A Day in the Life: Follow serial entrepreneur Kevin Poon as he sets up an art exhibit in a restaurant and walks through Art Basel Hong Kong

Kevin Poon wears many hats. The entrepreneur, art collector and DJ is the founder of fashion brand Clot; Juice, a streetwear, sneaker and accessories retailer; and the WOAW Art Gallery. He also co-founded bars and restaurants in Hong Kong and mainland China. This week, as Art Basel Hong Kong descended on his hometown, Poon documented a day in his life during the fair’s VIP opening.

Left to right: En Iwamura and Kevin Poon installing the ‘URLANDSCHAFT’ exhibit at Central’s WOAW Gallery. All photos courtesy of Kevin Poon.

12:00 p.m.

It’s my first day out of quarantine. Keen to get back into the game, I immediately head to my gallery in Central to set up the new exhibit featuring works by Japanese sculptor En Iwamura, titled “URLANDSCHAFT,” and do some photography. The artist also recently completed his quarantine in Hong Kong. We are so excited to welcome him, it’s been too long since a performer has been able to fly into town.

From left to right: Emerald Mou.  Tobias Berger and Tap Chan.

From left to right: Emerald Mou, Tobias Berger and Tap Chan.

2:00 p.m.

After putting on the show, En and I head to Art Basel Hong Kong. The general presentation is as energetic as the pre-pandemic period. We made a quick stop at Mine Project to meet co-founder and director Emerald Mou and Hong Kong artist Tap Chan. We also meet Tobias Berger, artistic director of the Tai Kwun Art Centre, very impressed by his creative vision.

From left to right: Dee Poon, Adeline Ooi and Jonathan Cheung.

From left to right: Dee Poon, Adeline Ooi and Jonathan Cheung.

2:30 p.m.

We have a nice meeting with Adeline Ooi, Asia director of Art Basel. Super proud of everything she’s done for the city’s art scene, especially over the past few years. We also spot [fashion-industry insider] Dee Poon and [actor] Jonathan Cheung at the fair.

15:00

On Ben Brown’s stand, Robert Indiana’s iconic “All You Need is Love” sculpture. Aren’t we all?

Pictured with Atsuko Ninagawa in the center.

Pictured with Atsuko Ninagawa in the center.

3:30 p.m.

There is a large contingent of Japanese art personalities here in Hong Kong. Here we are meeting for the first time the owner and director of the Take Ninagawa gallery, Atsuko Ninagawa (center). She is also the founding director of Art Week Tokyo, a citywide initiative for contemporary art in Tokyo, which will officially launch in November.

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<p id=Louise Bonnet, red tights.

3:45 p.m.

What I love the most about Art Basel Hong Kong is that I can walk around the fair and explore a plethora of artwork without any particular agenda. Here, at the Gagosian stand, is red tights by Los Angeles-based Louise Bonnet, renowned for her grotesque, bloated figure paintings. I have loved his work since seeing his first exhibition in 2016 and his last at the Venice Biennale this year.

5:30 p.m.

Enter the fantastic world of young Hungarian artist Bozó Szabolcs. We hang his paintings in a restaurant in central Hong Kong, where I will be hosting an intimate dinner party to celebrate Iwamura’s exhibition later that evening. On the way to the opening of the Iwamura exhibition next, super stocked!

Opening reception of the URLANDSCHAFT.

Opening reception of the URLANDSCHAFT.

6:00 p.m.

It’s a packed house for the Asian debut of En Iwamura’s exhibition at our gallery space in Central. It’s great to see such a turnout. The Iwamura sculptures have a variety of facial expressions that range from shock and surprise to brooding contemplation. Have sculptures ever seemed so supple and endearing?

From left to right, En Iwamura with Hong Kong actor Sam Lee.

From left to right, En Iwamura with Hong Kong actor Sam Lee.

7:00 p.m.

Iwamura is pictured with Hong Kong actor Sam Lee. The artist is a bit starstruck. The actor appeared as one of the contestants for the Japanese film table tennis. They really hit it off!

From left, Fiona McLeish and Iwamura's wife at an intimate dinner to celebrate Iwamura's Asian debut.

Left to right, Fiona McLeish and Iwamura’s wife.

20:00

Evenings are always busy during Hong Kong Fair Week. To celebrate the opening of the Iwamura show, I hosted an intimate dinner with my wife, Iwamura and his wife, and our close friends at an IFC restaurant. After that, it’s time to relax…and gather enough energy for another busy day ahead.

An intimate dinner to celebrate Iwamura's debut in Asia.

An intimate dinner to celebrate Iwamura’s debut in Asia.

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