Widewalls has been covering Art Basel Hong Kong for three years now. We wrote about Art Basel Hong Kong 2014 and the preview of the Art Basel Hong Kong 2015. In 2016, we celebrate the fourth edition of Art Basel Hong Kong. As Widewalls has grown, so it’s Art Basel Hong Kong; this edition of the worldwide famous art event is probably the biggest art fair in Asia. The Hong Kong show of Art Basel, whose Lead Partner is UBS, will feature 239 premier galleries from 35 countries and territories, presenting works of the highest quality that range from the Modern period of the early 20th century to the most contemporary artists of today. Once again, Art Basel will be a showcase for art from the region of Asia and Asia-Pacific, where half of its galleries have exhibition spaces. Art Basel Hong Kong 2016 features a particularly strong representation of galleries with exhibition spaces in Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, in addition to those with spaces in Hong Kong and Mainland China. The participating galleries have exhibition spaces in: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mainland China, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. Finally, the art fair has the very rich supporting program.
Galleries is the main section of the art fair. It will feature 187 Modern and contemporary art galleries, presenting the highest quality of painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, photography, video and editioned works. Exhibitors returning after a brief hiatus include Marianne Boesky Gallery (New York) and Applicat-Prazan (Paris) while many Asian galleries have moved from other sectors of the show into Galleries, where they will present a wider range of their gallery programs. These galleries are: Athr (Jeddah), Blindspot Gallery (Hong Kong), Chambers Fine Art (Beijing, New York), Galerie Ora-Ora (Hong Kong), Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde (Dubai, Brussels), Nanzuka (Tokyo), Nature Morte (New Delhi), Project Fulfill Art Space (Taipei), Taro Nasu (Tokyo), TKG+ (Taipei, Beijing), Yavuz Gallery (Singapore) and Yumiko Chiba Associates (Tokyo). Francesca Minini (Milan) and Galeria Plan B (Cluj, Berlin) are also showing for the first time in the Galleries sector.
It’s very difficult to mention one gallery that participates at Art Basel Hong Kong 2016, and not to mention another one; all of them are presenting amazing artists and artowrks. We will highlight those galleries whose work we regularly follow. A number of the most recognized Asian galleries will participate at Art Basel Hong Kong 2016: 10 Chancery Lane Gallery from Hong Kong, Arario Gallery from Seoul, Blindspot Gallery from Hong Kong, Chambers Fine Art from Beijing, Chemould Prescott Road from Mumbai, Yumiko Chiba Associates from Tokyo, James Cohan Gallery from Shanghai, de Sarthe Gallery from Beijing, Gallery Exit from Hong Kong, Grotto Fine Art from Hong Kong, Hakgojae Gallery from Seoul, Taka Ishii Gallery from Tokyo, Tomio Koyama Gallery from Tokyo, Kukje Gallery from Seoul, Pearl Lam Galleries from Shanghai, Simon Lee Gallery from Hong Kong, Long March Space from Beijing, Magician Space from Beijing, Edouard Malingue Gallery from Hong Kong, Galerie Urs Meile from Beijing, Mizuma Art Gallery from Tokyo, Nature Morte Gallery from New Delhi, Anna Ning Fine Art from Hong Kong, Galerie Ora-Ora from Hong Kong, PKM Gallery from Seoul, Platform China from Beijing, SCAI The Bathhouse from Tokyo, ShugoArts from Tokyo, Take Ninagawa from Tokyo, Tang Contemporary Art, White Space from Beijing, Yamamoto Gendai from Tokyo, and many more.
In addition, there will be dozens of most renowned galleries from around the world. Let us just mention: Acquavella Galleries, Hauser & Wirth, Gagosian Gallery, Jensen Gallery from Sydney, David Kordansky Gallery from Los Angeles, Dominique Lévy Gallery, Lisson Gallery, Mai 36 Galerie from Zurich, Marlborough Fine Art from London, PACE Gallery, Pace Prints, Peres Projects from Berlin, Galerie Perrotin, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac from Paris, White Cube, David Zwirner and many more.
