After Frieze New York and before the Venice Biennale, the tireless and likely jetlagged international art clique has touched down en masse in Hong Kong, where the first Art Basel outpost in Asia opened to the public on Thursday. Here, we’ve assembled a cognoscenti’s guide to where the insiders are eating, partying, and sleeping it off–including picks for both the elegant classicist and those willing to brave sweaty dance floors and no-reservation policies.
Ichwan Noor’s Beetlesphere at Art: 1 by Mondercor Gallery, now on view at Art Basel Hong Kong
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Art Basel Hong Kong
THE Hong Kong art market is strong and prosperous, buoyed by low taxes and free of the censorship that inhibits much of the art on the mainland. But the local scene has long felt overshadowed by the big-name Chinese contemporary artists. So many were jittery at the opening today of the inaugural Art Basel Hong Kong, concerned that an influx of big galleries from New York, London and Paris would crowd out the booths peddling home-grown talent. There was little need to worry. “Competition drives up the standards. It already has after five years,” said Magnus Renfrew, the Asia Director for Art Basel Hong Kong. He is well placed to know, having spent years running Hong Kong’s art fair when it was an independent, scrappy event. Art Basel bought the fair last year, and its first Hong Kong incarnation runs until May 26th. Of the 245 galleries showing at the Hong Kong Convention Centre, over half are Asian. Of these, 26 are from Hong Kong, the strongest showing for any city except New York. This week Hong Kong is filled with art events, talks and the usual high-flying parties. To expose Hong Kong’s contemporary art scene to international buyers, Art Basel invited its top dealers and collectors to a special tour of the Wong Chuk Hang area on the waterfront of Aberdeen, where old warehouses have been renovated into new galleries. Some of Hong Kong’s most venerable art galleries have been decamping to Aberdeen to escape the exorbitant rents of the central district and to inhabit a livelier, younger area. Among those with branches there are Alisan Fine Arts, the first professional gallery in Hong Kong to show contemporary art, and Pekin Fine Arts from Beijing. So what are Hong Kong artists producing? Mostly art that feels very Chinese.
The booth of Schoeni Art Gallery is dominated by a video installation by Hung Keung (pictured). Trained at the Chinese University in Hong Kong, Mr Hung also studied art in London, Germany and Switzerland. Yet his piece “Dao x Microcosmic Play and Appreciation” feels rooted in Chinese culture. It features three round tables topped with black glass arranged a few feet apart. Tiny cameras circulate around the tables, their images projected on white screens. One table holds a black Buddha, small but his presence looms. Another is scattered with black toy-like tanks, helicopters and jet fighters. The third features a solitary small stone. This work is about peace and calm in an era of violence, explains Mr Hung. Traditional Chinese art views the white colour of rice paper as “an infinity surface,” he adds. “Now I am saying the screen represents white paper. The black toys on black glass give the feeling of black ink.” The booth of Gallery EXIT, a local gallery based in the Wong Chuk Hang neighbourhood, features the work of Ivy Ma, a Hong Kong-based artist. Her piece “Mother” is a large, hanging portrait of her mother carved in plywood. Measuring one meter by two meters, the image is from a photograph taken in the early 1950s, when Ms Ivy’s mother arrived from southern China as part of a wave of immigrants escaping the Communist revolution. “Mother” smiles pleasantly at passers-by, her face brimming with hope, her hair fashionably styled in a ‘50s bob. The work feels quintessentially Chinese, but with a wider contemporary appeal.
Artists from Guangdong province in southern China have long influenced art in Hong Kong. At the Pekin Fine Art space, works on paper by Chen Shaoxiong capture images of protests, such as democracy advocates who oppose Beijing’s efforts to restrict political freedoms in Hong Kong. His sweeping brush strokes on white paper give these pieces an unusual intensity, though they are not much larger than a legal pad. “He is making ink relevant to contemporary society,” said Meg Maggio, the founder of Pekin Fine Art. “Not many can do that.” In the confines of the exclusive VIP room run by Deutsche Bank at the fair, a large wall length work by one of Hong Kong’s best-known painters, Tsang Kin-Wah, is the star piece. The artist is known for painting words in English and Chinese in patterns that evoke wallpaper. In this piece, the phrase “Making Art, Making Money” is easily discernable in grey against white. Like a growing number of Hong Kong artists, Mr Tsang is happy to embrace the creed.
HONG KONG – MAY 22: A woman looks at work by Yayoi Kusama, represented by Victoria Miro, London, and Ota Fine Arts, at Art Basel, May 22, 2013 in Hong Kong. (Photo by Jessica Hromas/Getty Images)
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WALL STREET JOURNAL
Art Basel Debuts in Hong Kong
In the Air – Art+Auction’s Gossip Column
Art Basel in Hong Kong Keeps Rolling With Strong Sales on First Public Day
After a strong showing by VIPs on Wednesday, Thursday saw more swift business in the aisles and booths of the inaugural Art Basel in Hong Kong fair (the best of which ARTINFO has highlighted in this video). During its first day of being open to the general public, fair heavyweights like Hauser & Wirth, Paul Kasmin, and Arndt made major sales, while a slew of Asian galleries also made big moves. New York’s Paul Kasmin Gallery sold three pieces from Francois-Xavier and Claude Lalanne’s “Famille De Moutons” series of sheep sculptures for a total of $650,000 to a Hong Kong-based collector. The gallery also sold the Ivan Navarro neon and mirror works “Sway (Grand Gateway)” (2011) and “War Hole” (2012), the latter fetching $20,000 from a Swiss collector. Hauser & Wirth had another big day, selling two works on paper and four paintings by Zhang Enli at prices ranging from $25,000-$180,000, as well as Michael Raedecker’s “suspended” (2008) for $200,000. Arndt, of Singapore and Berlin, sold Jitish Kallat’s “Prosody of a Rising Tide” (2011-12) for $180,000, two editions of Entang Wiharso “Feast Table: Undeclared Perceptions” (2012) for $90,000 each — one of them to Berlin’s Thomas Olbricht Collection — Eko Nugroho’s “Flower Generation II” (2012) for $54,000, which was acquired by an Australian museum, and Jiechang Yang’s “Burning Tree” (2009), which was snapped up for €70,000 by a German collector. Long March Space from Beijing sold Made In Company’s “Play 201301″ (2013), which is featured in the fair’s Encounters section, for $325,000 to Australia’s White Rabbit Collection. The gallery also sold Wang Zhan’s “Artificial Rock No.146″ (2011) for $280,000. The Taipei- and Beijing-based gallery Tina Keng sold eight works from Jiang Xu’s “Eight Tall Sunflowers” series for a total of $2.6 million. Tokyo’s SCAI The Bathhouse sold Daisuke Ohha’s “BUKKA” (2011) for $22,000. ShanghART sold Yang Fudong’s “Forest Diary” (2000) for €45,000. And Sao Paulo’s Mendes Wood sold three untitled works by Lucas Arruda in the range of $10,000-20,000 each. A few galleries also reported additional sales from Wednesday’s VIP preview. Local gallery De Sarthe, did especially well, moving works including pieces by Alexander Calder and Lin Jing Jing for a total of $4 million in sales, all of the to Asian collectors intending to open private museums. Also on Wednesday, Sao Paulo’s Casa Triângulo sold two untitled works by Mariana Palma for $14,000 each to Hong Kong-based collectors. ===== OCULA
That Art Basel has come to Hong Kong to occupy two halls of the Hong Kong Exhibition Centre – (the world’s most occupied convention centre) – is a case in point. It is a clear indication of a certain global expansion taking place in the contemporary arts, mirrored by the sheer number of artists and galleries operating globally, each with their own approach, style and focus.
