Digital Art Fair Asia Confirms that the Future of Art and Art Fairs is Now

CoBo Social Design and Architecture

The future of art and art fairs comes to Hong Kong this fall, with Asia’s first and largest hybrid new media art fair, Digital Art Fair Asia, running from 30 September to 17 October in the heart of the city.

TEXT: CoBo Editorial
IMAGES: Courtesy of Digital Art Fair Asia


Launching in Hong Kong on 30 September, Digital Art Fair Asia (DAFA) might very well represent the next generation of art fairs. The inaugural edition of the fair includes 360° immersive art experience, a diverse array of NFTs and other new and innovative digital offerings, making it the first and largest hybrid fair showcasing new media art in Asia.

Riding the pandemic-induced wave of explosive interest in virtual experiences and digital art, specifically NFTs, Digital Art Fair Asia is co-founded by Hong Kong-born Gillian Howard, who worked in the art industry across the world, and digital art collector James Neary. The physical edition of the fair will run from 30 September to 17 October at the former flagship Topshop location in Central. At the same time, the fair’s digital version will go full Metaverse, supported by VR-ALL-Art and available to viewers globally.

The hybrid art fair aims to wow visitors with more than 200 artworks from 40 international and local artists such as Refik Anadol, Turkish-American new media artist known for his 3D immersive art, and Krista Kim, described by Forbes as a “new digital Rothko”. Both artists will be exhibited in the Immersive Zone, one of five thematic sections in the 20,000 square-foot space of the physical fair in the heart of Hong Kong.



The Immersive Zone gives visitors a chance to experience art via new technologies, while the Prestige Zone presents digital artworks by iconic artists such as Andy Warhol and Jacky Tsai. In fact, the Prestige Zone includes another interesting highlight of the fair. Artists such as Tsai will be integrating augmented reality processes into their art for the first time, transforming typically 2D artwork to 3D for an immersive and interactive experience, using highly evolved image recognition and mapping of advanced technology. This process will be in partnership with ZHEN., an artwork authentication platform powered by blockchain.

Then, there is the Pioneer Zone, co-curated by renowned digital artist Derry Ainsworth, introducing artists leading the NFT wave—the biggest phenomenon in the art market this year. Another fair highlight is the New Media Zone where visitors will find digital art by local talents such as Chinese hip hop talent and NFT sound artist, MC Yan, and leading Hong Kong digital artist Henry Chu, recently commissioned by Hong Kong’s M+ museum.

The final section, Virtual Reality Art Experience Zone features a first-of-its-kind VR art museum. It was presciently established in 2005 by Paris-based art collectors Sylvian and Dominique Lévy, even before the need for virtual experiences rose to a whole new intensity due to the pandemic. Known as the dslcollection, the VR museum includes over 300 artworks by more than 200 contemporary Chinese artists. Visitors will be able to view this wide-ranging Chinese contemporary art collection with OculusTM VR headsets.

If it was not clear before, Digital Art Fair Asia pretty much confirms the future of art has arrived. Asia’s largest and first-ever hybrid fair focusing on digital art, NFTs, AR, VR and more has much to offer visitors this fall. Perhaps, the fair is best summed up by co-founder Howard in three words, “Immersive, futuristic, new.”


Digital Art Fair Asia
30 September – 22 October 2021
Asia Standard Tower, Hong Kong


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