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The HOCA (Hong Kong Contemporary Art) Foundation was launched in 2014 with the goal of promoting and developing awareness of contemporary art in Hong Kong. The city has quickly risen to the forefront of the Asian art market in recent years with a slew of international art galleries, art fairs and auction houses opening up and drawing the attention of international collectors and dealers. Despite this, many people in Hong Kong still protest the city’s lack of cultural outlets. The HOCA Foundation hopes to add to the expanding art scene by providing a new platform for contemporary art events and exhibitions.
HOCA’s aim is to bring art to the city outside of a gallery context by curating contemporary art exhibitions and events across Hong Kong. In addition, HOCA will support contemporary art education by sponsoring international artists-in-residence and providing art and culture programs and community services. The foundation will also oversee the publication of contemporary art books, which will be donated, along with magazines, to schools, libraries and other charitable institutions. Through these initiatives, made possible by generous donations and privileged access to some of the city’s best private collections, the foundation hopes to contribute to the growing number of platforms for art education in the city.
HOCA will focus its attentions on a younger generation of international artists interested in engaging with contemporary life and culture. This new generation of artists grew up in an age of increasing globalization, where international and counter cultures were easily accessible through the Internet and various forms of social media. Today, people can immediately access art in a way that wasn’t possible a few generations ago, leading to a moment in art history where contemporary art has almost become truly democratized in most major cities.
Many artists of this new generation are responding to globalization by becoming more conceptually interested in contemporary life. Countless are engaged with the idea of high art stemming from more popular forms of culture such as animation, illustration, graffiti, and graphic design. Drawing from these popular medias, this new generation of artists engages with popular culture in a way that stems from the Pop Art movement of the sixties and seventies, with artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, as well as artists from earlier generations such as the Surrealists. Engaged by the present while informed by the past, these artists demonstrate a knowledge and awareness of their position in a larger art historical context. Through exhibitions by these world-renowned artists, HOCA hopes to enhance the growing awareness and increasingly sophisticated dialogue of contemporary art in the city.