In reflection of this, Art Basel, which has always predicated itself on a certain globalism, is moving with the times. During Art Basel in Hong Kong’s press conference on Vernissage Day, Art Basel’s Director Marc Spiegler noted that 2013’s inaugural Art Basel in Hong Kong (ABHK) was not only a historical moment because Art Basel has come to Asia, but also because there has never been such a strong combination of eastern and western galleries presented together at an art fair. More than fifty per cent out of the 245 presenting galleries come from Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, from Turkey, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent to Australia and New Zealand, with twenty-six alone coming from Hong Kong. The result is eclectic (35 nations in total are represented), with styles intermingling but not necessarily blending. Some visitors commented on the mixed quality at ABHK during the preview. But perhaps this is not so much about good or bad art as it is about different art(s). In this, naming the sectors complementing the main Galleries section Discoveries, Insights, and Encounters, is telling if not instructive. Curated by Yuko Hasegawa, Encounters presents large-scale installations installed in various “plazas” within the fair halls. It aims to explore the ideas of “East” and “West,” looking at memory, history, and social contexts from a transcultural perspective. Works showing in Encounters include Jitish Kallat’s bamboo scaffolding encasing a large square column, Circa (2011), MadeIn Company’s leather-clad cathedral hung from the ceiling with rope, Play (201_B01) (2013), and a series of coloured venetian blinds arranged to produce a hanging mobile by Haegue Yang. Like the fair itself, Encounters is a patchwork of cultural (con)fusion. It is a state most clearly illustrated in the Discoveries section. Here, Kalfayan has presented photographs by Syrian artist Hrair Sarkissian against a series of vases produced in China in the Ming style, depicting scenes from the Lebanese Civil War in Raed Yassin’s, China. The work was produced as part of the 2012 Abraaj Capital Art Prize of which Yassin was a recipient. In this work, the global clusterfuck produced by the constant circulation and trade of objects and people is made apparent. The precision of Yassin’s statement is a testament to the artist’s sharp response to the notion of global culture and historical heritage in the 21st Century. This same kind of clarity is evident in other artists presented in Discoveries; a vibrant mix of emerging talent, from Brendan Early at Dublin’s mother’s tankstation, Tang Kwok Hin at Hong Kong’s 2p Contemporary, Becky Beasley and Matthias Bitzer at Milan’s Francesca Minini and Sanné Mestrom at Melbourne’s Utopian Slumps. Meanwhile, in the Galleries sector, there is a dynamic show of cultural range. Tokyo’s Gallery Koyanagi presents a mixed roster, including Olafur Eliasson, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Marlene Dumas, while Seoul’s PKM has opted for a selection of works including Minouk Lim’s Portable Keeper_White (2012) and a pair of Paradise Pies by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen. Of course, there are those who have made safer bets: Pace presents paintings and sculptures by China’s most expensive contemporary artist, Zhang Xiaogang, and Victoria Miro has brought Yayoi Kusama, who is everywhere. But not all choices have been so conservative (or calculating). Japan’s Mizuma provided a refreshing presentation showcasing new works including Yoshitaka Amano’s epic (and dirty) acrylic on aluminium panel Spring (2013), teamLab’s intriguing interactive animation installation, United, Fragmented, Repeated and Impermanent World (2013), Jane Lee’s deliciously textural oil painting, Fetish series-RB I (2013) and Makoto Aida’s ironically named, The Non-Thinker (2012). In this, ABHK isn’t just about cultural (or market) encounters. There are artistic face-offs happening everywhere, most of them unexpected. Take Haim Steinbach’s Untitled (plant, artichoke) (2012) at Lia Rumma: a green plastic form resembling a bonsai tree and an artichoke resting on a book. Steinbach’s green object immediately recalled a Tony Cragg sculpture, probably because I saw so many at the fair. Later, I chanced upon a Cragg bronze painted literally the same colour as Steinbach’s green plastic bonsai at Marian Goodman, aptly titled Versus (2012). It was a perfect moment of accidental (dis)unity. These relations make ABHK a promising space with which to assess global artistic practices, trends and tastes. Jose Davila, a favourite at 2012’s Art Basel Miami Beach, for example, is showing at both Mexico’s OMR and London’s Max Wigram, and his work chimes well with Seher Shah at Nature Morte. Similarly, The Breeder, presenting Greek artists Antonis Donef (ink drawings on archival paper), Andreas Lolis (marble carved to look like a pool of oil) and Stelios Faitakis (iconographic revolutionary paintings) are shown with Tao Xue’s paper sculpture, Socrates in China (2012), producing a synergy between two very different (yet wholly related) cultures. At the end of ABHK’s preview day, and after thinking about the significance of the fair from a cultural perspective rather than from buying and selling art (or lack thereof, given it is still early days), fair fatigue set in. I had become embroiled in Tang Contemporary Art’s installation of Yan Lei’s Limited Art Project (2012), exploring the complex narratives (and political ideologies) that have fed into the discipline of painting on canvas, a westernised tradition. Upon leaving, the only words I could muster to describe all that I had seen and thought in a day at the fair were those used in a work by Newell Harry, showing in a stellar group presentation at Australia’s Rose Oxley9 Gallery: “This Dam Mad Shit.” – [O] Tomorrow, Stephanie will assess the debates and discussions taking place at the fair, while reviewing the hotly anticipated opening ceremony, Paper Rain.
At Art Basel Hong Kong, International Dealers Bet Big on Asian Market
“We are really an Asian gallery,” said Pace President Arne Glimcher on Wednesday evening at the opening of the very first edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, at the Hong Kong Convention Centre on Victoria Harbour. Pace may be based in New York, but the gallery has run a Beijing outpost for the past five years, and that counts as a major plus at an art fair like this one, where dealers compete to make an impact in a burgeoning Asian market.
Technically, this fair has been taking place annually at the convention center for the past six years, bearing the name Art HK. But two years ago it was purchased by MCH Group, owner of the 43-year-old Art Basel, the world’s most prominent modern and contemporary art fair, and that fair’s wildly successful, 11-year-old sister event, Art Basel Miami Beach. This year’s edition, which runs through May 26, is the first under its new Swiss management, and although the morning of the opening on Wednesday brought torrential rains, the weather cleared up by the afternoon and collectors, sometimes accompanied by art advisors in stiletto heels, streamed in to tour the booths of 245 dealers.
Certain improvements could be immediately felt, such as the floor plan, which is more open and spacious, and gives the lion’s share of space to blue-chip international dealers and major players from Japan, Korea and mainland China. There are also sections, called “Discoveries” and “Insights,” devoted to more recently established Asian galleries showing younger artists. The new management promised a boost in European and American collectors at the fair, and though a few could be spotted in the crowd on the VIP preview day, including Miami’s Debra and Dennis Scholl as well as the London-based Roman Abramovich and Dasha Zhukova, the heavy hitters at this fair are collectors of Chinese contemporary art like Baron Guy Ullens and Uli Sigg, as well as Asian collectors, like the Indonesian-Chinese businessman Budi Tek, who is building a museum for international contemporary art in Shanghai.
For dealers from the West, a working knowledge of the market in the region comes in handy here. Building on its Asian client base and cultivation of Chinese artists, Pace brought “what we know appeals to Asian collectors,” as Mr. Glimcher put it, and that strategy met with success early in the day. Pace’s booth was consistently crowded with visitors clamoring for million-dollar examples of work by Chinese artists like Zhang Xiaogang, Zhang Huan and Li Songsong, whose works have seen soaring sums in the auction houses. Gagosian Gallery, whose two-year-old Hong Kong branch had opened a Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition the evening before (it’s the first major Basquiat exhibition in Hong Kong), was also busy at the fair. Too busy to talk to a reporter, said gallery director Nick Simunovic as he pointed out details of a Damien Hirst piece to a group of Asian collectors.
But most New York dealers come to this fair with low expectations. “If I was doing this amount of business anywhere else, I’d shoot myself,” said Sean Kelly, who has scored a major coup recently in selling an archive of work by Taiwanese performance artist Tehching Hsieh to Hong Kong’s mega-museum project M+, which isn’t scheduled to open until 2017 but is already spending its sizable acquisition budget.
“This fair you can’t judge in four hours,” Mr. Kelly continued. “It’s a much slower affair than that. People come, they look, they ask questions, they return. So it’s a different rhythm.”
By contrast with other major contemporary art fairs, like New York’s Armory Show and Frieze New York, Frieze in London or Art Basel Miami Beach, Art Basel Hong Kong doesn’t have a collector feeding frenzy on opening day. Here buyers from throughout Asia were much more laid back, taking their time to familiarize themselves with European or American artists whose names were new to them. One artist every Chinese collector I’ve spoken with has told me that they want is Gerhard Richter—not so surprising, as his market is surging internationally at the moment—and the artist’s agent, Marian Goodman Gallery, which has branches in New York and Paris, managed to sell a major painting on 16 panels to an Asian collector in the opening hours of the fair.
Other New York galleries brought more challenging material. Brent Sikkema spread across two walls of his booth a series of silhouette pieces by Kara Walker, whose work deals specifically with African-American imagery, much of it deriving from the era of Reconstruction after the Civil War. But Mr. Sikkema said he’d found that a surprising number of visitors to his booth were already familiar with Ms. Walker’s work. (As a kind of insurance, there were also the European visitors that the fair’s organizers had promised him would be on hand.) Like most New York dealers at Art Basel Hong Kong, Mr. Sikkema signed on to the fair with the understanding that patience will be required—it will take some more time before Hong Kong becomes an international art hub along the lines of Basel or Miami.
Hong Kong has, however, come a long way. Six years ago, the city was a sleepy backwater, art-wise, with only a handful of galleries and no major contemporary art museum in the works. At that time it appeared that Beijing—with its 100,000-plus artists and 400 galleries—would be the art capital of Asia, with Shanghai, which had its own burgeoning art fair and gallery district, in second place. But the mainland market faced two major obstacles. First, sales of art in mainland China incur a whopping 34 percent value added tax (VAT), making it almost impossible for foreign dealers to make a profit at mainland art fairs. Another hindrance was government censorship—the Ministry of Culture regularly plucked works out of booths. And hence, the rise of Hong Kong. In no small part due to the success of Art HK, the Hong Kong government started putting substantial muscle into the local art scene, first and foremost into the massive West Kowloon Cultural District with its $2.8 billion budget and planned M+ museum. That infusion of money and interest attracted Western dealers like White Cube, Gagosian, Emmanuel Perrotin and Lehmann Maupin, all of whom have opened galleries here in the past two years. Meanwhile, Christie’s and Sotheby’s have been holding auctions here since the late-1980s, more aggressively in recent years, and Hong Kong is now the third-largest auction market in the world.
The question for Hong Kong going forward is whether it will function more as a kind of post-colonialist art enterprise, importing Western art into Asia, or as a gateway for Asian buyers to have an impact on the global art dialogue. Ideally, it will do both. The Art Basel organizers have said that they will maintain a 50-50 split between Asian and international galleries—mainland Chinese galleries like Shanghart, Boers-Li, Pekin Fine Arts and Long March Space make a strong showing at this year’s fair—a sign that the fair will continue to have local character. Meanwhile, most galleries from New York and Europe, especially those that do not have a regular presence in the region, are still learning how to tailor their approach to Asian preferences, and to take things slow. “This is about us showing up, showing face, answering questions and taking inquiries seriously,” said Sean Kelly. “But it is equally about us learning from their culture. It’s a two-way street.”
Westerners and Easterners Alike Flock to Art Basel In Hong Kong
Art Basel in Hong Kong, formerly known as Art HK, is the place to go for East-meets-West-style work like Wu Di’s Plaything (2013). The painting shows a monkey-headed human figure in Western Renaissance garb on the end of a leash held by a human-headed monkey, all against a background of old master-style gold leaf.
