AO Fair Recap – Hong Kong: Art Basel Hong Kong, March 15th – 17th, 2015

March 18th, 2015

Daniel Arsham at Galerie Perrotin, via Art Basel
Daniel Arsham at Galerie Perrotin, via Art Basel

Following a hectic weekend of events and openings, today caps the final day of Art Basel Hong Kong, bringing strong sales and attendance at the sixth edition of the massive Asian market event.

The first fair for new director Adeline Ooi, the event seems to be focusing more heavily on nearby regions, making the case for a broader offering of often overlooked artist and galleries that nevertheless brought strong global interest.  The fair was well-attended in its first few days, as curators, collectors and artists strolled the long aisles of the Hong Kong Convention Center.  Philip Tinari, head of Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art was on hand, as were Hans Ulrich ObristSir Nicholas Serota, Takashi MurakamiSimon de Pury, Tommy Hilfiger, Susan Sarandon and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Markus Linnenbrink at Ameringer McEnery Yohe, via Art Basel
Markus Linnenbrink at Ameringer/McEnery/Yohe, via Art Basel

Julian Opie, OMP2715.jpg.ai. (2015
Julian Opie, OMP2715.jpg.ai. (2015), via SCAI

Notable sales in the early hours of the fair included $2 million price tag for a Chris Ofili work at David Zwirner, which was scooped up within the first moments of the fair, and joined hours later by a Neo Rauch canvas that brought $1 million.  An Anselm Kiefer piece brought €750,000 at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, while White Cube sold a Damien Hirst piece for $1.1 million.  Do Ho Suh also sold well across the fair, selling several works from $20,000 to $40,000 at Lehmann Maupin, as well as 8 works at Singapore’s STPI, including one work priced at $150,000.
Jenny Holzer for BMW, via Art Basel
Jenny Holzer for BMW, via Art Basel

Jürgen Drescher, Found frame gold leaf covered (2012), via Mai 36 Galerie
Jürgen Drescher, Found frame gold leaf covered (2012), via Mai 36 Galerie
Other notable works included a MadeIn Company (the art corporation run by Chinese artist Xu Zhen) adaptation of Gustave Courbet’s L’Origine du Monde, covering the subject’s genitals with a camera flash, and then repainting the photo to create a comical take on the work’s controversial history and its circulation as image.  The piece was offered for $330,000, but had yet to sell at Long March.
Ryan Gander at Lisson Gallery, via Art Basel
Ryan Gander at Lisson Gallery, via Art Basel

Also on view was a unique collaboration between Jenny Holzer and BMW, a concept car emblazoned with the text “WHAT I WANT,” and placed on the third level concourse of the Convention Center, playing on the work’s trophy status.  In the fair’s Encounters section, artist Gao Weigang was presenting an immense, skeletal take on a shipping container, cast in what appeared to be gold.  In another corner, artist Xu Longsen’s ink on paper works towered over passerby, streaming down from the ceiling of the space.

Myeongbeom Kim at Gallery Ihn, via Art Basel
Myeongbeom Kim at Gallery Ihn, via Art Basel

Wang Luyan, Symmetry of Violence (2008), via Pekin Fine Arts
Wang Luyan, Symmetry of Violence (2008), via Pekin Fine Arts

Outside the fair, a number of events kept visitors busy even after Art Basel closed its doors each day.  Pearl Lam Galleries and Hongkong Land presented a public install of Zhu Jinshi’s iconic Boat sculpture in Exchange Square, a rare pubic installation of the artist’s work, while Alex Prager opened an exhibition of new work at Lehmann Maupin’s location in the city.

The fair caps a marathon month for dealers and collectors spanning three continents, returning for the Swiss edition of its global offering this June.

Cao Fei in Conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, via Art Basel
Cao Fei in Conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, via Art Basel

Yuree Kensaku at 100 Tonson, via Art Basel
Yuree Kensaku at 100 Tonson, via Art Basel

Sterling Ruby at Gagosian Gallery, via Art Basel
Sterling Ruby at Gagosian Gallery, via Art Basel

 

Cui Jie, Building of Cranes #1 (2014), via Leo Xu Projects
Cui Jie, Building of Cranes #1 (2014), via Leo Xu Projects

Takesada Matsutani, Work 66-7 (1966), via Gallery Yamaki
Takesada Matsutani, Work 66-7 (1966), via Gallery Yamaki

— D. Creahan

Read more:
“Art Basel Shows How Far Hong Kong Has Come” [NYT]
“20 must-see contemporary art exhibits in Art Basel month” [SCMP]
“Avalanche of Sales During Opening Night at Art Basel in Hong Kong 2015″ [Artnet]
“Hong Kong’s Collage of Art and Commerce” [Barron’s]
Art Basel Hong Kong [Fair Website]