Review of Art Basel Hong Kong 2014, China

The 2nd edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong, open to the public from May 15 to 17, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The fair presents 245 leading established and emerging galleries from 39 countries and territories, presenting premier works ranging from the Modern period of the early 20th century to the most contemporary artists of today.

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.

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.

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 2014, 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 six sectors, 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 2014.

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.

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.

Paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, video and editioned works of the highest quality are exhibited. Through a program of discussions and presentations, the show also offers a platform for cross-cultural exchanges among artists, gallerists, curators, collectors and visitors.

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. Galleries, the main sector of the show, feature 171 Modern and contemporary art galleries, presenting the highest quality of painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, photography, video and editioned works.

Returning galleries was joined by 20 exhibitors who was new to the Art Basel show including: Anna Schwartz Gallery, Applicat-Prazan, Brame & Lorenceau, Galleria Franco Noero, Galerie Hubert Winter, Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Galerie Peter Kilchmann, gdm, Gerhardsen Gerner, Grieder Contemporary, Hammer Galleries, Mazzoleni Galleria D’Arte, Meessen De Clercq, Meyer Riegger, Michael Hoppen Gallery, Michael Lett, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Tokyo Gallery + BTAP, and Zach Feuer Gallery.

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.

Sited at the heart of both floor levels, Insights provide an in-depth overview on art from across the region with featured artists from Australia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, India, Iraq, Japan, Mainland China, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

Highlights from the Insights sector include: a presentation of Saudi Arabian artist Ahmed Mater by first-time participant Athr Gallery from Jeddah; a focus by Gallery Yamaki Fine Art, Kobe, on Tatsuo Kawaguchi, one of the most influential Japanese post-war conceptual artists; Koru Contemporary Art, Hong Kong, showing a selection of vintage photographs of Hong Kong by Brian Brake; Wei-Ling Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, presenting a gigantic canvas and participatory work by Choy Chun Wei; TKG+, Taipei, presenting Chia-En Jao; Jan Murphy Gallery, Queensland, showing Danie Mellor; and iPreciation, Singapore presenting Lee Wen.

The “Discoveries” sector, present a particularly strong showcase of emerging artists from around the world with solo and two-person exhibitions presented by 27 galleries, 11 of the participating galleries are new to the show.

Highlights include: 55, Shanghai, who give over their booth to Qingtai Hu, as a working studio; Hannah Barry Gallery, London, presenting mobile sculptures by James Capper, including a four-legged walking machine; and Take Ninagawa, Tokyo, presenting sculptural video installations by Taro Izumi.

The “Encounters” sector show artworks on an institutional scale, presenting large-scale sculptural and installation pieces, sited in prominent locations throughout the two exhibition halls. Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, return to curate the sector in 2014.

The “Film” sector, presents a dynamic program of art films that cover a wide range of thematic, stylistic and technical approaches to filmmaking. The screenings take place in the agnès b. CINEMA at the nearby Hong Kong Arts Centre.

The first edition of Art Basel’s Film sector in Hong Kong comprise a 3-day program. The program was presented by Beijing- and Zurich- based curator, multi-media artist and producer Li Zhenhua. Li is the founder and director of Beijing Art Lab, and a member of the international advisory board for the exhibition ‘Digital Revolution’ to be held at the Barbican Centre, London this year.

Art Conversations
Art Basel’s extensive talks program return to the show. Conversations, the long-established morning program of talks and panel discussions, supported by Absolut, offers audiences first-hand access to renowned cultural speakers and opinion-formers from across the international artworld.

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.

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