The artist, who is represented by the Shanghai Gallery of Art, showed A.i.A. an image of the print that had inspired the work on her phone. She didn’t know its origins or date, she said, speaking through a translator: “I downloaded it from the Internet.”
Overall, Tuesday’s preview of the inaugural Art Basel Hong Kong (May 23-26) saw steady sales and increased numbers of visitors from outside the region.
Major area collectors such as Budi Tek and Uli Sigg were in attendance, along with museum directors from near and far, such as the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art’s Philip Tinari and Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles’s Jeffrey Deitch.
This is the first year that the five-year-old fair is under the management of Art Basel. With the Swiss conglomerate newly behind it, the fair drew visits from many more European dealers than in past years, according to several gallerists who spoke with A.i.A. during the fair’s first hours.
The fair’s 245 exhibitors, hailing from 35 countries and territories, are spread over two floors of the gigantic Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, on Victoria Harbor. Younger galleries, in the Discoveries section, paid as little as $14,000 for their stands, while larger booths ran into the upper tens of thousands.
Dealers were reporting sales by the end of the first day, though the VIP preview wasn’t marked by the feeding frenzy that sometimes characterizes Basel’s home fair in Switzerland or its 11-year-old outpost in Miami Beach.
Victoria Miro (London) and Ota Fine Arts (Singapore and Tokyo), which are jointly exhibiting Yayoi Kusama, sold the artist’s 1988 painting Flame of Life-Dedicated to Tu-Fu (Du-Fu) to an Asian collector for $2 million. Galerie Gmurzynska (Zurich, Zug and St. Moritz) sold Fernando Botero’s painting Quarteto (2012) for $1.3 million to a Malaysian collector.
Dealers told A.i.A. that an already well-run enterprise is only getting better under new management.
“The fair’s layout is more orderly and calm than in past years,” said Daniel Lechner, of New York’s Cheim & Read Gallery, which has participated in the Hong Kong fair in the past, though not this year.
The question on many minds has been whether Art Basel’s acquisition of a 60 percent share of the fair would lead to it becoming more generically global. The organizers are keen to emphasize that over 50 percent of the participating galleries are from the Asia-Pacific region. Some 26 exhibiting galleries have spaces in Hong Kong, though a few of them are outposts of global enterprises like Gagosian.
Though attendance figures built slowly over the day, Arnold Glimcher, of Pace Gallery, which has had a venue in Beijing since 2008, told A.i.A. that a large part of the fair’s audience would attend over the weekend, when businessmen from Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia come into town.
Magician Space, from Beijing, is showing a work by Chinese artist duo Zhuang Hui and Dan’er in Encounters, a selection of large-scale sculptures curated by Yuko Hasegawa, chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. The artists’ 11 Degree Incline, a giant black-lacquered metal sculpture of classicizing architectural ornaments, is based on garden architecture from the Qing Dynasty Summer Palace that was designed by an Italian, Giuseppe Castiglione.
While the uptick in Western visitors was the most salient first impression for many exhibitors, different dealers come to Hong Kong looking for different things. Simone Battisti, of Gladstone Gallery, New York, more highly valued the Malaysian and Chinese collectors he was meeting during the preview. “Why come to Hong Kong to talk to European collectors?” he said.
Rose Lord, of New York’s Marian Goodman Gallery, hadn’t noticed a significant increase in American visitors this year compared to the previous two trips the gallery made to Art HK. “Frieze New York was just last weekend,” she said by way of explanation. “And 15 hours is still a very long flight.”
Sean Kelly Announces Acquisition of Work by Tehching Hsieh
Back to the Articleby BWW News Desk
|Sean Kelly announces a major museum acquisition of work by gallery artist Tehching Hsieh to the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority/M+ Museum in Hong Kong.Michael Lynch (CEO of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority) and Lars Nittve (Executive Director of the M+ Museum) announced the acquisition this morning in a press conference held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, timed to coincide with the opening of the Art Basel art fair in Hong Kong.|
|This acquisition is the largest to date of Hsieh’s work and will be the most comprehensive collection of Hsieh’s work to be held in a public institution. The acquisition comprises a complete editioned set of the One Year Performance works and Hsieh’s final long-duration performance, which lasted thirteen years.The years from 1978 through 1999 witnessed Hsieh’s development of six individual performance works- all but one lasted for periods of one year at a time-which are informally referred to as:Cage Piece, Time Clock Piece, Outdoor Piece, Rope Piece (with artist Linda Montano), No Art Piece and Thirteen Year Plan. During this 22-year period, his contribution to long-form durational performance art is the most profound of any artist. M+ has acquired a complete set of these works:One Year Performance 1978-1979 (Cage Piece) One Year Performance 1980-1981 (Time Clock Piece) One Year Performance 1981-1982 (Outdoor Piece) Art/Life One Year Performance 1983-1984 (Rope Piece) One Year Performance 1985-1986 (No Art Piece) Tehching Hsieh 1986-1999 (Thirteen Year Plan)The West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong is one of the largest arts and cultural projects in the world. A centerpiece of Hong Kong’s future West Kowloon Cultural District, M+ is a new museum for visual culture, encompassing 20th and 21st century art, design, architecture and the moving image from Hong Kong, China, Asia and beyond.Tehching Hsieh (b. 1950, Taiwanese-American) has been represented worldwide by Sean Kelly Gallery since 2009. Work by Hsieh will be on view this week at the gallery’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong (1D08).|
SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
All eyes on Hong Kong as Art Basel hits city, bringing tourism boost with it
sunderstood the concept of making money. Auctions put up the prices [of art works] in a short time, but there’s also a short lifespan for artists.” Murakami is helping the next generation of artists. He “coaches” emerging artists under his company, KaiKai Kiki, ensuring they create art with a “healthy” mentality so that the money goes into the pockets of the artists’ families as well as the artists themselves, reducing the temptation for them to blow their new-found wealth. In 2002, he founded the GEISAI Operation, an art fair offering emerging Japanese artists a taste of the art market. The development of Tokyo’s largely homegrown art fair scene contrasts starkly to that of Hong Kong and other cities, which have a weaker cultural infrastructure and rely on foreign-run fairs. The concern is that the interest of foreigners in a city can be transient. “Foreigners bring the Western style to Hong Kong, which serves as a platform for them. But what if they move away from Hong Kong?” Hui asks. This worries artist and critic Anthony Leung Po-shan. She believes the vibrant art scene – a parade of glamorous openings, parties and free-flowing champagne – is in fact sending an alarming signal to the city. “It is a new form of globalisation,” Leung says. “Contemporary art becomes a tool, the best social occasion for global elites. It is not about the cultural diversity that [UN cultural body] Unesco advocates. Contemporary art becomes a new label, like Louis Vuitton, that people are after.” Leung worries that such globalisation of culture through the contagious art fairs obsession will eventually undermine or even extinguish most indigenous local craft and cultures in Asia in the long run. In fact, Britain is already experiencing such a phenomenon, with officials deciding that the country’s age-old craft industries no longer warrant inclusion within its creative industries. While the British contemporary art scene has blossomed, last month Britain’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport released a consultation paper proposing to remove craft as a category within the creative industries as “most craft businesses are too small to identify in business survey data … we’ve not been able to provide gross value added data”. Leung says the growth of the culture sector in Hong Kong is mainly in contemporary art, while traditional art forms stagnate. “Will it kill the local art forms? It depends on the local authorities,” she says. “Art fairs create great synergies. The positive side is that these fairs help widen the spectrum of arts and culture. But with this developmental-state mentality dominating Asia, and creative industries becoming state policy, Asia becomes a place that is just about making money. Art fairs then become a merger not just of culture, but also of capital. Cities have to beware of art fairs.”
Jolie Gems, Warhol, Wine Lure Billionaires to Hong Kong
Hong Kong is taking center stage on the global conspicuous-consumption circuit this week as billionaires descend on the city to choose from Angelina Jolie’s diamonds, Andy Warhol’s paintings and bottles of Romanee-Conti.
In what promises to be a champagne-fuelled 10 days, the city will see billions of dollars of contemporary art, wine, jewelry and snuff bottles go on sale.
Anchoring, what is informally referred to as Hong Kong art week, is Art Basel Hong Kong which opens to the public tomorrow. VIPs at today’s preview included Kate Moss; Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and his girlfriend Dasha Zhukova; and Jeffrey Deitch director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
“I am very happy this year,” said gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin who was beaming after spending time showing works of Takashi Murakami to Abramovich. Though the Russian hasn’t yet settled on a purchase, Perrotin sold out 10 Murakami fiberglass figures in the first few hours of the preview at $135,000 each.
Others share his enthusiasm.
“There is high anticipation as opposed to last year when everyone was holding his breath,” said Jasdeep Sandhu, director of Singapore-based Gajah Gallery, which is selling a new painting by I. Nyoman Masriadi for $350,000.
Dozens of galleries are taking advantage of the influx of well-heeled visitors to host openings, dinners and parties.
“I’m attending four dinners tonight but I won’t sit down at any of them,” said Art Basel director Marc Spiegler. “I’ll eat while I’m in the car.”
At the Pedder Building, six galleries held simultaneous vernissages last night. Gagosian opened with a show of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s paintings, Pearl Lam has Chinese abstract painter Zhu Jinshi. Hanart TZ Gallery is featuring ink-on-paper works by Qiu Zhijie, while Lehmann Maupin has hung embroideries and neon by Tracey Emin.
“We’ve got a security guard to manage the crowd,” Lehmann Maupin partner Courtney Plummer said before yesterday’s opening. “It’s a great problem to have.”
A few blocks away, on two floors of a retro-1930s building designed by Robert Stern, White Cube held a party to mark the opening of a show by Jake & Dinos Chapman. On the 17th floor, Murakami held court at his opening at Galerie Perrotin.
