The venue to host this much anticipated fair is the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, where established and emerging artists will unveil mesmerizing artworks to showcase the intercultural exchange between the Orient and the Occident. Roaming about through this impressive artistic labyrinth, visitors will undergo a captivating experience that will arouse their senses.
Art Basel Hong Kong has disclosed its gallery array for this years 5th edition, counting 241 participants with 29 newcomers, including Imura Art Gallery from Kyoto, Mor Charpentier from Paris, Aicon Gallery and Athena Contemporânea from Brazil. The fair will comprise traditional sectors like Discoveries, propelling emerging artists, and Encounters, consecrated to large-scale pieces. The novelty will be the Kabinett with mini-exhibitions in the booths of the exhibiting galleries. Art Basel Hong Kong will permanently set itself up as a yearly stimulus with artistic platforms displaying the steady and joint endeavours of talented artists.
Galleries, the most significant section, will count 190 galleries dedicated to modern and contemporary art that will exhibit paintings, sculptures, installations, photos, films and digital art from the 20th and 21st centuries. Expect names like Antenna Space, Experimenter and Liang Gallery who have qualified for the Galleries – after a minimal three-year operation – as well as the likes of Karma International and Timothy Taylor, who are said to back after a brief interruption. You will also see the Third Line and Waddington Custot, who are first-time exhibitors.
Edouard Malingue Gallery will be a reference point in the Galleries and Encounters section this 2017 edition, with works by Cho Yong-Ik (b. 1934), Laurent Grasso (b. 1972), Eric Baudart (b. 1972), Su-Mei Tse (b. 1973) and Fabien Mérelle (b. 1981). Wang Wei will complement Edouard Malingue Gallery’s booth display in the Encounters sector. The artist will render nature in a simple and pure form conceiving windows to scrutinize other valences of meaning. He questions the genuineness of the natural shapes and constructively incorporates spaces and visual elements in a process of built-in interaction. Tackling the concept of mental modification, Laurent Grasso conceptualizes reality by exploring history, mythology, science and supernatural phenomena to create a research-based epic demarcating the actual and the impossible. Grasso will also explain concepts of time and place swinging between temporality and spatiality.
Insights section will consist of 27 galleries from Asia and Asia-Pacific region (from Turkey to New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent) including solo or thematic exhibitions as well as curatorial projects. Eight of them are newcomers like Aicon Gallery, C-Space, Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Imura art gallery, Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery, Mind Set Art Center, Sundaram Tagore Gallery and The Third Gallery Aya. Aicon Gallery will be representative within the Insights sector featuring Salman Toor, a talented artist born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1983. Living and working in Brooklyn, New York, Toor had his Masters of Fine Art at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in 2009 and several solo exhibitions in the U.S.A and Pakistan. His artwork reflects both the nineteenth century-style painting and abstractionism by using design and visual elements from Eastern and Western pop culture.
Discoveries section will allocate an influential platform for emerging artists with solo and two-person exhibitions. This sector will highlight the talent of the next generation of artists at the beginning of their career. Among the attending galleries, 12 will be first participants in the fair like A+ Contemporary, Athena Contemporânea, Bank, Thomas Brambilla, Clearing, Dittrich & Schlechtriem, High Art, Jhaveri Contemporary, Project Native Informant, etc.
Kabinett section will be new in the Hong Kong show presenting curated projects in a separately delimited space area within their booths. This inaugural curatorial concept that offers thematic solo or group exhibitions, installations, film or video programs as well as historical presentations, is a starting ramp for promoting the participating galleries and impels artists to give free rein to their imagination.
Encounters section will display 17 large-scale sculptural installations and sculptures of leading contemporary artists considered to “transcend the traditional art fair booth.” This year’s themes will exploit time, space and meaning. The section will showcase works of reputable artists like Pio Abad, Rasheed Araeen, Katharina Grosse, Gonkar Gyatso, Joyce Ho, Waqas Khan, Kimsooja, Alicja Kwade, Sanné Mestrom, Michael Parekowhai, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Wang Wei, etc. Gabriel Barredo (b. 1957) will be another eccentric artist to have initiated kinetic sculptures. His work is designed to generate total opuses that he conceives after an intense work of bricolage, sketching, and painting, lifting his sculptures to theatrical lengths, interactive for the viewer. He will feature both large and small pieces from simple drawings to narratives associated with sound and light.
Film section will offer projections of short and feature-length films dedicated or created by artists at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre or the Hong Kong Arts Centre. Moreover, the film sector will exhibit Abigail Reynolds’ film that explores the lost libraries along the Silk Road and whose work was awarded the BMW Art Journey in 2016.
Conversations and Salon will provide challenging programs and talk shows to enhance the audience’s artistic knowledge about international art. The Conversations will reveal the conceptions of world artists, collectors and critics regarding creating, collecting and displaying art pieces. Salon will function as a platform for short, informal presentations, talks, performances, lectures where different speakers will expose their personal perspectives upon the art world.
Art Basel Hong Kong has developed tight cultural relationships with organizations like Asia Art Archive, the Asia Society, Spring Workshop, Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong Arts Center and M+ to present creative shows. Hong Kong Art Gallery Week, Gallery Night and HKU, local and international cultural groups, have also an extensive collaboration with Art Basel.
Art Basel’s main partner is UBS which is also actively involved in innovative art projects such as Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. For sponsors: Davidoff, Audemars Piguet and NetJets are the Associate Partners; Ruinart is the a Lounge Host; BMW is the Official Automotive Partner; Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong as the Official Hotel Partner; Swiss International Airlines as Official Carrier and of course The Financial Times as main Media Partner.
Art Basel Hong Kong is the essential artistry pillar of Asia’s contemporary art scene whose creativity, innovation and values inspire a new audacious experience. It has become an incontestable driving force with an incredible potential that nurtures and supports the art world offering platforms where artists, collectors and museum directors have prolific debates to exchange ideas. If Hong Kong perpetually enchants visitors with its exclusive background, then Art Basel fascinates them with inestimable masterpieces as an active cultural custodian of international artwork.