Yes there is. We always look at markets to see if the visitor element is properly served and if we feel that there is an opportunity to create an event and offer something that is not currently available then that is when we start to develop the idea. In the case of Art13, London is a global city but we felt that there wasn't a platform that offered those interested in global art the opportunity to see it and also the galleries a chance to sell it to them.
I guess it originally started when I took the Affordable Art Fair concept to Australia and then wanted to see how it could develop into other areas and territories. ART HK came about via a lunch meeting with an art dealer friend of mine in Sydney who told me about his recent visit to Hong Kong and that there was no art fair there. That became the seed of the idea.
I have always felt that art fairs deliver a different audience to those collectors and buyers that galleries sell to on a day-to-day basis. Attending an art fair is a great experience and very different to going to a dedicated show in a gallery. It gives you the opportunity to enjoy art in a relaxed atmosphere and not feel intimidated or pressured. As I will always say, I have never seen an unhappy person at an art fair, anywhere in the world.
At the moment our focus is very much on the fair itself and not necessarily developing online extensions but I guess it is question of watch this space as if we see an opportunity then we will certainly want to take advantage of it.
The principal difference between Art13 London and the others as you mention is it's positioning as a global art fair. 70% of the galleries have not previously shown in London so it is about bringing new galleries and new art to the city and that is exciting. It's venue Olympia, is one of London's oldest exhibition venues and hasn't had a contemporary art fair in 20 years.
It was really just picking up on our knowledge and experience of working with Asian galleries at ART HK and also falls in line with the increased interest in Asian art.
Why not? I live here... it is on my door step!
Sydney Contemporary and the Melbourne Art Fair
Image courtesy of SME London