Earlier, Galerie Malingue put on show in Hong Kong’s Statue Square a larger-than-life statue by Fabien Merelle. The French sculptor portrays himself balancing an elephant on his back. Numbered one in a series of three, it has already been sold to a private Southeast Asian collector for 250,000 euros ($322,770).
Wendi Deng Murdoch is hosting a party tonight at the Asia Society to promote her art website Artsy, while New World Development scion Adrian Cheng is holding a party at the swimming pool of the Grand Hyatt hotel(owned by his family) in honor of his K11 Art Foundation.
Ground zero for the week’s selling extravaganza is Art Basel Hong itself which opened its doors to VIPs at noon.
Rebranded this year as Art Basel Hong Kong, the fair formerly known as Hong Kong International Art Fair, is trying to maintain its distinctly regional flavor, with more than 50 percent of the 245 exhibitors coming from Asia and Asia-Pacific while focusing more attention on deep-pocketed visitors.
“Three years ago we had one person handling VIP relations,” said Art Basel Director Asia Magnus Renfrew. “Now we have 25 around the world and nine in Asia.”
The fair features a strong showing of European and U.S. heavyweights too. First-time exhibitor Dominique Levy Gallery from New York is selling Warhol dollar-sign works priced from $500,000 to $6 million and Zurich-based Galerie Gmurzynska is featuring pneumatic figure paintings by Colombian artist Fernando Botero.
Christie’s is holding its spring marathon of eight sales including contemporary Asian art, ceramics, jewelry, watches and wine from May 23-29 with a presale estimate of HK$1.3 billion ($167 million).
On May 24, Hong Kong-based Tiancheng International sells an antique diamond choker belonging to Angelina Jolie estimated at HK$4 million to HK$6 million in a charity auction to benefit Education Partnership for Children in Conflict.
Sotheby’s (BID) is selling 270 lots of snuff bottles on May 27, and fine watches on May 28.
At tonight’s Bonhams wine sale at the Island Shangri-La Hotel, an estimated HK$12 million of wine, cognac and whisky go under the hammer, including a bottle of Macallan 1946 (aged 56 years in oak barrels) that may fetch as much as HK$320,000.
The top lot of the sale contains six bottles of Romanee-Conti with a high estimate of HK$620,000.
Art Basel Hong Kong runs from May 23 to May 26 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. The lead sponsor is Deutsche Bank AG.
(Frederik Balfour is a reporter-at-large for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his own.)
Muse highlights include Ryan Sutton on New York dining and Amanda Gordon’s Scene Last Night.
Editors: Mark Beech, Richard Vines.
INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE./NEW YORK TIMES
Hong Kong Finds Its Footing in Art World
By XHINGYU CHEN
Published: May 22, 2013
Gagosian did have a Damien Hirst show last year at its space in the Pedder Building — the galleries are generally viewed as bringing fresh air, money and new collectors to the city. “The increased presence of international galleries is a very positive thing for Hong Kong,” Mr. Renfrew said. “They have raised the level of artistic programming and introduced major international artists to the city.” Not least, the changing landscape has encouraged local galleries to deepen their programming in the city. Tang Contemporary and 10 Chancery Lane are just two of the driving forces behind Art East Island, a series of exhibitions held in a warehouse building on the eastern reaches of Hong Kong Island. Past exhibitions have included an Ai Weiwei show and a Dinh Q. Le solo project. The spotlight that comes with each gallery opening, and with prominent fairs like Art Basel Hong Kong, could also presage good things for local artists. “There are dozens of great artists working in Hong Kong who for many years were more or less overshadowed by the developments in mainland China,” said Mr. Simunovic of the Gagosian Gallery. “As the cultural community grows,” he continued, “I think you will see Hong Kong-based artists rise to greater prominence.”
A version of this special report appeared in print on May 23, 2013, in The International Herald Tribune.
Arts & Leisure
Posted on May 21, 2013 05:34:52 PM
Art Basel to bring international flair to Hong Kong
HONG KONG — Art lovers, collectors and gallerists will gather on Thursday for Hong Kong’s inaugural edition of Art Basel, sealing the city’s status as an international art hub and Asia’s leading art destination.
The Chapman brothers presented their latest epic installation featuring thousands of little figures in violent conflict Tuesday at the sidelines of Art Basel in Hong Kong, but dismissed the renowned fair as a “shop”.
“The Sum of all Evil” by Jake and Dinos Chapman builds on previous works such as “Hell” (1999) which showcased innumerous miniature Nazis soldiers in various states of diabolical torment.
Their ambitions to use themes of war, genocide, the apocalypse and the evils of mass consumerism come in the form of tiny, tortured Nazi soldiers, skeletons and bloody corpses, and crucified Ronald McDonalds, the mascot of the fast food giant.
“I don’t want to think that making art or works of art are the pioneering objects of capitalistic markets, which ultimately they are, but I don’t really want to think about that,” Jake Chapman told AFP at Hong Kong’s White Cube gallery, as he unveiled the siblings’ first exhibition in China.
“One of the ways in which we proof our work from being implicated in that process is to make the work as awful as we can, so it can’t be mistaken for anything positive — it’s as cynical and pessimistic and anti-human as possible,” he said.
The four-day annual Art Basel show, the world’s premier art fair that is enjoying its inaugural showing in Hong Kong, is offering a crowded platform for around 2,000 international artists to promote and sell their work.
Nothing could be further from the artistic vision of the London-based pair, Jake Chapman insisted to AFP.
“If you’re an artist I think you allow yourself the privilege of believing that what you do is something to do with producing culture, rather than commodities,” he said, adding it was “best (to) keep away” from the massive fair happening nearby — dismissing the gathering as “a big shop”.
Art is, in fact, “to do with producing commodities and not culture”, he admitted, “but you don’t have to force yourself into the awful truth of it by going to art fairs”.
Roast-Duck Vodka, Anyone?
By WSJ Staff
Where to eat, drink and be merry during Art Basel in Hong Kong? We pick three artful spots:
In a Fringe Club basement formerly used for ice storage, experience the world of artist Adrian Wong at his immersive installation “Wun Dun” (“cosmic gour in Cantonese). The Absolut Vodka pop-up bar shakes up visitors with drinks inspired by Hong Kong flavors (try the stiff roast-duck vodka served with a fresh bok choy leaf), colorful neon fish tanks, a cast of characters that includes a Star Ferry captain, a soundtrack courtesy of a furry robot backing band and an elderly Cantonese opera singer turned karaoke crooner.
The Mandarin Oriental hotel isn’t just sponsoring Art Basel; it’s also hosting works from “Hong Kong Eye” at its mezzanine Clipper Lounge. Over at the Mandarin Grill, chef Uwe Opocensky is serving up culinary homages to artists from Andy Warhol (Campbell’s-based tomato soup) to Damien Hirst (a chocolate-skull dessert sprinkled with hundreds and thousands).
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Where to Be Seen During Art Basel
In Hong Kong, Art Basel organizers hope to replicate the social scene of its Miami Beach and Basel events. Here, Paris Hilton, left, poses at a Moncler anniversary party in December at Art Basel in Miami Beach.
Getty Images for Moncler
Where to Find Hong Kong Art During Art Basel
By Lara Day
Years before the West Kowloon Cultural District opens, Hong Kong’s art scene is still something of a treasure hunt.
Start at West Kowloon’s harborfront site: The city’s museum for visual culture M+ (projected opening: 2017) is making its presence felt with “Mobile M+: Inflation!” (through June 9), a crowd-drawing exhibition of six large-scale inflatable sculptures that include an outsize suckling pig by Cao Fei, a giant cockroach by Otto Li and Paul McCarthy’s scatological “Complex Pile.”
Next, head to a former abattoir in Kowloon’s old town center, where the Burger Collection has joined forces with artist-run collective 1a Space for “I Think It Rains” (through June 30), the second of four experimental shows in its “Quadrilogy” series. On display are works by 20-odd artists and writers, from pop lyricist Chow Yiu Fai to conceptual-based artist Vittorio Santoro, while Friday sees a full day of “real time” art, including participatory performances by Wen Yau, Reds Cheung and Lau Ching Ping.
Back on Hong Kong island, “A Journal of the Plague Year” (through July 20) marks the 10th anniversary of the SARS epidemic, as well as the suicide of Cantopop star Leslie Cheung, with a series of installations that have already generated headlines. Among them are Lee Kit’s melancholy karaoke room dedicated to Mr. Cheung, a ghostly video by Apichatpong Weerasethakul screened in a 1970s tenement, and Ai Weiwei’s baby milk-formula bottles configured as a floor-based map.
Over in the corporate Island East complex, survey show “Hong Kong Eye” (through May 31) spotlights more than 60 works on home turf after debuting at London’s Saatchi Gallery last year. Pieces on display range from Chow Chun Fai’s painted film stills to a warped life-size taxi sculpture by Amy Cheung, but the real gem is the hefty 408-page catalog, complete with essays by curator Johnson Chang and critic Anthony Leung.
On nearby Oil Street, just a stone’s throw from the erstwhile Oil Street artist village, new government-run space Oi opens on Wednesday in a red-brick building that dates to 1908. Works by four artists explore themes of water and space (through Aug. 18), including a mist installation by mainland Chinese artist Yuan Gong and a video and sound work by Tsang Kin-Wah that uses footage from Japan’s 2011 tsunami.
Back west, conceptual artist Warren Leung Chi Wo occupies tiny 2P Gallery with “Bright Light has Much the Same Effect as Ice” (through June 11), a tongue-in-cheek look at Hong Kong’s coldest recorded temperature in 1893. For the record, it was zero degrees Celsius.
