What To See At Next Month’s Art Basel Hong Kong
It’s a month until Art Basel Hong Kong, Asia’s largest art fair, returns to Hong Kong.
Haegue Yang Four Blazing Arrows – Trustworthy Off Horizons #172, 2012 © Kukje Gallery
Samson Young What The Lighthouses Taught Me, 2016 © Samson Young. Courtesy of the artist and Edouard Malingue Gallery
Michael Craig-Martin Untitled, 1998 © Michael Craig-Martin
Nobuyoshi Araki Satchin, (series) 1962–2000 © Nobuyoshi Araki, courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
Hema Upadhyay Angry Birds, 2013 © The artist and Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai
Now in its fifth year, the show promises to be “bigger and better than ever”, says Adeline Ooi, the fair’s young and dynamic director. “I know I say it every year, but it’s true,” she says at a preview event held by the fair’s long-running sponsor, Swiss bank UBS.
“There will be 242 galleries this year amid increasing competition for stands. The Hong Kong art scene continues to grow and flourish, and international galleries are bringing their best work out here. It shows that [as an art centre] we’re still young and nascent but don’t lack ambition.”
What is Malaysian-born Ooi looking forward to seeing the most?
“Look out for Taiwanese artist Joyce Ho, who is participating in the Encounters sector, to present a ‘hidden’ room at the fair,” she says. Ho’s installation will be placed in a secret dedicated space behind the main show floor. On the second day, Saturday, your three minutes (2017) by Ho serves to magnify the smaller rituals often neglected in our lives and to urge the viewer toward a reflection on the details of everyday life. The installation and performance work will be presented by TKG+.
Ooi is also looking forward to seeing House of Red Bamboo (2017) by Pakistani artist Rasheed Araeen, which will be premiered by Rossi & Rossi, also in Encounters. The scaffolding structure made of bamboo references the artist’s long-standing investigation into geometric and architectural structures as post-modernist representations of non-compositional forms, and metaphorically their reference to utopian ideologies following the Constructivist and De Stijl movements.
“There’s a new sector called Kabinett,” says Ooi. “Expect to see rare important historical works here.” Kabinett, a much-loved sector of Art Basel’s Miami Beach show, will make its Hong Kong debut in March 2017. The first edition of Kabinett at Art Basel’s Hong Kong show will include 19 carefully curated projects, Korean artist Kwon Young-Woo and Japanese artist Keiichi Tanaami and a rare exhibition of one of Italy’s leading abstract painters, Piero Dorazio.
“Last but not least, go and see Kingsley Ng’s tram project,” says Ooi. “It’s a beautiful portrait of Hong Kong through his transformation of two trams into moving camera obscuras. A tram is part of our daily life, it’s the oldest form of public transport.” Ng’s Twenty-Five Minutes Older will create an altered reality, allowing passengers to experience Hong Kong in a new way — in reverse. Moving images of Hong Kong’s city life will be accompanied by spoken extracts from Liu Yichang’s popular novella Tête-bêche. The project is free to the public and will be presented during the show.
Art Basel’s Hong Kong show, whose lead partner is UBS, takes place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 23–25 March 2017. UBS will provide a glimpse into its eclectic and wide-reaching art collection in its VIP lounge at the show.
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