One of Paris’s most iconic buildings, La Monnaie, serves as the setting for the eighth edition of Asia Now Paris, an ambitious art fair that has brought together more than 75 galleries from across Asia.
For its first fair since the start of the pandemic and its first in La Monnaie, Asia Now expanded in size. It’s also gotten buy-in from top galleries like Almine Rech, Perrotin, Richard Saltoun, Frank Elbaz, and P21.
“This edition is special,” Asia Now director Alexandra Fain told ARTnews at a preview on Thursday.
In addition to well-presented booths, the fair has a program that includes numerous talks and performances, as well as various site-specific commissions. Among them are a durational live-painting session by Ayako Rokkaku and a special project of ceramics that incorporate hemp by artist Natsuko Uchino, who is collaborating with 91530 Le Marais, a farm about 40 minutes outside Paris founded by Victoire de Pourtalès and Benjamin Eymère.
But most importantly, it is showing truly cutting-edge work from artists active across Asia. (The fair uses the definition of the continent provided by the Asia Society in New York, which accounts not just for East Asia but also for the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.) Be prepared to learn about artists who have yet to come across your radar; it makes for a wonderful experience.
Kathy Alliou, the fair’s artistic director, said that one of the fair’s goals is to present “different kinds of booths that go beyond just the simple white cube.” Many are solo or duo booths, which is part of a larger goal of creating a more curated fair. It makes for a very different experience from Paris+, where dealers often show works by several artists on their rosters. Also of note at the fair is its commitment to being environmentally friendly. To fulfill that mission, various walls are formed from little more than bare pieces of wood.
By showcasing the “diverse art scenes” of Asia, Alliou said, Asia Now hopes to be a new kind of art fair, one that is “exploratory, committed, curated, ambitious, and welcoming.”
Below a look at the best booths at Asia Now Paris, which runs until Sunday.