TIME OUT HONG KONG
Is Hong Kong ready for contemporary art?
origin over the decades? What are the odds that one can tie up art and politics in any constructive conversation when the country in question is still prohibiting the showing of iconic works like Andy Warhol’s silkscreen paintings of Mao – as is the case with the touring exhibition Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal, which is currently at Shanghai’s state-owned Power Station of Art before its next stop in Beijing? It’s disheartening to see the way our art development is scattered with comical putdowns by people in power, who, despite being well into middle age, may be coming across contemporary art meaningfully for the first time in their lives. Following the claim of Christopher Chung Shu-kun, chairman of the Joint Subcommittee to Monitor the Implementation of the West Kowloon Cultural District Project, that dissident artist Ai Weiwei’s middle finger to Tiananmen ‘can’t be considered art because even children can do that’, lawmaker Chan Kam-lam merely added to the idiocy by stating that political works ‘are not works of art’. If half of these many outrageous claims were meant for building up Hong Kong art instead of putting it down, we could well be in for something special. In a society that’s accustomed to polite applause instead of true and informed critical voices, however, it’s reasonable to conclude that Hong Kong simply doesn’t have the mature cultural atmosphere for its own art scene to really blossom yet. At a recent forum in Wan Chai’s Foo Tak Building to discuss the obstacles facing Hong Kong contemporary art, artist/scholar Anthony Leung Po-shan cited the 2009 transformation of the Hong Kong Art Biennial Exhibition to the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Biennial Awards as an illustration of the effects of the colonial political principle of ‘fairness’. By turning the biennial into a competition, it ensures a sense of fairness to the selection process. And where will that lead us? Artist development vs A lack of meaningful critique While there’s an enviable degree of artistic freedom in Hong Kong when compared to the Mainland, what we lack sorely is a culture of professional art criticism that could effectively give the artists an honest assessment on their practice – an essential part of the art ecology to situate the art created into a larger discourse. Good critics usually make good curators, but when critics are largely absent and artists begin to regard staying in the profession as a triumph in itself, it becomes increasingly difficult for Hong Kong art to rise above its sideshow status to the city’s prospering market. According to Cosmin Costinas, the executive director of Para/Site Art Space, there’s been a sense around here that the recent growth in our art scene ‘can lead to other opportunities – and not just in terms of [the operation of] commercial galleries’. “For some of the artists in Hong Kong, I think they need to make bolder decisions,” says the curator. “Now, both the galleries and all of us – including the non-profits and institutional – are trying to build something in Hong Kong. But I think it’s important to hear more loudly the voice of the artists.” And it’s not like a platform hasn’t been set for Hong Kong art to finally take the spotlight. As the first major Hong Kong contemporary art exhibition outside the city since 2007’s Horizons at Shanghai’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the recent Hong Kong Eye showcase at London’s Saatchi Gallery attracted more than 200,000 visitors over its duration. The show’s co-curator Johnson Chang, who famously brought Chinese contemporary art to the world with his landmark exhibition China’s New Art Post-1989 in the early 1990s, told us ahead of the London showing last December: “The ‘export’ of art suggests influence. It builds self confidence and builds bridges of connection, which are very necessary for Hong Kong art now.” Speaking of the fundamental improvements that are required of our art scene, artist Lam Tung-pang says: “I believe the turning point could arrive when local entrepreneurs and private foundations – together with the support of the government – make a long-term goal to develop our local art and collecting culture.” The good news is that a concerted effort to contextualise Hong Kong art looks to be happening through a variety of different channels. Of the 867 works of visual culture that M+ has acquired outside of the Sigg Collection and that may be exhibited prior to the opening of the museum building, 700 are from Hong Kong and are mostly either collected from the artists directly or through their local galleries. More than three books have been published inside the past 12 months on the subject of Hong Kong contemporary art, while the growing interest in writing about our art history has also seen the AAA and the Hong Kong Museum of Art collaborate on an Oral History project with Hong Kong artists. Gallerists advocating conceptual art vs Prohibitively expensive overheads It’s one thing for a gallery to focus on selling wall-hanging pieces that go nicely into any living room; it’s quite another to be dedicating your space to conceptual art installations which are sometimes practically ‘unsellable’. When we talked to Nigel Hurst in late 2012, the gallery director and chief executive of Saatchi Gallery observed that many of our homegrown artists are not ‘particularly market-engaged’, which ‘makes their works more appealing to the art market in the first place’. Tell that to the resolute gallerists who are striving to carve out a place for our emerging artists with limited international reputation and non-existent secondary market potentials. “Hong Kong has a good, interested audience for contemporary art, but I don’t think there’s enough of an educated audience for conceptual art [yet],” says Pui Pui To, the Central Saint Martins graduate who founded 2P Contemporary Art Gallery in 2010. “We make exhibitions with works that nobody really needs or wants to buy. The biggest challenge is how you try to keep your gallery if you have nothing to sell – or if nobody wants to buy anyway. Our programme is extremely experimental, risk-taking and progressive. A lot of people who come by the gallery would be like ‘what’s this?’ The educated audiences are usually those who are already involved in the art world, like curators and writers; many of them come from overseas.” While a whole heap of overseas galleries are expanding into Hong Kong, galleries which are more committed to Hong Kong or Asian contemporary art have seemingly found the need to adjust their strategies. Just as Gallery Exit moved from Central to Tin Wan and Osage closed its Soho space to concentrate on its Kwun Tong galleries, Saamlung ceased operating as a commercial gallery and will move forward as a non-commercial project. Magnus Renfrew of Art Basel describes the environment for young galleries in Hong Kong as being ‘very challenging’. “The overheads for galleries are very, very high here, and the price point for emerging artists or perhaps other conceptual artists tends to be relatively low,” he says. “So to make it viable, you need to sell a huge quantity of work.” Given that it normally takes at least HK$2m to start a gallery, and that every exhibition costs about $15,000 to set up, a good and regular audience base appears to be the very least that a gallerist should be hoping for. “The rental in Hong Kong is just way too high for us to survive,” says To. “People can see that [2P] is not like those galleries on
Hollywood Road. There are people coming to the gallery who want to know and take the time, listen to the audio, watch the video properly from the beginning to the end. Sometimes you put art in a context, and it’s not [about finding] any conclusion. Art doesn’t always have a conclusion. You can give the audience a direction but not a certain interpretation.” Rubber Duck vs Complex Pile Since late April, the imagination of the Hong Kong population has been ruthlessly captured by various large-scale inflatable sculptures around town. A few days after the exhibition Mobile M+: Inflation! was unveiled at the West Kowloon Cultural District, featuring such controversial pieces as Los Angeles artist Paul McCarthy’s poop-like Complex Pile and Chinese artist Cao Fei’s roasted pig sculpture House of Treasures, Florentijn Hofman’s Rubber Duck arrived at the harbour to put the snap-happy public into a craze. The number of visitors to the M+ exhibition had topped 100,000 at the time of press, whereas nobody can really keep count of all the duck photos floating – or, indeed, otherwise – on the internet. The phenomenon for artists to scale up their works in order to grab attention is usually reserved for the more prominent art markets in the world, although, in Hong Kong’s case, the impressive sight couldn’t have planned for a better time to deputise here. To many people in the crowds, the question ‘is it art?’ may well be their first ever art awakening. “I think it’s a great show,” says Renfrew of Inflation!, probably no pun intended. “There’s a lot to debate about what art should be, what art could be. There had been other similar debates in other places around the world historically, as well. It’s a very important part of raising people’s awareness. It’s really quite an important moment.” Now that everyone is going to see the gigantic works, does it matter if quite a number of them have no idea whatsoever that they’re actually looking at, uh, art? “That’s a very good question, very interesting,” says M+ curator Tobias Berger, who goes on to distinguish Inflation! from works of public art, such as Rubber Duck. “Public art is the kind of art you talk about, you encounter it on the way to work and you cannot get around it. It’s public, it’s there, and I cannot choose not to go there. [As for] what we do with Inflation!, everybody who goes to that exhibition, they [have to] go there on purpose. We don’t really talk about our exhibition as a public art exhibition; it’s a sculpture exhibition for us. It’s basically like going to a museum. You would not use Complex Pile as a public art piece, because people would misunderstand it. But you can show it in an exhibition.” Ironically, the remarkable thing about our city’s burgeoning awareness towards art appreciation is that SK Lam – the AllRightsReserved creative director who has previously presented well-received showcases of the works by Yue Minjun and Yayoi Kusama for Harbour City’s marketing campaigns – has almost been forced to apologise for the inflatable duck’s immense popularity. “At first, we were only trying to avoid the typhoon season. We were also hoping to coincide with Art Basel and to take advantage of its momentum,” says the celebrity designer. “It’s an artwork after all. It’s not a toy or a prop. It’s not Doraemon. It’s not a licensed [cartoon] character.” He then turns whimsical: “It’s funny to say. Someone told me the other day that the rubber duck piece doesn’t inspire much introspection. I didn’t know what got into me but I just spontaneously replied ‘when it’s gone, you’d be thinking about it for a long time’.” Lam chuckles. “It’s not going to be here forever, you know.” Is that a threat to the unsuspecting public, the local art scene, or the precious overlapping section of both?
WALL STREET JOURNAL
A Bold-Face Debut In Hong Kong
FINANCIAL TIMES LONDON
May 17, 2013 6:51 pm
East, west and points in between
Horizontal: it’s one of curator Yuko Hasegawa’s preferred words, though she is anything but. When we catch up over Skype in the week before Art Basel in Hong Kong, it’s 10.30pm in Tokyo, and Hasegawa, in fluent English, launches into an energetic discussion on the shifting geopolitical and cultural landscape and what this means to the wider art world. “Different methodologies, different cultural ideas, and a horizontal approach,” she says, leaving the high v low and east v west orthodoxy trailing in her wake.
