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Art Basel in Hong Kong Celebrates the Best in Contemporary Art

By Matt Stewart | March 14, 2018 | Culture National

Art Basel in Hong Kong celebrates its sixth edition with an expanded list of galleries showcasing the best contemporary art in one of the world’s most dynamic and creative cities.


Plasm(o)void 13 (Uranium Germ), 2017 by Max Hooper Schneider for Monopol. High Art Gallery at the Discovery Sector. Courtesy of Max Hooper Schneider and High Art

Although Art Basel in Hong Kong is the youngest member of the Art Basel family, it has grown and matured over the last six years to become an annual ‘must’ for art collectors and connoisseurs from the Asian-Pacific region and around the globe. Last year’s fifth edition saw crowds soar to nearly 80,000 and reported robust sales including David Zwirner Gallery achieving $1.5 million each for two works by Luc Tuymans within the first hour of the fair. Stats like these have helped to further cement Art Basel in Hong Kong’s status as a major player in the art world and has created palpable excitement as it’s sixth edition opens on March 29th.


One Minute Sculpture: Organisation of Love, 2016 by Erwin Wurm. Lehmann Maupin Gallery at the Encounters Sector. Courtesy of Erwin Wurm and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

The record-breaking auction prices realized by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Leonardo Da Vinci cast a bold spotlight on the art market in the past year, setting high expectations that Art Basel in Hong Kong is prepared to deliver. “Art Basel's sixth edition in Hong Kong will feature 248 leading galleries from 32 countries, presenting work ranging from modern masterpieces to the most contemporary works by both established and emerging artists,” says Adeline Ooi, Director Asia for Art Basel. “28 galleries will participate for the first time, including a younger generation from the Asia-Pacific Region. We are excited that Iran will be represented for the first time ever in an Art Basel show with the participation of Dastan's Basement from Tehran in the Insights sector [presenting] works by Sam Samiee. We are also excited about the strong line up of galleries from India, which include first-time participants Gallery Espace from New Delhi with important mid-career artists Manjunath Kamath and Waswo X. Waswo, as well as Tarq from Mumbai, joining the Discoveries sector with intricate works by Vishwa Shroff.”


Untitled 2017 by Mika Ninagawa. Tomio Kayama Gallery at the Kabinett Sector. Courtesy of Mika Ninagawa and Tomio Koyama Gallery.

In addition to the impressive roster of galleries, the breadth and scope of art and artists at Art Basel in Hong Kong is also expanding with works that embrace new technologies and forms of expression. “I am excited to see how technology will open up new possibilities for artists, particularly in the realm of [Virtual Reality],” says Marc Spiegler, Global Director of Art Basel. “Projects that incorporate VR include an immersive installation by Timur Si-Qin presented by Société in the Discoveries sector and a piece by Yu Hong presented by Long March Space in the Kabinett sector.”


Left: Adeline Ooi, Director Asia, Art Basel. Courtesy of Art Basel
Right: Marc Spiegler, Global Director, Art Basel. Courtesy of Art Basel

Events taking place outside the Convention & Exhibition Centre will once again lend to Art Basel in Hong Kong’s overall allure. “H Queen’s, a state-of-the-art building built specifically to promote the arts in the city, will welcome several new galleries including David Zwirner, Hauser & Wirth, Pace and Pearl Lam Galleries, who all participate in our show,” Ooi shares. “Additionally, Hong Kong’s museums and cultural institutions such as Asia Art Archive (AAA), Para Site, Hong Kong Arts Centre and 1a space will open their best exhibitions of the year timed with the fair and there are also the non-profit spaces Asia Society, CHAT (previously Mill6), Videotage, as well as the Cattle Depot Artist Village in Kowloon. Nearby Shenzhen, named a ‘City of Design’ in 2008 by UNESCO, is developing major arts spaces including OCT Lofts, OCAT, He Xiangning Museum, Shenzhen Museum and Guanshanyue Museum, [further] reinforcing Hong Kong’s position as a global art hub.”

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