Asia’s Biggest Creative Events in 2020

Those of you in fashion, photography, art, design, advertising or beyond need to plan ahead. So, we’ve rounded up Asia’s biggest art fairs, festivals, expos and important dates for 2020. A new decade dawns…

JANUARY

1) Taipei Dangdai (17-19)

Taipai Dangdai returns for only its second outing as the city's new global art fair. The event brings together a selection of the world’s galleries and artists alongside influential thinkers from a wide range of disciplines, including archaeology, art history and technology. The fair’s multi-disciplinary program features four curated sectors: Galleries, Young Galleries, Solos and Salon, providing visitors with an opportunity to discover presentations from established galleries, alongside work by emerging artists at accessible prices.

2) Awwwards Conference Tokyo (23-24)

Awwwards is a digital thinkers conference with a focus on design. Events are held in major cities including New York, Amsterdam, Paris, London and Los Angeles. January sees the attention turn to Tokyo as the two-day show invites a selection of designers to speak. The agenda also includes a series of workshops that tackle subjects such as animation, digital and interface design. Start the year by discovering new trends and technologies, network with digital designers and get deeper into how the Internet works.

FEBRUARY

1) Bangkok Design Week (1-9)

Organized by Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC) under the Prime Minister's Office, BKKDW2020 brings the Thai creative and design community together. The event encourages visitors to peer into the future of Bangkok through Experimental Design, Crossover and Co-Creation. The creative and design festival takes place across several local districts throughout the week including Charoen Krung, Khlong San, Rama 1 and Sukhumvit

2) SpinExpo Shanghai (25-27)

SpinExpo is a major exhibition for yarns and knitwear that holds annual events in New York, Paris and Shanghai. The event started in China and celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2020, far ahead of Paris (12) and New York (7). It’s the leading international industry sourcing event dedicated to innovation in yarns, fibers and knitwear so if you work in that space, it’s time to register now.

3) User Experience Hong Kong (21-22)

User Experience Hong Kong, or UXHK, was founded in 2011 and is an annual event bringing product and service design disciplines together. Themes covered include research, marketing, design, technology and business and the event is for those who are interested and passionate about designing great experiences for people and businesses. The 2020 instalment is currently being organized but in the meantime, follow developments on Facebook and Twitter.

4) 360 China Digital Excellence Congress, Hong Kong (26)

360 China Digital Excellence Congress is an annual event hosted by 360 International Advertising Unit (the overseas advertising sector of China's Internet giant 360 Group) since 2016. It gathers a mix of senior marketing executives and technology influencers to network and share marketing trends and insights with attendees. Precise Digital Marketing: Transformation & Innovation is the theme for 2020. More than 100 business leaders from e-commerce, retail, tourism, finance and other industries are expected to share cutting-edge market trends, insights and successful case stories.

5) Shanghai Literary Festival (28 Feb-9 Mar)

An 18-year-old event that sees restaurant M on the Bund host a program of talks, readings and debates along Shanghai’s famous riverside promenade. The festival spans two weekends and brings both emerging and established talent from all genres for a taste of the current literary landscape. Expect panel discussions, literary lunches, workshops and live events as well as kids’ sessions. If you can’t make the date this year, or want to relive the sessions, the festival podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play.

MARCH

1) Seoul Living Design Fair (11-15)

Seoul Living Design Fair pulls together Korean and international brands for this interior design and lifestyle exhibition. Founded in 1994, the event attracts both industry watchers as well as domestic consumers, with around 280,000 visitors attending the five-day exhibition each year.

2) Intertextile Spring, Shanghai (11-13)

If you work in apparel fabrics and accessories, then this is the first of two events of the year you need to be at. The Spring instalment takes place in March before the Autumn edition, focused on home textiles, follows in August. Both offer opportunities to meet potential customers, explore new markets and discover the following season’s trends. Spring is one of the biggest and most comprehensive apparel fabric and accessories exhibitions in the world. Based in Shanghai, the events allow overseas suppliers to build stronger relationships in China and boost their presence in the Chinese market.

3) Design Shanghai (12-15)

Design Shanghai celebrates its seventh anniversary in 2020 by moving to the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center. British organizer Media 10 has lined up more than 30 big names from the world of design for the four-day fair in March, which culminates with an awards show. The theme for 2020 is Design Completes the Circle, encouraging a more inclusive, efficient and waste-free economy.

