has become a premier Asian art event drawing leading international galleries, collectors, and upwards of 80,000 visitors annually. Organizers are facing pressure to cancel the March event as the coronavirus continues to spread with Hong Kong’s government having closed museums, stadiums, and other public gathering places last week. In contrast to a letter signed by a host of international galleries expressing hesitation, the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association (HKAGA) backed the local arts council to make a timely and sensitive decision. The global art community will certainly follow this developing story closely.
Following a three-year $56 million renovation project, the Seattle Art Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park will reopen on Feb. 8. As one of the few U.S. institutions dedicated exclusively to Asian Art, the construction of a new 2,650-square-foot gallery is a boon to its curatorial capabilities. The inaugural exhibition, “Boundless: Stories of Asian Art”, hopes to engage a new generation of museumgoers through stories of worship, literature, and fashion. Beyond its vast Chinese art collection, the Washington state institution hopes to draw Chinese students and Free Independent Travelers by providing an interactive experience supported by smartphone multimedia tours and in-gallery video content.
Finland held a Chinese New Year Symphony Concert on Jan. 27 at the Finlandia Music Hall in Helsinki. Drawing hundreds of spectators, Chinese violinist Huang Mengla performed the violin concerto “The Butterfly Lovers” alongside the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. Though the Lunar New Year has been celebrated in the Finnish capital for the past 14 years, this year’s event reached new heights to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Finland. Such efforts —including the launch of a custom MyHelsinki WeChat Mini Program— aim to grow the number of Chinese tourists in Finland. Having attracted nearly 450,000 visitors in 2017, the country aims to triple visitation by 2030.