Each year in March, Hong Kong transforms into a creatives playground during the annual Arts Month. Both local and international art communities come together to present an array of activities, including art exhibitions, installations, live artistic performances and live painting sessions. It will be virtually impossible to escape the art “bug”.
So you are hyped up, you have been to a couple of gallery openings, had a few cocktails with those artsy types, your friends have flown in specially for Art Month and you find yourself staring at that open wall that has always seemed empty.
You start thinking and that seed starts to germinate and it hits you, “maybe I should get something this year, to fill that space.”
“How do I go about it?” It can all seem so daunting. When presented with options, start by asking yourself, “Do I like what I see?”
This might come off a bit corny but in the end only you can really choose an art piece for you.
Galleries and art dealers exist to guide you and should sell you on the merits of the piece which is hopefully convincing enough but, in the end, you will inevitably be drawn to something that attracts you.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself …
How well do you know the artist?
Get intimate with the artist. Read up about the artist, don’t be shy to post questions to your art dealer as they are a wealth of knowledge and you will be amazed by how much your opinion will be shaped after learning about the artist’s inspirations and motivations.
Does it fit?
Size matters. Understand the space you are working with. It would be a shame to acquire a piece you absolutely love but not have the opportunity to display it. Think of wall spaces like empty pages of a scrapbook, you don’t have to fill it up all at once. Take your time.
Can I afford this?
Buy a piece you can afford. What I mean is, get real with yourself and ask yourself how much you are willing to spend on what makes you happy. There is no right amount to spend and if I can give one advice, is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with affordable art. Don’t worry about anything being “cheap”. Cheap is subjective and so is beauty.
Will I love this forever?
No one can predict forever, which brings me back to my first point: follow your heart and buy what you like and not what anyone tells you to like. You can be a sponge and take in all the advices, but it is important to listen to yourself. There is no right or wrong in art and this is how it should be, after all, it is YOU who will be enjoying this piece for years to come.
Sharlane Foo, the director of Opera Gallery Hong Kong, wrote this piece as guest contributor