“Asia’s premier art fair excels in scale, the number of exhibitors and many seductive attractions for curious locals, international art lovers and collectors, dealers and artists. Art Basel is a rare opportunity to… encourage spectators to compare the best art from the West and the East under one vast roof.” Bonnie Engel, South China Morning Post
About Art Basel in Hong Kong
Art Basel in Hong Kong 2017 is one of the largest international art fairs and is at the centre of Asia’s art scene. It attracts leading international galleries and collectors, offering them a premier platform to show works from across the globe. Underlining its commitment to the region, half of the participating galleries have exhibition spaces in Asia and Asia-Pacific and the show provides an in-depth overview of the region’s diversity through both historical material and cutting-edge works by established and emerging artists. Introducing visitors from all corners of the globe to some of the industry’s most important art, Art Basel has been connecting the world’s premier galleries and their patrons since 1970. “We are very certain that Art Basel is the biggest platform for the primary art market in Asia and the show attracts the most exciting artists, collectors, and visitors every year,” says Emily Chao, Director of Eslite Gallery in Taipei.
Staged annually in Basel, Hong Kong and Miami Beach, Art Basel has become an important focus for some of the world’s most influential modern and contemporary artists. But that’s not all: the annual show in Hong Kong, which is now in its fifth year, has been responsible for nurturing the careers of some of the industry’s most successful artists, and as a result it is often the first port of call for emerging talents to develop their knowledge of an industry that knows no boundaries. “We are thrilled about the fair this year as all the works on the booth have been sold,” notes Tina Keng, Executive Director of the Tina Keng Gallery in Taipei and Beijing’s 2016 event. “We brought younger artists like Peng Wei for the first time, which also received a great response. Apart from collectors from mainland China, Europe and Taiwan, buyers from the Philippines and Indonesia are particularly strong this year as well.” Art Basel has been a driving force in supporting the role that galleries play in nurturing artists and the development and promotion of the visual arts. Every Art Basel show is defined by its host city and incorporates a diverse range of private collections, art galleries, non-profit spaces and cultural events.
Highlights from 2016
Every year, the team at Art Basel in Hong Kong goes above and beyond to deliver an outstanding exhibition that has been designed not only to showcase the work of established artists, but also to highlight the work of an emerging generation of artists. It’s a unique presentation of the art scenes that are progressing throughout Asia and Asia-Pacific, showcasing their diversity and rapid development. The event in 2016 attracted over 70,000 visitors, among them directors, curators, trustees and patrons from over 100 leading international museums and institutions.
“Art Basel’s reputation as the world’s greatest art fair and Hong Kong’s fast-growing reputation as the cultural hub of the Asia-Pacific region gives Art Basel in Hong Kong the power and multi-faceted edge we look for on the circuit,” says John McCormack, Co-Director of Starkwhite, Auckland. “It performs perfectly as an art fair, but also opens up a space between the art museum and the art market where galleries can present exhibitions and projects that are aimed at curators and exhibition-makers as well as collectors. Under the new directorship of Adeline Ooi, Art Basel's Hong Kong show has lifted its game.”
The Discoveries sector provides an excellent global platform for emerging contemporary artists from all over the world, showcasing works by the next generation of talent at an early stage in their career. “We've sold works by both emerging artists of the gallery and historical material,” notes Trina Gordon, Director of Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York. “We are excited to have forged so many new relationships with important collectors in this region and look forward to continuing to focus on developing our presence here.” Of course, the medium itself is without boundaries, too, and visitors can also enjoy a number of film screenings at the event, adding to Art Basel’s broader appeal. Last year, visitors viewed The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg (2016), a film telling the unique story of how the life of a Swiss man, through chance circumstances, became entwined in the history of China after Mao’s death.
Other highlights at last year’s event included the Encounters sector, curated by Alexie Glass-Kantor, Executive Director of Artspace in Sydney, dedicated to presenting 16 large-scale sculpture and installation works by leading artists from around the world. Found in prominent locations throughout the exhibition halls, Encounters provided visitors with the opportunity to see works that transcended the traditional art fair stand. Whether protest banners condemning environmental destruction or intense tapestries and chandeliers, last year’s Encounters, by artists such as Charles Avery, Hans Berg, Isa Genzken and Chen Zhen, received outstanding recommendations and reviews.
Finally, Time Waterfall added to what was already an amazing Art Basel event. This large-scale light installation was the brilliant work of internationally acclaimed Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima. Shown at the city’s iconic 490 metre high International Commerce Centre, on the Kowloon harbour front, the spectacular installation of cascading numbers remained on display until the end of April 2016.
Art Basel Hong Kong 2017
This year’s Art Basel in Hong Kong is scheduled to take place between 23 and 25 March. The vast range of exhibition spaces will feature 242 premier galleries from 34 countries and territories, as well as a new curatorial sector, Kabinett, and will again attract some of the world’s most successful emerging and established artists. Revealing the region’s diversity through art, visitors can expect to gain a true insight into Asia’s historical and cultural background. Whether you’re a buyer, an art aficionado, or simply art-curious, Art Basel in Hong Kong is the mega-exhibition that will not disappoint.