The Insights sector will be dedicated to curatorial projects by 28 galleries with spaces in Asia and the Asia-Pacific region and will feature solo shows, exceptional historical material, and strong thematic group exhibitions. This year’s edition features a particularly strong presentation of Modern work, with around half of the galleries presenting material from this period. This year’s Insights will provide a particularly diverse and in-depth overview of art from across the region with featured artists from Australia, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Japan, Mainland China, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Turkey. Highlights include eight large photographic works by Michael Cook, forming a panoramic narrative reflecting on colonial histories and drawing on the artist’s Bidjara heritage, presented by This Is No Fantasy + dianne tanzer gallery (Melbourne); Antenna Space (Shanghai) presents sculpture by artists Guan Xiao and Yu Honglei, each responding to themes of ‘postproduction’ and ‘reproduction’; a new body of work by Stella Zhang, a continuation of her existing series 0-Viewpoint and comprising sculptural paintings and an installation, brought to Art Basel by Galerie du Monde (Hong Kong); experimental ink work by Li Huasheng, presented by Ink Studio (Beijing); ceramic sculptures by Kimiyo Mishima, many of which will not have previously been seen outside of Japan, brought by MEM (Tokyo); performative video work by Tadasu Takamine, an artist whose work draws attention to the societal effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, presented by Arataniurano (Tokyo); and, brought by Pi Artworks (Istanbul, London), new sculptures by Tayeba Begum Lipi, reflecting on her childhood, accompanied by video and audio work.
The Discoveries sector will present its strongest showcase of emerging artists so far with solo- and two-person exhibitions presented by 24 galleries. For this year’s edition, five of the galleries will be completely new to the show while another six return after a brief hiatus. Highlights of the sector include intricate ink drawings by Pakistani artist Waqas Khan, presented by Sabrina Amrani (Madrid); Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi (Berlin) showing parts of Wu Tsang’s new body of work Duilan, exploring the close female relationship between revolutionary poet Qin Jin and calligrapher Wu Zhiying; an installation by Jess Johnson presented by Darren Knight Gallery (Sydney) which will comprise 13 works on paper and one video work overlaid on a wall covered with wallpaper designed by the artist; Gallery Side 2’s (Tokyo) installation of work by Yusuke Saito, an artist usually known for his sculptures of food, who will be presenting boxed collages and resin sculptures surrounding ideas of digestion; Experimenter (Kolkata) offers a joint installation of work by Ayesha Sultana and Rathin Barman who will share the theme Sculpting in Time; a focus on the abstraction located at the heart of today’s industry and society, featuring work by Sean Raspet and Ned Vena, presented by Société (Berlin); and Joel Kyack’s sculptural installation presented by Workplace Gallery (Gateshead, London), which will explore the conflicts and parallels between intense consumerism, cultural conditions and the historical conditions of Hong Kong.
The Encounters sector will show artworks on an institutional scale, presenting large-scale sculptural installation pieces and performances, sited in prominent locations throughout the two exhibition halls. Alexie Glass-Kantor, Executive Director of the contemporary art institution Artspace in Sydney, will return for this edition to curate the sector for the second time.
The popular Film sector will return this year, and will once again be curated by Beijing- and Zurich-based curator, multi-media artist, and producer Li Zhenhua. The program will be presented in collaboration with the Hong Kong Arts Centre adjacent to the HKCEC. The program will also be expanded to include feature-length and documentary films, with screenings taking place at the HKCEC for the first time.
Conversations, the long-established morning program of talks and panel discussions offers audiences first-hand access to renowned cultural speakers and opinion-formers from across the international art world. Complementing the Conversations program, the afternoon Salon series serves as a platform for shorter, more freestyle presentations, including artist talks, panel discussions, lectures and book launches.
Art Basel in Hong Kong will be open to the public from Thursday, March 24 to Saturday, March 26, 2016, and will take place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Preview (by invitation only) will take place on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 3pm to 8pm and Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 1pm to 5pm. The Vernissage is scheduled for Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 5pm to 9pm. More information you can find on the official website of the art fair.
Featured Image: Fang Lu - Sea of Silence, 2015, 29', Boers-Li Gallery. All Images courtesy of Art Basel.