Hasegawa is one of the contemporary art world’s global super-curators, popping up everywhere from São Paulo to Kiev, ushering artists from everywhere into a position that she hopes runs counter to what she calls the “west-centrism of knowledge in modern times”. In March this meant assembling the work of more than 100 artists and architects (a third of them from the Middle East) for the 11th Sharjah Biennale in the United Arab Emirates. She included critical work, such as a piece by the young Saudi Sara Abu Abdallah of a veiled girl staring at a written-off car. “It’s the nearest a Saudi woman will ever get to having a car,” explained Abu Abdallah at the time. “Icons of Christianity are taboo there,” says Hasegawa, “and nudity and pornography. But politically, it’s very free. I was surprised.”
Last year for Art Hong Kong (which has since become Art Basel in Hong Kong following its acquisition by Art Basel owner MCH), she curated a Projects programme of larger-scale work. This year it is reprised as Encounters, with 17 galleries delivering weighty installations that will appear in two piazzas that have been designed into each floor of the fair by architect Tom Postma. While these works – which include a series of brightly coloured acrylic boxes by New York-based Brit Liam Gillick, a Venetian blind installation by the Korean Haegue Yang, and a suspended sculpture by Beijing-based Wang Yuyang, who has been known to create vast spheres from energy-saving lightbulbs – are for sale, their presence is equally intended to widen the visitors’ vision and liven up the show. Magnus Renfrew, one of the fair’s four directors, says: “In a relatively new market like Hong Kong, it’s important to show the full perspective of what art can be.”
This is all extracurricular for Hasegawa. She has a full-time job as chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo (MOT) and is professor of curatorial and art theory at the city’s Tama Art University. At the museum she has just presided over the opening of an exhibition of the Mexico-based Belgian artist Francis Alÿs, and is working on an autumn show that will blur the boundaries between art and design.
“I’m interested in cross-disciplinary work. I’ll be working with 25 to 30 artists and designers with a focus on how data and information can be visualised,” she says. Among them will be Ryoji Ikeda, a Japanese musician/artist/mathematician who creates challenging imagery and music out of binary code. “I’m less concerned with art historical positions and more interested in creating a platform,” she says.
Hasegawa has been a name to reckon with since the late 1990s – she was on the jury of the Venice Biennale in 1999 – but made her mark with the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan, where she was chief curator and founding artistic director from 1999 to 2006. She commissioned the Japanese architects Sanaa to create the museum’s exquisite circular glass building, and introduced 10 site-specific installations by artists including James Turrell and Anish Kapoor that are integrated into the architecture.
Since its opening in 2004, Kanazawa has been an extraordinary success (and also put Sanaa on the international architectural map). “Everything there is horizontal,” says Hasegawa. “There are no borders. The museum is a part of the city and the city is a part of the museum. People come as though they’re visiting a shopping mall. They don’t know anything about contemporary art. In Japan, there is not such a hierarchical divide. High and low culture are on the same plane.”
It’s this that has drawn her to Hong Kong, where last year she sat on the advisory board of the HK$21bn West Kowloon Cultural District project, which by 2018 will deliver a new arts complex to the city. “In Hong Kong and mainland China, people don’t have much opportunity to see big institutional presentations. In Hong Kong until now there’s been little cultural provision, though the film industry is really important. That’s the local culture. If I make the right selections for Encounters, it will really expose people to this kind of work. People come to the art fair out of curiosity, and it’s an open entry point.”
Hasegawa’s curation of Encounters does, in fact, have a historical viewpoint. There is an eight-metre wide 1991 installation by Chen Zhen. A Chinese artist who grew up during the Cultural Revolution and emigrated to Paris as soon as Deng Xiaoping came to power in 1986, he represents the artistic diaspora of that decade.
“Haegue Yang lives in Germany,” says Hasegawa. “There’s a cultural hybridity there, and an artist making their own reality.” And as for Turner Prize-winning Scottish artist Susan Philipsz, Hasegawa sees her sound art – in this case a piece called “It Means Nothing to Me” in which she sings a traditional Welsh folk song – as perfectly tailored to the Asian sensibility. “Asian people like performance, sound, music and memory. We are interested in temporality. Take calligraphy, for example. A western person will see the final form. But an Asian person will see the process and the work as something imbued with time.”
And with that, Hasegawa has leapt seamlessly from a Turner Prize winner to calligraphy; a woman who, rather like Hong Kong itself, can synthesise west and east.
All works shown above are in Encounters at Art Basel in Hong Kong
Art Basel in Hong Kong, May 23-26, www.artbasel.com
The numbers are impressive. Almost dauntingly so. Visitors to this week’s first Art Basel in Hong Kong will have as many as 250 galleries, originating from some 35 countries, to relish. The organisers make much of the fact that almost 50 per cent of the participants are from Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, as well they might: one of the strengths of their December fair in Miami is its distinctive regional nature (in that case, its relation to its Latin American neighbours), and the last thing we want from a fair is globo-blandness.
At Hong Kong, along with three other distinct sections – Galleries, for 170-plus mainstream international players; Encounters, for large-scale work; and Discoveries, for budding hopefuls – is the Insights section.
This features work that has been made specially for the event, from galleries in the Asia and Asia-Pacific region, and its inclusion reinforces the emphasis on that chunk of the globe – a vast and varied part, but united in its determination to make concrete its not-western identity.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2013. You may share using our article tools. Please don’t cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
A New Art Basel for Asia
By Jason Chow
Just as the jet set leave one art fair in New York, they descend on Hong Kong for the next.
Art Basel in Hong Kong, the latest in what has become an international circuit, kicks off on Thursday. The fair comes at a busy time for art lovers, just two weeks after Frieze New York and a week before the Venice Biennale. Art Basel, in Switzerland, takes place later in June.
“It’s a marathon—really intense,” said Richard Chang, a collector who splits his time between Beijing and New York and plans to attend all four events over two months.
Despite the crowded calendar, the international art world is making room for the Hong Kong fair, which represents Art Basel’s first foray into Asia. The region has never been more important: China is now the world’s second-largest art market after the U.S., according to an annual survey conducted by the European Fine Art Fair, and Southeast Asia’s wealthy have grown into voracious collectors of regional art, pushing the value of Asian works ever higher.
A newcomer in name, Art Basel takes up the mantle from the Hong Kong International Art Fair, often called Art HK, which became the continent’s biggest art event since its 2007 launch.
Eyeing its growth, MCH Group, Art Basel’s owner, bought a majority stake in 2011, and is this year rebranding it in line with the fairs it has held in Basel since 1970 and Miami Beach since 2002.
Art Basel draws some of the world’s wealthiest collectors and bon vivants—Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton were among the attendees of December’s Miami fair—and organizers hope that the same will be true of its Asian edition.
“Before, the spotlight was already on Asia and Hong Kong,” said Art Basel Asia director Magnus Renfrew, formerly director of Art HK. “With Basel’s resources, that spotlight is so much brighter.”
With 245 galleries, including 48 who have never shown in Asia, the Hong Kong event rivals Miami in size but remains smaller than the Swiss fair, which hosts 300-plus exhibitors. It already looks set to trump both fairs in terms of attendance: Last year’s Art HK counted more than 67,000 visitors, a figure that exceeds Art Basel numbers and which organizers expect to match this year.
The new fair will maintain Art HK’s focus on Asia: More than half of the galleries attending will be from the region, Mr. Renfrew said.
But the most deep-pocketed attendees are likely to notice one change: Art HK had just one person dedicated to VIP clients, which typically include major collectors, museum curators and gallery owners. By contrast, Art Basel has 25.
Among the institutions confirmed to attend are the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and the Dallas Museum of Art, while the guest list for a gala at the Asia Society on Monday includes the dealer Larry Gagosian, Blackstone Group Vice Chairman J. Tomilson Hill and philanthropist Fayeeza Naqvi.
Meanwhile, the fair has attracted Western galleries looking to tap into the growing ranks of Asian collectors, including Budi Tek, a Chinese-Indonesian tycoon who is building a private museum in Shanghai, and Qiao Zhibing, a Shanghai-based nightclub owner who decorates his establishments with works by Damien Hirst and Antony Gormley.
“The goal is to explore new markets,” said Marina Schiptjenko, director of Andréhn-Schiptjenko in Stockholm, which is exhibiting in Hong Kong for the first time. She added that the Art Basel name “guarantees quality” and was a major factor in convincing her to commit more than $90,000 to cover booth fees, transportation of the art, and travel expenses.
Artists are also making their first trip to the city. Brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman will attend their own exhibition at White Cube’s Hong Kong branch, where dioramas mixing Nazi soldiers and Ronald McDonald will be on display, and Berlin-based British artist Angela Bulloch will hold a solo show a few blocks away at Simon Lee Gallery.
“As artists, we’re hearing more about Hong Kong,” said Ms. Bulloch, whose “Short, Big, Yellow Drawing Machine” scribbles yellow ink on the wall in response to sound and will appear the fair. “When they asked me, I leapt at the chance.”
Basel organizers don’t track sales among exhibitors, but big spenders have come to Hong Kong in the past. At last year’s Art HK, gallery owner Pascal de Sarthe sold “No. 313,” a nearly 9-feet-tall oil painting by Chu Teh-Chun, for more than $3 million during the early hours of the fair.
As White Cube’s Asia director Graham Steele noted, however, Art Basel isn’t just about the art. “It’s parties, food, companionship,” he said. “This is a lifestyle for certain people.”
Hong Kong may have an edge on Switzerland on the cuisine front. “A lot of Asians come to Hong Kong because of the food,” Mr. Steele added. “They’re not so excited about restaurants in Basel.”
