Review of Art Basel Hong Kong 2018, China

The 6th edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong, open to the public from March 29 to 31, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The show features 248 leading international and regional galleries. The presentation artworks comprised precisely curated projects, ranging from thematic solo and group exhibitions to art-historical showcases and film.

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 2018, deliver an opportunity for art enthusiasts to come together, experience art, and exchange ideas.

Experience the incredible variety of Modern and contemporary art on view in the show’s five major sectors: Insights, Discoveries, Encounters, Kabinett, and Galleries. Dive into the Art Basel Stories for a more in-depth look at the show’s protagonists and highlights.

This year’s show welcomes 28 first-time participants including important galleries from the Americas and Europe, together with a younger generation from Asia and the Asia-Pacific.

This year, the show brought together a global mix of galleries spanning six continents, outstanding artworks by established and new artists from across the world, and a singular gathering of international collectors and institutions – many of whom were first-time visitors to the show. This exceptional setting allowed for many new discoveries, in-depth conversations between existing and new patrons, and enthusiasm about the interconnected art scenes across the world.

Among the new arrivals, 14 own exhibition spaces in Asia and Asia-Pacific region. They are: Asia Art Center with spaces in Taipei and Beijing; Capsule Shanghai, Don Gallery and MadeIn Gallery from Shanghai; Gallery Baton from Seoul; Gallery Espace from New Delhi; Gow Langsford Gallery from Auckland; Johyun Gallery with spaces in Busan and Seoul; Maho Kubota Gallery from Tokyo; Mori Yu Gallery with spaces in Kyoto and Tokyo; Öktem&Aykut from Istanbul; Tarq from Mumbai; and Wooson from Daegu.

Making a highly anticipated debut are 14 premier galleries from the Americas and Europe. Meanwhile, Hong Kong maintains a strong presence with 24 galleries having exhibition spaces across the city. And India displays high visibility with galleries across all sectors of the fair.

Beyond our halls is a fascinating program of art events presented by key cultural organisations in Hong Kong. M+ presents a solo exhibition by Hong Kong composer and sound-artist Samson Young; Asia Art Archive presents ‘Dossiers’, a project on artists’ writing from 20th Century South Asia, along with a parallel talk with renowned Baroda-based artist Nilima Sheikh; and Para Site hosts their annual brunch and a joint exhibition of Southeast-Asian artists titled ‘A Beast, a God and a Line’.

Galleries, the main sector of the show, present the highest quality of painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, photography, video and editioned works by 196 leading international galleries.

The show’s main sector, including: 1335Mabini, Sabrina Amrani, Artinformal, Carlos / Ishikawa, Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Ink Studio, Leeahn Gallery, Gallery Side 2 and This Is No Fantasy + dianne tanzer gallery.

Insights feature presentations by one or two artists with exceptional historical materials and strong thematic exhibitions by 28 galleries. This unique sector illustrates Asian art history by presenting works of important artists from Asia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Highlights in this sector include a historically significant exhibition by Asia Art Center featuring works by pioneers of Chinese Taiwan Modern art under the Cold War era, Chu Weibor and Fong Chung Ray. Entitled ‘Shattered Jade’, Bank showcase a project by Chinese artist Xu Bing that comprises pocketsize wood engravings made during the transition from the Cultural Revolution to the subsequent reforms.

Gow Langsford Gallery present a selection of significant post-war artworks by New Zealander Colin McCahon, who dedicated his lifelong artistic practice to exploring the concerns between land and spirituality, life and death, as well as the politics between the Maori natives and the Pakeha immigrants from the 1970s.

Representing prints of a different genre, Japanese artist Yurie Nagashima exhibit vintage photographs of her family members posing nude as an inquiry into her identity as a woman at Maho Kubota Gallery.

At Sakshi Gallery, ‘City – Fifth Investigation’ is a project by Indian artist Vivek Vilasini comprising 31 translucent rice paper sheets that were exposed to dust and atmospheric pollution in New Delhi, addressing climate change and the pollution our generation has caused.

A site-specific installation entitled ‘SKIN’ by Korean artist Anna Han includes a series of paintings and installations that explore the notion of time and space at Gallery Baton.

A solo exhibition of Chinese Taiwan artist Wu Chi-Tsung by Galerie du Monde exhibit two site-specific installations and a large cyano-collage painting specially created for the show.

Zilberman Gallery present Pakistani artist Aisha Khalid’s intricate Islamic geometric motifs that investigate themes of gender and domesticity in Pakistan.

Discoveries, focused on solo shows by emerging artists, this year feature 25 galleries. Highlights include Timur Si-Qin, whose virtual reality installation ‘Depolarization,’ presented by Société, beckons viewers into a simulated natural environment to pursue a spiritual relationship to matters such as truth, epistemology and climate change.

At mor charpentier, Colombian artist Carlos Motta’s sculptures and photographs confront our preconceived notions of the natural and the unnatural.

Hong Kong artist Morgan Wong transform A + Contemporary’s booth with a semantic-filled installation comprising of blinking neon text and absurdly proportioned cheaply-made gold-plated wristwatches, continuing his exploration into the irrepressibility of time.

At ROH Projects, Indonesian artist Faisal Habibi’ s work question the distinctions between sculpture, paintings and of art itself.

At Various Small Fires, American artist Jessie Homer French present paintings of Western flora and fauna embedded within an allegorical and agricultural context, which were inspired by the artist’s rural life.

Ali Kazim present an immersive installation inspired by his hometown of Lahore, resonating with the current political situation in Pakistan, presented by Jhaveri Contemporary.

Artist duo ‘Pors & Rao’ present a digital interactive booth at GALLERYSKE, continuing their survey on the autonomous side of human behavior.

The BMW Art Journey once more be awarded to an artist from this year’s Discoveries sector, works question the distinctions between sculpture, paintings and of art itself.

Several exhibitors also show work by their artists in Art Basel’s project-based sectors: Kabinett, dedicated to curated exhibitions within the galleries’ booths; Encounters, once more curated by Alexie Glass-Kantor, Executive Director of Artspace in Sydney; and Film, curated by Beijing and Zurich based curator, multi-media artist and producer Li Zhenhua.

Art Conversations
As Art Basel’s talk series that runs alongside the fair, Conversations is proud to present a strong line up of leading artworld figures to participate in a wide range of panels and discussions in Hong Kong. Curated by Stephanie Bailey, Hong Kong/London-based writer and editor, Conversations offers a platform for dialogues and discussions on topics concerning the global contemporary art scene.

This year’s program consists of 26 talks, addressing highly relevant industry topics such as the future of public and private collecting, alternative business models for younger galleries, current developments within the art market in Asia as well as gender politics in the arts. The program also feature prominent artists from across the world such as Sophia Al-Maria, Rasheed Araeen, Astha Butail, Samuel Fosso, Guerrilla Girls, Antony Gormley, He Xiangyu, Kim Yong-Ik, Yurie Nagashima, Gabriel Orozco, Lisa Reihana, Nilima Sheikh, Timur Si-Qin, Melati Suryodarmo, Charwei Tsai, Anton Vidokle, and Yu Hong.