Reimagining the Art Fair Experience: Exploring Supper Club in Hong Kong

In the vibrant art scene of Hong Kong, amidst the buzz of the conventional art fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, there emerges a refreshing alternative – Supper Club.

Conceived by William Molesworth and Ysabelle Cheung, the minds behind PHD Group gallery, along with Alex Chan of the innovative Shophouse gallery, Supper Club represents a departure from the traditional art fair model. Inspired by unconventional events like Basel Social Club during Art Basel and Our Week during Frieze Seoul, Supper Club aims to foster genuine connections and engagement with art in a relaxed, intimate setting.

Housed within the historic Fringe Club, Supper Club showcases artworks from 20 galleries spanning from New York to Mumbai to Hong Kong. Unlike the bustling atmosphere of mainstream fairs, Supper Club offers a space for meaningful networking, conversations, and appreciation of art. As Molesworth explains, “Contemporary art is about connecting, networking, chatting, and, ultimately, appreciating the art itself.”

Operating in the evenings after the closure of Art Basel Hong Kong, Supper Club runs until March 30, providing attendees with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in art outside the confines of traditional fair hours. Tickets, priced at $150HKD, offer access to the event along with a complimentary drink, enhancing the overall experience.

In an interview with ARTnews, Molesworth delves into the inception of Supper Club and the challenges encountered in redefining the art fair experience. Drawing inspiration from successful alternative fairs, such as Basel Social Club, the team aimed to strike a balance between creating an engaging exhibition and facilitating sales.

The journey to realizing Supper Club wasn’t without its hurdles. Initially considering unconventional venues like abandoned mini-malls, the team ultimately settled on the Fringe Club, a historic landmark with its own unique charm. Collaborating with architects, they devised innovative solutions to transform the space, ensuring a seamless blend of functionality and aesthetics.

One of the distinguishing features of Supper Club is its inclusive approach to curation. Unlike traditional fairs with predetermined themes, Supper Club entrusted participating galleries to curate their own showcases, resulting in a diverse and eclectic mix of artworks.

Reflecting on the inaugural edition of Supper Club, Molesworth acknowledges room for improvement and envisions exciting possibilities for future iterations. With a keen eye for innovation, he explores alternative formats and strategies to further enhance the Supper Club experience.

As Supper Club continues to challenge conventions and redefine the art fair landscape, it serves as a beacon of creativity and community in Hong Kong’s dynamic art scene. Through its commitment to fostering genuine connections and celebrating artistic diversity, Supper Club offers a refreshing alternative for both artists and art enthusiasts alike.