FINANCIAL CHRONICLE INDIA
Asian artists’ insights and discoveries to be unveiled at HK fair
May 19 2013
Art Basel, the famous art fair that attracts art lovers from all over the world is set to launch its first Asian event in Hong Kong in the coming week (May 23 and May 26). The art fair will present 245 galleries from around the world with half of the exhibitors coming from the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia and New Zealand. Art Basel Hong Kong 2013, offers four distinct sections to showcase four different moods. Titled Insights, Encounters, Discoveries and Galleries, the first three offer visitors a sense of anticipation and expectation, whereas the section on Galleries is a viewing of artworks of artists represented by various Asian galleries along with others across the globe offering works of Asian artist.
Among the well-known Indian galleries participating from Delhi are the Vadehras, Nature Morte and Delhi Art Gallery. From Mumbai, there are Sakshi Gallery, Chemould Prescott and The Guild. We can expect today’s better-known painters such as Anju and Atul Dodiya, Jagannath Panda and Zakkir Hussain to be seen in this circuit. What caught my eye was Delhi Gallery Exhibit 320’s presentation of some very interesting work by Nandan Ghiya, a Rajasthan-based self-taught artist.
The Encounters section curated by Yuko Hasegawa, chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, and Curator of the Sharjah Biennial 13 and promises to be exciting, with 17 ‘large-scale sculptural installations’ by leading artists from Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, China, Germany, Ireland, Italy and the UK. A variety of materials are used in these installations — traditional materials such as marble and bronze as well as wood and natural substances to highlight the need for conservation. Chinese artist Chen Zhen is one of these and will explore the earth’s physical forces in his natural media installation, Le Rit e Suspendue/Mouille, with disparate material including metal, plexiglass, water, earth, sand, found objects and pigment. There are other installations that might be very popular as the cry out for ‘audience participation’. Some of these major artworks are more than five metres in height and others may even stretch across more than 70 sq metres, on the two floors where they will be located.
Interesting installations include Japanese artist Takuma Uematesu’s agate set in shards of mirror to create chandeliers of reflections. Chinese artist Qin Chong’s 18 six-metre-high paper scrolls with paintings in soot is a giant installation. Perhaps the most unique one is Chinese artist Guan Huaibin’s somewhat eerie artwork, in which he creates a three-metre-high inflatable sculpture of a garden rock that expands and contracts to recreate the act of breathing.
What may be of particular interest to our Indian readers is that Berlin’s Arndt Gallery will present Circa 2011 by Indian artist Jitish Kallat (1974). The 120-part sculpture, which has been an on-going activity for the artist involves the painstaking recreation of ‘real bamboo scaffolding’, thus evoking what he calls ‘the transitory image of Mumbai as one sees it today: caught in a state of perennial (re)development’.
Peter Nagy of Gallery Nature Morte, was the very first from India to be invited to participate at the prestigious Art Basel in 2006. It was there that Nature Morte made one of the biggest sales at the fair, when Nagy sold Subodh Gupta’s acrylic on canvas for Rs 1.2 crore. This time, however, Gupta is being presented by Hauser and Wirth. As usual, we can expect that his tall creation of utensils moulded into an enormous vase-like structure with a long neck, will again attract plenty of attention.
(The writer is a winner of many advertising design awards and a painter of repute)
THE TIMES OF INDIA
Art Basel Hong Kong 2013
Uma Nair 12 May 2013, 07:31 PM IST
Four distinct divisions of exhibition ideations bring together a diverse reckoning in this year’s Art Basel Fair at Hong Kong (May 23-26, 2013). Galleries, Insights, Discoveries and Encounters promise to create more than a murmur of appreciation and candor.
Among galleries are Indian galleries of long standing repute and integrity-Chemould Prescott Mumbai, The Guild Mumbai, Vadehras Delhi, Sakshi Gallery Mumbai and Nature Morte.
At Hall 3, in Booth C24 Vadehras will showcase the best names in the Indian art circuit with the likes of works by Anju Dodiya , Atul Bhalla , Atul Dodiya , Faiza Butt, Jagannath Panda, Jitish Kallat, Juul Kraijer, Nalini Malani, Paribartana Mohanty, Shibu Natesan, Shilpa Gupta and Zakkir Hussain.
Interestingly two galleries that will showcase works by Indian artists will be Hauser and Wirth Switzerland and Arndt Berlin. Hauser and Wirth will showcase Subodh Gupta’s work and Arndt will showcase Jitish Kallat. Subodh Gupta’s untitled work with utensils moulded into a vessel with a long neck stand tall and draw eyeballs.
The second group called Insights has solo exhibitions and Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke will showcase the works of artist Manish Nai. Insights presents projects developed specifically for the Hong Kong show. These galleries must be based in Asia or the Asia-Pacific region – from Turkey to New Zealand, including Asia, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent – and exclusively present works by artists from that region. Solo shows, exceptional art-historical material, and thematic exhibitions of two or more artists are selected on the strength of the proposed project.
Discoveries gives a global platform to emerging contemporary artists from all over the world, showcasing work by the next generation of talent at an early stage in their career. Galleries present an exhibition of work by either one or two artists from their gallery program, preferably new and created specifically for the show. The prestigious Seven Art run by Aparajita Jain will showcase the works of artist Rajorshi Ghosh-while Bangalore’s Gallery SKE will present Mariam Suhall.
The fourth group Encounters is dedicated to presenting large-scale sculpture and installation works by leading artists from around the world, Encounters provides visitors with the opportunity to see works that transcend the traditional art fair stands. The sector presents these works in prominent locations throughout the exhibition halls. Encounters is curated by Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo and Curator of the recent Sharjah Biennial 11. The Indian gallery will be Project 88 who will present the Raqs Media Collective.
Among magazines of repute there will be Bhavna Kakar’s TAKE a magazine that portrays Indian contemporary art and its happenings at its zesty best.
Organisers are stating that this fair is very Asian; it had previously been criticised for neglecting its regional roots before its collector base was ready for the gloss (and prices) of the international art market. This year, organisers say that over 50% of galleries are from Asia and the Asia Pacific region—although this includes Western galleries that have set up shop in Asia, such as Gagosian and White Cube, both of whom recently opened in Hong Kong. But of the 171 galleries in the main section the percentage of Asian galleries has risen, from 40% last year to 43% in 2013, considerably higher than at other international fairs.
Atul Dhodiya, Churning
Atul Bhalla, Two chairs in Johannesberg
Zakkir Hussain Man with a Public Telephone
Paribartana Mohanty, Different Jobs (Two)
A Cafe at Thiruvannamalai
OCULA: INTERVIEW WITH ADRIAN WONG
Adrian Wong is an artist, born and raised in suburban Chicago, who left to pursue undergraduate studies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Wong completed his first Masters degree in developmental psychology, splitting his time between the Bay Area and Armenia, where he was studying the development of metacognitive awareness in residents of the orphanage system. Throughout his research, Wong used art as a means of establishing a rapport with subjects fuelled by his limited ability to converse in Armenian. “But at some point, — Wong notes, “I shifted my focus to my art practice and completed an MFA in sculpture in 2005.” Soon after that, he wound up serendipitously in Hong Kong on what was initially planned to be an extended vacation. In Wong’s words, “A three month trip became six months, six months became a year, and I’ve been here ever since.”
You live between Hong Kong and Los Angeles, where you also teach sculpture and theory at UCLA. Does this living ‘between’ affect your approach to your own practice both formally and conceptually? What sort of theory do you teach your students?
Being constantly in transit allows me to see both places with fresh eyes. Conceptually, this has been incredibly useful, and has helped me to develop several research based projects from, Orange Peel, Harbor Seal, Hyperreal, which focused on the architecture of Chinese diasporal communities in California, to my current project, Wun Dun which draws inspiration from “soy sauce Western” restaurants and cafés in the Pearl River Delta. Formally, it’s been somewhat difficult, simply due to the logistics of international freighting. It’s led me to rely on on-site fabrication and modular modes of construction to allow for easier shipping and install.
I teach a range of topics in my classes. Most recently we’ve been working through a great deal of material reassessing social practices and dialogical/relational aesthetics. I also like to integrate a fair amount of material from outside of the field of art, from social psychology to comparative literature to experimental cookbooks.
Your work is often irreverent – exploring the cultural dynamics of Hong Kong. Exhibitions such as A Fear is This (Fountain – Tuhng Ngoh Dei Wan) at 1a Space, exploring the ‘vivid’ anxieties of Hong Kongers; superstition, public health, the mainland threat. But you mediate these fears (or horrors) with humour at all times so as to temper and perhaps mediate the irrational aspects of urban life and the impact 21st century city living has on cultural identity. Why is this sense of play so important to you?
Play has always been important to my way of making, because it allows me to maintain a healthy dose of uncertainty in my practice. I find that when playing, I can surprise myself, while planning often leads to a different kind of decision-making. It’s the difference between digging for treasure and searching for Easter eggs. It’s my constant hope that viewers of my work can engage with the materials and ideas in an analogous way.
You are doing a project for Art Basel Hong Kong in May 2013 – the Absolut Art Bar, which has sponsored such artists as Los Carpinteros, who produced the Guïro at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2012, and Jeremy Shaw, who produced the Kirlian Bar at Art Basel 43 in 2012. Your bar will be staged in the basement of the Fringe Club from the 22nd to 25th May, during the inaugural edition of Art Basel Hong Kong. Can you describe the idea behind this project and what intentions you have for it as (quoting from the statement on the piece) a performative and participatory piece drawing inspiration from Hong Kong’s history?