4) Art Basel, Hong Kong (19-21)

Art Basel's three global shows in Basel, Hong Kong and Miami Beach are high-profile art world “events”, presenting modern and contemporary art with a strong curatorial perspective. The Hong Kong edition, held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, features galleries from Asia and beyond. Half of the participating galleries in 2020 have exhibition spaces in Asia and Asia Pacific.

5) VMARK Interior Design Week, Ho Chi Minh (27-28)

It may be in its early stages (VMARK only launched in 2019) but the event is showing promising signs as an interior and product design get-together. It was started with the key goal of creating an operating platform to highlight the innovative inventions of the interior design industry and connect partners of related sectors. In 2020, the VMARK Vietnam Interior Design Award will see an expansion to include new talent and Vietnamese design students to participate in the VMARK Professional Award and VMARK Young Design Award prizes.

6) HOTELEX Shanghai (28 March-1 April) 

HOTELEX is a series of hospitality equipment, supplies and fine food trade fairs in China, the first of which takes place in Shanghai each year. The 2020 instalment will be held at Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC) at the end of March and will see thousands of exhibitors, overseas buyers and professionals. If you’re in the hotel business, this one’s for you. 

APRIL

1) PR Design & Branding Expo, Tokyo (1-3)

This is an annual exhibition bringing advertising/web/editing production companies and their clients together. Showcase your designs and services while taking orders from customers and generally be inspired. Look out for the full program to be announced in January 2020.

2) Chengdu International Advertising & Sign Exhibition (10-12)

ASE Chengdu takes over at the Century City New International Convention and Exhibition Center for three days in April. The annual event is composed of advertising equipment and materials business exchange, Gaofeng BBS, an awards ceremony, works tour exhibition and various other strands. Despite its roots in the Chinese market, the event is on top of international trends and focuses on the creative technology affecting the development of the ad industry.

3) Design Festa, Tokyo (11-12)

Anyone can exhibit at Design Festa regardless of age, nationality, talent or language as long as you have original work and an open mind. Serving as a platform to more than 12,000 artists twice a year since its inception in 1994, the event welcomes professionals and amateurs alike. It’s the single largest art festival in Asia offering a combination of live performances, international cuisine and  artistic expression. Expect the unusual, bizarre and never-before-seen as organizers strive to encourage and protect the desire to create. Interact with artists, dance to the music and soak up the art on offer as the event celebrates its 50th instalment in April.

4) Shanghai International Hospitality Design & Supplies Expo (27-29)

HDE is derived from Expo Build China and integrated with HOTELEX, and has become the one-stop shop for sourcing hospitality design materials and supplies to the world.

5) Art Beijing (30-3 May)

Established in 2006, the 10th edition of Art aw the launch of DESIGN BEIJING in the form of the Design Pavilion at the fair. DESIGN BEIJING is especially concerned with design aesthetics, providing a professional design platform for those involved. It combines art and design, identifies future trends and generally promotes the Chinese design industry.

6) Luxe Pack Shanghai (8-9)

Luxe Pack Shanghai is a boutique-style show for creative packaging. It’s held in conjunction with MakeUp in Shanghai, a professional make-up. Luxe Pack hosts 200 exhibitors specialized in creative packaging and offers access to a range of cutting-edge packaging technologies and techniques. Its extensive selection of free educational seminars encourages attendees to share ideas and experiences with industry players and speakers.

7) Auto Shanghai (18-25)

The changes that the automotive industry is currently experiencing were outlined at Auto Shanghai 2019. Alongside electromobility, the focus of the largest motor show in the world was on connected and autonomous driving. More than 1,000 exhibitors from 20 countries and regions were in attendance. A number of new Chinese brands made their trade fair debuts alongside all the well-established manufacturers and suppliers. During the course of the eight days, almost a million visitors learned about what's new in the world of cars. 2020 is likely to be just as big.

8) MODE Shanghai (TBC)

As the only official trade show for Shanghai Fashion Week, MODE Shanghai aims to be an optimized business platform for buyers and fashion business insiders.

9) Creative Expo Taiwan, Taipei (17-26)

Creative Expo Taiwan showcases and celebrates Taiwanese culture and creativity. At the center of the event is an exhibition of designer lifestyle brands and graphic design licensing, which attracts over 300,000 visitors. Last year, the theme was Culture on the Move to mark the opening of a new cultural corridor, which spans 9km across Taipei. The 2020 instalment marks the event’s 10th anniversary.

