Review of Art Basel Hong Kong 2013, China

The inaugural of Art Basel in Hong Kong, open to the public from May 23 to 26, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The fair presents 245 leading established and emerging gallerie from 35 countries and territories, include 26 galleries from Hong Kong, presenting premier works ranging from the Modern period of the early 20th century to the most contemporary artists of today. The fair was attended by over 60,000 people, including prominent collectors.

Art Basel stages the world’s premier art shows for Modern and contemporary works, sited in Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in its participating galleries, artworks presented, and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions for each edition. In addition to ambitious stands featuring leading galleries from around the globe, each show’s singular exhibition sectors spotlight the latest developments in the visual arts, offering visitors new ideas, new inspiration and new contacts in the art world.

Art Basel has been a driving force in supporting the role that galleries play in the nurturing of artists, and the development and promotion of visual arts. The presentation artworks comprised precisely curated projects, ranging from thematic solo and group exhibitions to art-historical showcases and film.

Art Basel presenting an in-depth overview of art from Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, where half of the participating galleries coming from Asia and Asia-Pacific, Art Basel in Hong Kong assumes a significant role in the international art world, providing a platform fo Asian talents.

Art Basel Hong Kong
The show in Hong Kong not only provides a portal to the region’s artists, but also offers galleries from around the world a platform for bringing their highest quality work to Asia. The show also gives galleries from around the world a platform in Asia to demonstrate the way they work with artists, and bring their highest quality work to Hong Kong.

There’s no question today’s serious international collector is looking at Asia, and Asian collectors are looking beyond borders, too. Art Basel is a global franchise of art trade shows, encompassing Europe, North America, and now in Asia.

In 2013, Hong Kong art scene was still at a relatively early stage of development, to become a global player in the arts. Art Basel giving international credibility and exposure to local artists, galleries and the city itself, a platform to help Hong Kong build an art capital.

This year is the first time that Hong Kong has hosted an international art event. There are still shortcomings in some details. For example, the backstage personnel seem to hesitate and confused, and have a short-term discomfort in the process of integrating with international standards. With the helps and guiding role of Art Basel to play an international professional art platform. Professionals have played a good role in helping local activities quickly integrate with international standards.

Hong Kong is the perfect location for art fair is due to its surrounding art scene, its supportive art community, and its position as a leading art market in Asia. With Hong Kong Art Basel’s 2013, deliver an opportunity for art enthusiasts to come together, experience art, and exchange ideas.

In Hong Kong, the growth of the fair under the management of Art Basel, has blossomed in a symbiotic relationship with the rapid rise of the art market in the region, and the lightning increase in the number of important galleries establishing themselves in Hong Kong. The fair and Hong Kong’s art scene are certainly gaining momentum, a significant sales with a strong response from Asian collectors.

The show is divided into four main categories: Galleries, Insights, Discoveries and Encounters, exhibiting an outstanding selection of artworks including the work of proven masters and new artists. Furthermore, additional exhibitions and events are timed to coincide with Art Basel’s Hong Kong debut in 2013.

A 21st century metropolis, Hong Kong ranks among the world’s most dynamic international capitals. During Art Basel, collaborations with local and international partners ensure a diverse range of arts programming, with hundreds of cultural events hosted across the city throughout the week.

Highlights
Art Basel’s exhibition sectors are carefully defined to provide visitors the opportunity to see many different types of important works, from historical masterpieces to the work of the newest generation of artists. Art Basel underlines its commitment to showcasing the best art from the region, also offers a platform for cross-cultural exchanges among artists, gallerists, curators, collectors and visitors.

Art Basel Hong Kong introducing from emerging talents to the Modern masters, the fair traced 12 decades of art history across four sectors: Galleries, Insights, Discoveries and Encounters. Displaying museum-caliber paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photography, film, video and digital artworks from the 20th and 21st centuries, the four sectors allowed for a wide-ranging exploration of the many dimensions of Modern and contemporary art.

The “Galleries” sector, main exhibition sector of Art Basel, where leading galleries for Modern and contemporary art from Asia and around the world display artworks from 20th and 21st century. This sector present 171 Modern and contemporary art galleries, selected on the strength of their overall gallery program. The sector presents the highest-quality paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, video and editioned works from both the 20th and 21st centuries. The Galleries sector feature a strong presence by Modern art galleries from Asia and the West. Significant work from the past 100 years was featured, providing an opportunity for visitors to discover and explore contemporary and historical art from different regions, cultures and aesthetic backgrounds.

