Hong Kong, Anthony d’Offay and a $1 million grant

Hong Kong gears up for a trio of blue-chip gallery openings, the Time’s Up movement gathers pace and Rhizome lands a major grant: the art world gets a shake-up.

The new year is now well and truly underway––mince pies have disappeared from the supermarket shelves, and Easter eggs have even been sighted in their place. Outrageously early or not, their appearance has helped to quicken January’s pace with the dangled allure of springtime. The Hong Kong art scene will certainly be awaiting the coming of the warmer months with bated breath. Hauser & Wirth is to open its first space during Art Basel this March (its first in Asia), while the opening of Pace’s second gallery in the city is scheduled for the same week. The pair will join David Zwirner’s Hong Kong outpost (opening 27 January) in the new H Queen’s tower, an immense development in one of the densest cities in the world. The programming details for both have just been announced: Pace will exhibit work by Yoshitomo Nara, while Mark Bradford will open Hauser & Wirth with an entirely new body of work.

H Queen’s, Hong Kong. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth

There may be big openings upcoming in Hong Kong, but in cities around the world there have been a number of significant departures. The most prominent of these has been collector Anthony d’Offay, the donor behind the Artist Rooms initiative at Tate and National Galleries Scotland. Both institutions have suspended ties with d’Offay following sexual harassment allegations against him. The announcement comes as actresses wore black to the Golden Globes this month, an unofficial dress code to publicize Time’s Up, a new organization campaigning against sexual harassment, workplace discrimination and the gender pay gap. Women are speaking out, and the art world––where the gender imbalance is stark––is being shaken up. The Jewish Museum in New York ended its working relationship with curator Jens Hoffmann after a review of sexual harassment allegations last December, while multiple allegations have also been made against artist Chuck Close.

The Guardian has now published an online call for those working in the art world to come forward and share their stories of harassment––with the option to retain full anonymity. They called on artists, administrators, assistants, curators, students and interns, asking “Have you experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct? It might have been a case of sexually abusive behaviour, or perhaps the abuse of power where a sexual proposition has been linked to career advancement.” Experiences can be shared by clicking through here.

Petra Cortwright, VVEBCAM, 2007, via Rhizome

Meanwhile, in better news for the art world, the New York–based digital arts organization Rhizome has just been awarded a two-year $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue the development of its web preservation tool Webrecorder. It is the largest grant in the institution’s history and will support the archiving of important net artworks that would otherwise be lost. The deletion of Petra Cortright’s VVEBCAM (2007) from Youtube was the impetus behind the project; while the video still exists, the many reactionary comments beneath it were gone forever.

Emojis by Laura Owens, via Apple Store

The digital theme continues over at the Whitney Museum in New York, where a survey of work from Laura Owens is ongoing until February. An accompanying pack of fifty iMessage stickers were released this week, based on a series of porcelain emoji sculptures created by the artist. They collapse 3D into 2D, real into virtual and––typically for Owens––pop culture and fine art. We can’t wait to download them.