MAY

1) Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong (15-17)

Affordable Art Fair is a showcase for affordable, contemporary original art from galleries and dealers. Its Hong Kong Fair returns for its eighth edition when more than 100 local and international galleries showcase a collection of fresh and contemporary artworks. Priced between HK$1,000 and $100,000, the pieces on offer include everything from traditional ink paintings, abstract canvases, sculptures, editioned prints and photography to suit every space, taste and budget.

2) International Museum Day (18)

International Museum Day is held annually on or around 18 May, coordinated by the International Council of Museums. The event highlights a specific theme which changes every year to reflect the basis of the international museum community's preoccupations. It’s a unique moment for museum lovers and this year’s topic is Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion 2020 to encourage the idea of empowering diversity and inclusion in our cultural institutions.

3) China Beauty Expo, Shanghai (19-21)

Going into its 25th year, China Beauty Expo (CBE) is the largest professional beauty trade show and one-stop sourcing platform for beauty products, suppliers and services. It hosts more than 3,500 exhibiting companies and 10,000 brands covering the entire beauty supply chain to finished products.

4) Advertising Week Asia, Tokyo (26-28)

Advertising Week is a worldwide gathering of marketing, advertising, technology and brand professionals hosting events across the world. With roots in New York, the organization has grown to include dates in London, Mexico City, Sydney and Johannesburg; Tokyo hosts the Asian edition in 2020. From daytime seminars and workshops featuring some of the industry’s brightest minds to organized networking and entertainment, the weeks offer a full program for the ad community and brand clients.

JUNE

1) CES Asia, Shanghai (10-12)

The consumer electronics show is a big deal for tech lovers and manufacturers in the space. Every year, attendees get a glimpse of the future and what brands have been working on for the previous year as soon-to-be released products get road-tested. Last year, the Asian show topics were Vehicle Technology; 5G, AI and IoT; AR/VR and Robotics; and Startups, so expect more future-facing themes in 2020.

2) Mobile World Congress, Shanghai (30 June-2 July)

MWC Shanghai is Asia’s big event for next-generation technology – 5G, IoT, AI, big data and beyond. This year, influential companies and organizations will explore the depths of intelligent connectivity. It will see industry-focused discussions, influence the future of connectivity and unveil new intelligently connected technologies. If mobile tech is your area of business, it’d be wise to sign up.

3) Inside 3D Printing, Seoul (24-26)

Inside 3D Printing is a major professional 3D printing and additive manufacturing event series. Attendees will explore the business applications of 3D printing through conference sessions led by industry experts, demonstrations of the latest 3D printers and services, and programming for designers, professionals and makers. It offers a chance to see how 3D printing is changing industries including manufacturing, medicine, architecture, aerospace and more.

JULY

1) LuxeHome, Shanghai (25-27)

The ninth Shanghai International Luxury Living and Interior Furnishing Exhibition takes place at Shanghai New International Expo Center in the height of summer and focuses on high-end houseware, furnishing and commercial gifts. It brings together Chinese and international manufacturing companies.

AUGUST

1) Intertextile Autumn, Shanghai (24-26)

You’ve read about the Spring edition and now for the second Intertextile event of the year, which happens in August 2020. This time the focus is on home textiles, offering a platform for industry professionals to source and gain design inspiration through the structured product displays and fringe program. In 2019, 1,147 exhibitors and 35,390 joined the proceedings.

2) Shanghai International Lighting Fair (TBC)

SILF aims to become an industry platform for international city lighting design institutes to showcase their innovative designs. It offers a chance to conduct market research, observe competitors, reach out to clients and update industry players about newly developed products on the market.

SEPTEMBER

1) Furniture China, Shanghai (8-12)

Furniture China home furniture, office furniture, furnishings, lightings, kitchens, furniture manufacturing equipment, and more.

2) Home Design Week, Shanghai (11-16)

Shanghai Home Design Week is a major peripheral event during China International Furniture Expo (Furniture China) which happens concurrently with the event in September. By coinciding with Furniture China, Maison Shanghai and Design of Designers, Shanghai Home Design Week works with many art galleries, joint office facilities, cafes and manual workshops to offer over 50 design activities each year.

3) PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai (18-20)

PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai is a major event for photography galleries, collectors and the public. In 2019, it hosted 50 global and Chinese galleries and drew more than 30,000 visitors.

4) Spikes Asia, Singapore (TBC)

 Spikes is a sister event of Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the award everyone wants to win and be associated with in the advertising industry. It’s where Asia Pacific's creative community comes together for a three-day celebration of creativity in communications. Spikes Asia 2019 not only showcased the most exceptional work in the region but deconstructed APAC’s creative ecosystem and there will be more of the same in 2020.

5) Successful Design Competition, Shanghai (TBC)

Established in 2006 as China's first locally-initiated international design award, Successful Design Competition connects the Chinese design community with those in other countries and by integrating design with different industries.

6) Interfiliere Shanghai (24-25)

Interfiliere Shanghai is for the lingerie and swimwear industry. The event is a source of inspiration and offers a China-based view of textiles and textile accessories. Visitors get informed about the latest trends and products and find new business partners. The program consists of the Interfiliere Shanghai trend forums, fashion shows and conferences, over two days.

OCTOBER

1) Shanghai Fashion Week (9-23)

Shanghai Fashion Week has been running for 15 years, and brings out designers, buyers and the public to a citywide series of events.

NOVEMBER

1) Chengdu Creativity & Design Week (TBC)

With 658 exhibitors and more than 2.5 million visitors, Chengdu Creativity & Design Week is an international design exhibition that presents the city as a hub for culture and the arts.

2) West Bund Art and Design, Shanghai (TBC)

Established in 2014, West Bund Art & Design features more than 100 galleries from Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America at West Bund Art Center. The fair provides a platform for international exhibitors to showcase modern and contemporary art in Shanghai.

3) Affordable Art Fair Singapore (TBC)

Affordable hosts another Asian event in November, this time in Singapore. The three-day fair will see a variety of local, regional and international galleries take part at its 11th edition and cater to both first time buyers and experienced collectors at the F1 Pit Building. There’ll be a packed program of workshops, talks and tours, as well as a Gastro Park, café and bar for refreshment and refuelling.

4) Singapore Art Week (20-22)

Singapore Art Week is a 12-day visual art festival hosted by the National Arts Council and the Singapore Tourism Board. It takes place in venues all over Singapore and reinforces the place as an art destination. With an ever-evolving program, 2020 will see more than 100 events and activities scheduled for art lovers. Look out for The Art Stage, a particular highlight showcasing contemporary Asian works.

5) Salone del Mobile.Milano Shanghai (20-22)

Salone del Mobile.Milano Shanghai is an international benchmark for creativity and design and a showcase of Italian products and lifestyle in Shanghai. It made its debut in 2016 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center, bringing a slice of the beauty, quality, luxury and elegance of the Italian way of life to Shanghai.

6) Shanghai Biennale (TBC)

The Shanghai Biennale, hosted at the Power Station of Art, gives artists the occasion to meet and exchange ideas about their works, projects, inspirations and experiences, and offers the chance to reunite curators, writers and art supporters from all over the world. Aside from its main museum show, it also includes talks, lectures and installations in various venues throughout the city.

7) Art021, Shanghai (TBC)

Founded in 2013, ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair is a member of the Shanghai International Arts Festival. It brings together galleries, institutions, artists and their works from around the world.

8) Shanghai International Arts Festival (27-17 Nov)

Established in 1999, the annual CSIAF has grown into a significant platform for cultural exchange. A Festival of Arts, a Gala for All is its tagline and the event consists of stage performances, exhibitions, forums, themed festivals, a young talents program and much more.

9) Mumbrella360, Singapore (TBC)

Mumbrella360 Asia brings together all sectors of the industry to hear from the top CMOs, agency bosses and media owners about the issues and challenges affecting the industry and new technologies and practices going forward. It sees hundreds of people converge across three days to network, build new business, learn and be inspired about creative marketing. 

DECEMBER

1) Seoul Design Festival (TBC)

Seoul Design Festival is a design exhibition which has been promoting young designers and brands for the past 18 years in Korea. With strong support from DESIGN magazine, it’s become the quintessential design event in Korea promoting more than 300 design brands and young designers annually. Under the motto ‘Designer Promotion’, it has discovered and introduced thousands of designers and design brands since its inception.