Hong Kong’s tightly knit arts community has frequently rallied together during the pandemic, and ahead of the city’s big Art Basel in Hong Kong fair week it came together to support dealer Anthony Tao Xinshu, hospitalised last December with a brain aneurysm.
Originally a collector, Tao and his friend Aenon Loo founded Gallery Exit in 2008 as a platform supporting local Hong Kong artists. Now 43 of them have donated work to fundraise for the "Medical and Recovery Care Fund" towards his care. Participating artists read like a who’s-who of the Hong Kong art world, including Samson Young, Angela Su, Nadim Abbas and Lee Kit.
Previewed at the gallery in Tin Wan from 6 to 8 May, the sale continues online here until 8 July. “The benefit sale went well, collectors and artists are very supportive,” says a gallery spokesperson. “We at Gallery Exit have also been approached by friends who are eager to help. Artists have offered to donate artworks to help raise money for Anthony's care, and we are very grateful for their kindness and generosity. Following their suggestion, we organised a benefit sale of donated artworks in support of Anthony.”
About 60% of the works have so far sold, two weeks in, with remaining works starting in price from HK$100 for Mark Chung’s 2020 offset print photograph Crippling light #4. Oil on canvases go up to US$15,000 for Cheng Ting Ting’s 2017 Balloon Booth in Preparation and HK$91,000 for Sarah Lai’s 2013 Showerhead Portrait. A Black Box of UV inkjet prints by 16 artists including Trevor Yeung, Firenze Lai and Sara Wong is selling in an edition of 44 for HK$30,000. Some of the works wink towards Hong Kong politics, such as Wilson Shieh’s (already sold) acrylic on canvas Best of Beyond, depicting a mixtape of the local rockers Beyond whose songs have become protest anthems.