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The city's inaugural Digital Art Fair will also take place at the venue, which the British retailer abandoned during the pandemic.

Inside the former Topshop Hong Kong flagship. Courtesy BEAU Architects.

Fifteen Hong Kong galleries will exhibit works in an empty retail space in Central at this year's Unscheduled Art Fair from 2 to 6 September.

Topshop left the two-storey space when their lease ran out in October 2020 as the pandemic ate into retailers' profits.

Unscheduled was itself started last year by the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association (HKAGA) in response to the pandemic as local galleries sought to compensate for the cancellation of events including Art Basel in Hong Kong.

Gu Benchi, No.2018-04 (2017). Acrylic and polyester yarn. Courtesy the artist and 20 Chancery Lane Gallery.

The venue has prompted some galleries to show works related to fashion, such as woven yarn compositions by Gu Benchi at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery. Other works include Pixy Liao's Nipple Kiss (2013), presented by Blindspot Gallery, in which no one is wearing much of anything.

Other galleries participating in the fair include Hanart TZ Gallery, Whitestone Gallery, and Karin Weber Gallery.

The retail space helped inspire the design for this year's fair.

'The former shop floor, staircase, corridor and lounge have been transformed into a distinctive cityscape,' said curators Jing Chin-Yin Chong and Clara Wong, who helped design the fair experience in concert with BEAU Architects.

'In the tinted reflections of the skyscrapers, tagged walls down alleys, textured and cramped quarters, tiny oases tucked away, and alluring shop windows, we find ourselves brushed by the faceless crowds in the streets and engulfed by these distractions and stimulations,' they said.

Pixy Liao, Nipple Kiss (2013). Photograph. Courtesy the artist and Blindspot Gallery.

Twelve galleries took part in the first edition of Unscheduled, which was held in another high profile venue, the former Police Headquarters Block at Tai Kwun Contemporary.

'There is still a huge desire for an event to showcase and highlight the incredible creativity and strength of the community in the face of ongoing hardships, which is why HKAGA have decided to host a second edition,' said Rossi & Rossi gallery's Fabio Rossi and former de Sarthe director Willem Molesworth, spokespeople for the HKAGA.

On 30 September, a new fair backed by Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Genesis Block will also take place in the former Topshop flagship. The Digital Art Fair claims to be the first physical art fair in Asia to feature art based on non-fungible tokens. —[O]

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