Within this sector, galleries from across Asia are joined by leading galleries from Europe and the United States to present their rich and diverse exhibition programs. Exhibitors coming for the first time to Hong Kong from the West include 303 Gallery, New York; Ameringer McEnery Yohe, New York; Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm; Cecilia de Torres, Ltd., New York; Dirimart, Istanbul; Dominique Levy Gallery, New York; Galerie OMR, Mexico City; Galeria Pedro Cera, Lisbon; Johnen Galerie, Berlin; Mayoral Galeria D’Art, Barcelona; Peter Blum Gallery, New York; and Wentrup, Berlin.

The “Insights” sector, presents precisely curated projects focused on 47 galleries and artists from Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. The projects featured in this sector may include solo shows, exceptional art-historical material and strong thematic group exhibitions.

This sector is conceived to promote a curatorial mindset and encourage precise contextual and thematic presentations of many important artists from the art scene in Asia over the last 100 years. Presenting a mix of solo shows, exceptional historical material, and strong thematic group exhibitions, Insights was a destination for visitors eager to learn more about art from across the Asia and Asia-Pacific regions, diverse histories, ideas and aesthetics.

The Insights sector feature strong representation from Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Japan, alongside galleries from India, Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Turkey, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai). Highlights include presentations by Galeri Canna, Jakarta (Entang Wiharso); Magician Space, Beijing (Guan Yong, Jiang Zhi, Liu Zhuoquan, Zhuang Hui and Dan’er); Neon Parc, Melbourne (Katherine Huang); Tolarno, Melbourne (Martin Bell and Brendan Huntley); and Xin Dong Cheng Gallery, Beijing (Wang Gongxin and Li Yongbin). Hong Kong was represented by Blindspot Gallery (Stanley Wong), Feast projects (T’ang Haywen), Galerie Ora-Ora (Halley Cheng) and Schoeni Art Gallery (Hung Keung). The sector introduces 10 galleries new to Hong Kong, including two each from Indonesia, China and Japan.

The “Discoveries” sector, present a particularly strong showcase of solo and twoperson exhibitions by emerging contemporary artists from across the world with an accompanying 25,000 USD Discoveries prize, which was awarded to one artist presented within this sector.

The 27 participating galleries include Karma International,Zurich (Thomas Sauter); Mendes Wood, São Paulo (Lucas Arruda); mother’s tankstation,Dublin (Brendan Earley); Paradise Row,London (Shezad Dawood) ;Take Ninagawa,Tokyo (Ryoko Aoki); Weingrull, Karlsruhe (Benjamin Appel); Galerie du Monde, Hong Kong (Lam Tung Pang); and 2P Contemporary Art Gallery, Hong Kong (Tang Kwok Hin).

Discoveries feature 14 galleries exhibiting for the first time in Hong Kong: BolteLang, Zurich (Benjamin Senior); Balice Hertling, Paris (Alexander May); Galleria S.A.L.E.S, Rome (Avish Khebrehzadeh); Lisa Cooley, New York (Erin Shireff); Monitor, Rome (Adam Avikainen); Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London (Francesca DiMattio); Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam (Nina Yuen); Kalfayan, Athens (Hrair Sarkissian); Galeria Plan B, Cluj (Navid Nuur); RaebervonStenglin, Zurich (David Keating); Galleryske, Bangalore (Mariam Suhail); Utopian Slumps, Melbourne (Sanne Mestrom); Workplace Gallery, Tyne & Wear (Marcus Coates); and Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai (Wei Chen).

The “Encounters” sector, provide visitors with the opportunity to see artworks on an institutional scale, presenting large-scale sculptural and installation pieces by leading artists from around the world, sited in prominent locations throughout the two exhibition halls. Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo and curator of Sharjah Biennial 11, curate the sector in 2013.

Art events
Art Basel was working closely with key cultural organizations across the city, including Asia Art Archive (AAA); the Asia Society; M+, Hong Kong’s future museum for visual culture; Para/Site Art Space and Spring Workshop, offering events throughout Hong Kong that take place during the week of the shows.

Art fever hit the entire city by storm, with a large number of outside events, exhibitions and shows concurrently taking place during what is informally known as Hong Kong Art Week. The ‘Chai Wan Mei: Art & Design Weekend’ featured open studios showcasing the best of the Chai Wan creative community, an important district within the Hong Kong arts scene. The Goethe-Institut Hongkong presented a survey of the city’s uninhabited spaces in a solo exhibition from Hong Kong-based artist João Vasco Paiva entitled ‘Objects Encrypted’. And then there was the widely talked about ‘Mobile M+: Inflation!’ outdoor exhibit at the site of the planned M+Museum in the West Kowloon Cultural District, that playfully introduced contemporary art into the public sphere through gigantic inflatable sculptures.

In addition to these, the fair’s ‘Conversations and Salon’ series offered a stimulating program of presentations, lectures and panel discussions by a range of speakers, allowing audiences to deepen their knowledge of artistic practice, the international art world and the art market.

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