The sixth edition of Art Basel’s show in Hong Kong, brought together a uniquely 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 with existing and new patrons and enthusiasm about the interconnected art scenes across the world, resulting in galleries reporting strong sales at all levels of the market and throughout the duration of the fair. The show’s success is a true testament to the efforts exhibitors put into their presentations and their trust in an ever-more diversifying and strengthening Asian market.
During the five show days, private collectors as well as representatives from over 100 leading international museums and institutions attended the show. With numerous gallery openings and a greatly expanded program of well-attended parallel events taking place throughout the city, the Art Basel week once more directed an international spotlight onto Hong Kong’s vibrant art scene.
The 2018 edition featured 248 premier galleries from 32 countries and territories, with 28 galleries participating in the show for the first time, including: 47 Canal, Miguel Abreu Gallery, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, The Modern Institute, Barbara Wien, Dastan’s Basement, Don Gallery and Tarq. Reflecting Art Basel’s commitment to Asia-Pacific, nearly half of the participating galleries have exhibition spaces in the region, with an increased representation of galleries from India and the next generation of Chinese gallerists entering the fair. Galleries who participated in the show spoke highly of their experiences and participation.
Insights featured presentations by one or two artists with exceptional historical materials and strong thematic exhibitions by 28 galleries. This unique sector illustrated Asian art history by presenting works of important artists from Asia and the Asia-Pacific region.
Highlights in this sector included a historically significant exhibition by Asia Art Center featuring works by pioneers of Taiwanese Modern art under the Cold War era, Chu Weibor (b. 1929) and Fong Chung Ray (b. 1934). Entitled ‘Shattered Jade’, Bank showcased a project by Chinese artist Xu Bing (b. 1955) that comprises pocketsize wood engravings made during the transition from the Cultural Revolution to the subsequent reforms.
Gow Langsford Gallery presented a selection of significant post-war artworks by New Zealander Colin McCahon (b. 1919, d. 1987), 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 (b. 1973) exhibited vintage photographs of her family members posing nude as an inquiry into her identity as a woman at Maho Kubota Gallery. A site-specific installation entitled ‘SKIN’ by Korean artist Anna Han (b. 1982) included a series of paintings and installations that explore the notion of time and space at Gallery Baton. A solo exhibition of Taiwanese artist Wu Chi-Tsung (b. 1981) by Galerie du Monde exhibited two site-specific installations and a large cyano-collage painting specially created for the show.
Highlights included Timur Si-Qin (b. 1984), 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.
„Art Basel drives the cultural agenda and art scene in Asia with its annual show in Hong Kong and attracts major collectors, influential curators and art lovers from across the globe.“
Pearl Lam, Founder and Owner, Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore
At mor charpentier, Colombian artist Carlos Motta’s (b. 1978) sculptures and photographs confront our preconceived notions of the natural and the unnatural. Hong Kong artist Morgan Wong (b. 1984) transformed 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.
For this year’s Film program, multimedia artist and film producer Li Zhenhua brought together a premier selection of nearly 60 film and video works inspired by the current sociopolitical climate and presented by galleries participating in the fair. As part of the program, Art Basel collaborated with Videotage, a Hong Kong-based nonprofit organization specializing in video and new media, to present video works by Nam June Paik and by artists from Hong Kong and Mainland China influenced by Paik’s work.
„We were excited to meet new collectors from Hong Kong, Asia and Europe and received a very positive and strong response to works we brought to the fair, selling over ten paintings and a sculpture in the first two days. It was a very successful debut for Juri Markkula in the Asian art scene, with several collectors competing for his largest piece.“
Henrietta Tsui-Leung, Co-Founder, Galerie Ora-Ora, Hong Kong
Art Basel worked closely with key cultural organizations across the city, including Asia Art Archive (AAA), Para Site, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 1a space and M+, Hong Kong’s new museum for visual culture, offering an associated program onsite and throughout Hong Kong during the week of the show. Following the collaboration with HKADC for the Venice Biennale in 2017, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority presented Samson Young’s solo exhibition, which returns from Venice to Hong Kong.
- Edouard Malingue Gallery, Chou Yu Cheng: Edouard Malingue Gallery, Chou Yu Cheng © Art Basel
- Pace Gallery: Pace Gallery © Art Basel
- Galerie Karsten Greve: Galerie Karsten Greve © Art Basel
- Sies + Höke. Federico Herrero: Sies + Höke. Federico Herrero © Art Basel
- Arario Gallery: Arario Gallery © Art Basel
- Jhaveri Contemporary Ali Kazim: Jhaveri Contemporary Ali Kazim © Art Basel
- Galerie Krinzinger: Galerie Krinzinger © Art Basel
- Madeln Gallery Lu Pingyuan: Madeln Gallery Lu Pingyuan © Art Basel
- Art Basel: Art Basel in Hong Kong 2018 © Art Basel