Art Basel Hong Kong 2019 takes place from 29 to 31 March at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and is a major part of Hong Kong Art Month, which sees art lovers from around the world converging on Hong Kong to celebrate and create art and culture at venues across the region.
Art Basel showcases the work of upcoming and established artists from around the world, with particular emphasis on galleries with spaces in Asia and Asia-Pacific; around half of participating galleries are from these regions. 'Especially for many art collectors, this is the ultimate destination and apex for the Greater China region’s art journey’ says Sonia Xie of The Art Newspaper China about Art Basel HK.
This article is a guide to Art Basel Hong Kong focusing on artists at the fair whose work can be found on the Sedition platform. If you’re visiting, be sure to look for these artists and explore their digital artworks alongside for an added perspective on their practice.
The Discoveries section of Art Basel presents innovative and challenging work by exciting up-and-coming artists. This year, some of the spotlight is on Lu Yang and her works Delusional Mandala and Delusional Crime and Punishment. Represented by Berlin’s Société gallery, Yang’s video works articulate media saturation, reference gaming and Buddhism, and create avatar characters whose identity is part artist autobiography, part critique of global capitalism.
Death and rebirth, deletion and regeneration recur in Yang’s work. All can be recorded and managed; at the same time all are inexplicable, overwhelming and cannot really be planned for. Yang’s vivid, high-energy works play with these cycles, exploring existence and identity formation as a continuous process of fragmentation and amalgamation - an ongoing fusion of digital and analogue.
Lu Yang. Photo by Ren Anyi for Art Basel
‘I think artists throughout history have used their own image so they can mutilate it without guilt. One aspect of Buddhism is to understand that you’re eventually going to die, so you need to process that death. Once you have done that, you can give up the “me” or the “I” idea and move forward.’
Detail from Still Point of the Spinning World by Gordon Cheung
Elsewhere at the HKCEC at Booth 1B35, Alan Cristea Gallery presents works by a number of represented artists including Gordon Cheung, Michael Craig-Martin, David Hockney and Bridget Riley among others as part of the Galleries strand of Art Basel. Cheung is showing a number of his paintings which layer paint, newspaper, collage and references from popular culture and finance. His works at Art Basel include Still Point of Spinning World (study), Roof of the World (study) and Staring at the Sun (study). Also represented by Alan Cristea at the fair is Yinka Shonibare CBE, whose work is showcased in a specially curated display as part of the Kabinett section. Other artists to look out for at Kabinett include Lee Bul (represented by Lehmann Maupin) and Joan Miró, represented by Galerie Lelong & Co.
Kwan Sheung Chi - Pocketbook of Sea, 2008
Meanwhile, Kwan Sheung Chi is among artists exhibiting at booth 3C07 represented by Edouard Malingue Gallery. Kwan’s work often examines the cultural, political and financial dynamics of Hong Kong. At Art Basel he presents Pocketbook of Sea, a 2008 video work which critically reflects on the allocation and construction of public and private spaces, and the link between space and political freedom, in Hong Kong. Also exhibiting at Edouard Malingue are Samson Young, Su-Mei Tse, and Zheng Zhou among others.
Elmgreen and Dragset, City in the Sky, 2019.
The Encounters section, curated by Alexie Glass-Kantor of Artspace in Sydney, follows the theme Still We Rise and features twelve large-scale installations of which eight have their premieres at the fair. The theme explores the power, strength and renewal that can be found in vulnerability and fragility. Artists presenting installations include Lee Bul, Zhou Zhou, Gerasimos Floratos, Pinaree Sanpitak, and Elmgreen & Dragset. The latter are represented by Kukje Gallery, Massimo De Carlo and Perrotin and present City In The Sky, an inverted cityscape echoing that of Hong Kong, of which visitors have an upside-down ‘birds-eye-view’. City in the Sky was newly commissioned for Art Basel Hong Kong.
M+ Live Art: Miraculous Trajectories
In a screening co-presented by Art Basel and M+, the new museum of visual set to open in the West Kowloon Cultural District in 2019, Cheng Ran presents Miraculous Trajectories, a seventy minute film based on Cheng’s nine-hour 2015 work In Course of the Miraculous. The screening takes place on 29 March at 6pm and is introduced by Cheng Ran, Shao Yanpeng and Chanel Kong.
Art Basel Hong Kong is at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong from 29-31 March.
Top image: Delusional Crime and Punishment, Lu Yang, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Société Gallery, Berlin.