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Arts of Pacific Asia cancelled after loss of NY venue

17 September 2012Written by Anna Brady

While most initiatives connected with the Asian art market continue to expand apace, the ‘New York Arts of Pacific Asia Show’ – since 1995 a lynchpin of New York Asia Weeks – has announced that it will not run in the spring of 2013 due to lack of a suitable venue.

The event's venue since 2009, the 11th floor of 7W, the Merchandise Mart's space at 7 West 34th Street, will no longer be available as it is being converted into office space. Organiser Elisabeth Lees of Caskey Lees described the decision as "wrenching" and said that it is uncertain at the moment whether the fair will return in 2014.

The fair was initially launched in 1995 to coincide with New York's Fall Asia Week at the 69th Regiment Armory, with the spring event added in 1998. The Fall edition was dropped in 2000 after recurrent problems with dates at the 69th Regiment Armory.

Ms Lees said she began looking for alternative venues during Arts of Pacific Asia in March this year, but to no avail.

"We have looked at every other available venue, all of which proved too small, too far afield from Asia Week events mid-town, impossible for load-in/load-out; or unwilling to agree to union participation in their facility," she said.

"New York's trade show unions are very strong and will not allow us to mount any show in the city without them, and non-union facilities are reluctant to let the Teamsters, Carpenters and Exposition Unions gain a foothold."

Plans for The New York Ceramics Fair, also organised by Caskey Lees, at the Bohemian National Hall from January 22-27, 2013, remain unchanged.

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