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Art Basel Hong Kong: Early Plans Show Fair's Commitment To Regional Artists

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Hong Kong's biggest art fair, Art HK, received an official Swiss makeover this year, courtesy of glitzy global brand, Art Basel. The Hong Kong outpost becomes the third official location for the premier fair, joining the ranks of Art Basel events in Switzerland and Miami Beach.

The freshly labeled Art Basel Hong Kong recently announced its 2013 lineup, featuring over 48 galleries who have never shown in the Asian city before. So what can we expect from Art Basel's new transplant fair?

The most important thing that Art Basel brings is increased international profile,” Magnus Renfrew, Asia director for the fair, told the Wall Street Journal. The Swiss company has already recruited galleries from 35 countries around the world, including Russia, South Africa, Brazil and Argentina. Although the total number of galleries has decreased -- this year's tally is 245, down from 264 at Art HK 2012 -- big newcomers to Hong Kong include Cecilia de Torres, Ltd. from New York, Wentrup from Berlin and Galeria Pedro Cera from Lisbon, according to WSJ.

The fair is attempting to maintain a regional emphasis as well, making sure that 50% of the the participating galleries hail from the Asia or the Asia-Pacific region. According to The Art Newspaper, however, this includes Western galleries that have Asia-based locations, such as Gagosian and White Cube. Still, the number of regionally-specific participants is helped by one of the fair's four subsections, titled "Insights," which will be dedicated to 47 galleries from Asia (including Turkey and the Middle East). Early numbers show that of the 171 galleries in the main space, Asian galleries account for 43% in 2013 -- an increase from the 40% reported last year at Art HK.

Check out the 10 hottest artists from Art Basel Miami Beach in the slideshow below, and let us know what you think of Art Basel Hong Kong's plans in the comments section.

The first edition of Art Basel Hong Kong will takes place from Thursday, May 23, to Sunday, May 26, 2013 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).

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