The term Wun Dun comes from Taoist cosmology, and refers to the nebulous state of the primordial universe before the celestial and terrestrial realms were demarcated. Depending on which text / translation is used, it is referenced both objectively—as a “cosmic gourd”—and subjectively—as a deity who “looks like a yellow sack” with “six legs and no eyes,” partial to singing and dancing. As the previous two bars were designed with in-built references to critical theory, I found it particularly interesting that the Eastern concept of Wun Dun nicely parallels a range of Western analogues: George Bataille’s writings on the informe: “All of philosophy has no other goal [than to give the universe shape]…affirming that the universe resembles nothing and is only formless amounts to saying that the universe is something like a spider or spit;” Jacques Lacan’s Object Petit A, an object of desire which facilitates our participation in the symbolic order—the most significant being the phantasy of a coherent mirror-self; Julia Kristeva’s description of the processes of abjection as caused by the primal repression of “the archaism of pre-objectal relationship…the immemorial violence with which a body becomes separated from another body in order to be;” among others.
For the bar, my aim is to create a fantastical space, infused with the “feeling” of Hong Kong’s history, untethered from its “real” history. A city with a notorious poor record of historical preservation, modern Hong Kong is as close to a city built on a “feeling” as any other that I’ve ever visited. It is populated with simulated historical facades and materials, reproductions, and reproductions of reproductions. Essentially, I want to concentrate this “feeling” into the venue, which will be populated with iconic architectures, performers, animatronic lounge musicians, exotic sea creatures, and the smells—both metaphorical and physical—of my adopted home.
What cocktails have you designed and what performances can we look forward to?
I’ve designed four cocktails in collaboration with Andres Basile-Leon, each drawing from the flavor profiles of southern Chinese cuisine. For one of them, we worked very hard to infuse the flavor of roast duck into Absolut vodka to create an elixir that is closer to an old, complex whiskey than a traditional vodka cocktail. In another, we incorporated a rare monkey-picked oolong, which is married with egg white. It should be a very exciting and unusual menu.
Each of the nights that the bar will be open, we’ll have a series of live performances by operatic lounge singers, accompanied by six-limbed animatronic musicians from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM. Then from 11:00 PM to 2:00 AM, several invited musical guests will be performing, including electronic music pioneer Christiaan Virant and sound artist Alok Leung.
In terms of audience, the Absolut Art Bureau, which organises the Absolut Art Bar series has stated an interest in producing bars so as to create a space solely for the artists – how would you respond to this relationship between artists and alcohol…or artists and Absolut?
I like to think of Wun Dun as an art installation that happens to serve alcohol, rather than a bar that happens to have art in it. And I believe that my sentiment is in synch with the way that the Absolut Art Bureau has managed the project. The entire team has been incredibly generous and supportive of my ideas from the get-go, and set out very few restrictions on what I could realise for my version of the Art Bar. (My original idea was to take over a section of the Hong Kong Zoo and Botanical Gardens, possibly even encroaching on a section of the orangutan habitat. This was only set aside after every possible effort to secure the venue was made.)
I guess I see the intent of the Absolut Art Bar series as an initiative to produce “installations” more so than “bars,” and as a sculptor I find this incredibly exciting. It marks a shift from a historical focus on two-dimensional works to more immersive modes of making.
Aside from Art Basel Hong Kong (and the Fringe Club’s basement), what else would you recommend for visitors to the city during the art fair? What is it that makes Hong Kong, well, ‘Hong Kong’?
I’d strongly recommend taking an afternoon to get away from the island, to explore the incredible diversity of the rest of Hong Kong. Over the past few years, I’ve led a number of excursions to the outer reaches of the city—hikes with wild macaques on Monkey Mountain in the New Territories, dining at the Sai Kung Public Pier, squid fishing off the coast of Lantau, night-swimming on Lamma.
If you were to introduce Hong Kong to visitors in five words, what would they be?
Efficient, Anachronistic, Fast-moving, Slow-walking, Fragrant. – [O]
Adrian Wong was in conversation with Stephanie Bailey
Held from 21-25 May Art Basel HK comes two weeks after Frieze NY and will be followed by the Venice Biennale, with a week rest before Art Basel opens in Basel. It will be an exhausting month of art, and with more and more art fairs and events crowding the annual art calendar, galleries and dealers will increasingly have to become choosier over which fairs to attend. But the importance of having a reach beyond the West, and a presence in a rapidly growing Asian market — particularly for European galleries doing business in an increasingly fiscally austere environment– is not lost on many international galleries, with a number already opening branches in Hong Kong and investing in building an audience in the region. It will be the “strongest ever line up, anywhere in Asia to date”, says Asia Director Magnus Renfrew, “with works from emerging young artists to the modern masters of the early 20th and 21st centuries on show”. Demand for booths at the transformed Hong Kong fair has been great and countless galleries didn’t make the cut with the selection committee. The number of exhibitors has been whittled down from a total of 266 in 2012 to 245 this year, allowing for larger booths and larger works. It will be the “strongest ever line up, anywhere in Asia to date”, says Asia Director Magnus Renfrew, “with works from emerging young artists to the modern masters of the early 20th and 21st centuries on show”. Although the list of galleries reads like the Debrett’s of the art world — lots of familiar established blue chippers and important heavy hitters — there are also a few newcomers this year including Tina Keng gallery from Taipei, New York’s 303 and Peter Blum galleries, and Wentrup and Johnen Galerie from Berlin, OMR from Mexico and Nara Roesler from São Paulo. Like Art Basel Miami Beach, which emphasises galleries from the Americas, and Art Basel, which largely features European galleries, Art Basel HK will stay rooted in the region and maintain a distinctly Asian flavour. Asian galleries will make up 50% of the exhibitor line-up, and the fair will feature 28 galleries with exhibition spaces in Hong Kong, including Platform China, Blindspot Gallery, Gallery Exit, and Grotto Fine Art as well of course as Western galleries who have recently set up in HK. Art Basel Director, Marc Spiegler, stresses that, “The selection confirms Art Basel’s commitment to Asia. The Hong Kong fair will look very different to Art Basel Miami Beach and Art Basel,” a prospect that many are looking forward to and counting on. “It will be a refreshing treat to Art Basel followers worldwide!” states gallerist Katie de Tilly of 10 Chancery Lane Gallery. “There is such a small presence and understanding of Asian art in the Western art fairs.” The fair will be divided up into four sectors: Galleries, the main wheeling-and-dealing sector of the show with modern and contemporary galleries; Insights, which will present 47 galleries from Asia and Asia Pacific with specially developed curatorial projects; Discoveries, a showcase of solo or two-person exhibitions by emerging contemporary artists from around the world; and Encounters, a presentation of large-scale installation pieces from around the world, which will become a key feature of the fair. This year will include works galleries including ARNDT (Germany) who will present a 120 part sculpture by Jitish Kallat; Long March Gallery (Beijing), who will show a suspended sculpture by MadeIn Company; Edouard Malingue Gallery (HK) who will showcase a neon text installation by Laurent Grasso; and Kerlin Gallery (Dublin) who will showcase a new commission by British artist Liam Gillick. A parallel program of talks and panel discussions, long a feature of the Art Basel fairs, will also be presented in collaboration with Asia Art Archive (AAA); the Asia Society; and M+, Hong Kong’s future museum for visual culture, which is currently exhibiting an installation of monumental inflatables at the site of the future West Kowloon Cultural District promenade. Para/Site Art Space and Spring Workshop, will offer an associated program of events throughout Hong Kong that will take place during the week of the shows. Hong Kong Eye, a curated group show of contemporary Hong Kong art which opened earlier this month and debuted at the Saatchi gallery in December, will be showing at ArtisTree until the end of May. The Art Basel Program will also be supplemented by gallery tours hosted by the Hong Kong Art Gallery association; Fotan Studios, a complex of industrial buildings housing dozens of local artists’ studios; and the Hong Kong Museum of Art, which will be featuring an exhibition of Chinese contemporary art. Meanwhile, for an off the beaten track look at the Hong Kong creative community, check out Chai Wan Mei: Art and Design Weekend, which will take place in the industrial suburb of Chai Wan on 24-25 May. The weekend will consist of exhibitions, performances, pop-up installations, video screenings, design, fashion, and more. It will be an exciting year not only for many galleries exhibiting at a Hong Kong fair for the first time, but also for Hong Kong which has been itching for greater international cultural visibility. The Art Basel brand’s global reach and reputation will no doubt provide greater exposure for local artists and institutions. Many hope it will also kick-start this city’s cultural evolution, stepping in where Hong Kong’s politicians and wanna-be Medicis have failed to step up. “Art is becoming an international language and at this particular time we’re developing an artistic and cultural scene in Hong Kong,” says HK artist and architect, William Lim. “It’s a great opportunity and a great time.” [O] Ocula affiliate galleries participating at Art Basel Hong Kong 2013: 10 Chancery Lane Gallery 2P Contemporary Arario Gallery Arataniurano Ark Galerie ARNDT Beijing Commune Blindspot Gallery Boers-Li Gallery Chambers Fine Art Chemould Prescott Road Galleria Continua Hardrien de Montferrand Gallery de Sarthe Gallery The Drawing Room Eslite Gallery Exhibit320 Gallery Exit Gagosian Gallery Gajah Gallery Galerist Hakgojae Gallery Hanart TZ Gallery Taka Ishii Gallery Tomio Koyama Gallery Long March Space Magician Space Galerie Urs Meile Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke Mizuma Art Gallery Nanzuka Nature Morte Neon Parc Galeria OMR One and J. Gallery Ota Fine Arts Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Pékin Fine Arts Pi Artworks Platform China Project 88 Ryan Renshaw Gallery Galeria Nara Roesler SCAI The Bathhouse Schoeni Art Gallery Shanghai Gallery of Art ShanghART Misa Shin Gallery ShugoArts Gallery Side 2 Sprüth Magers Berlin London Starkwhite Gallery Take Ninagawa Tang Contemporary Art Dianne Tanzer Gallery + Projects Timothy Taylor Gallery The Guild Tolarno Galleries Volte Gallery White Cube Murray White Room White Space Beijing Gallery x-ist Leo Xu Projects Yamamoto Gendai