Aaron Curry, Vertical Wood Sculpture (2013), via Almine Rech
Just one week after The Armory Show closed its doors in New York, the sixth edition of Art Basel Hong Kong is preparing to open halfway around the world, with many familiar names vying to court collectors from Asia, Oceania and abroad. The fair, which shuffled its calendar this year in response to the Venice Biennale opening in early May, is presenting something of a scaled-back experience this year, running just three days from Sunday to Tuesday, but should nevertheless prove successful as one of Asia’s largest art fairs.
Jessica Stockholder, Over the Moon (2014), via Kavi Gupta
John Baldessari, Beethoven’s Trumpet (With Ear), Opus 127 (2007), via Marian Goodman
This year, the fair has invited 231 Exhibitors from around the globe to the thriving Chinese metropolis, with a full slate of talks, special projects, and a series of events and installations spread across the city. Notable presentations include a lecture by artist Cao Fei, in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, as well as the fair’s popular “Encounters” section, dedicated to large-scale sculpture and immersive installation works that are well suited to the cavernous halls of the Hong Kong Convention Center. Initial highlights include work by Sterling Ruby presented by Gagosian Gallery, as well as work by Lee Ufan presented by Kukje Gallery.
Ming Wong, Solaris Diary 2 (2014), via Carlier Gebauer
Chen Qiulin, The Hundred Surnames in Tofu, Chen (2004-2014), via A Thousand Plateaus
Highlights from the main fair include Marian Goodman’s group booth, boasting impressive sculpture by John Baldessari and Tony Cragg, as well as pieces by William Kentridge and Gabriel Orozco, who is currently showing a career retrospective in Tokyo. Sean Kelly will also be on hand from the states, focusing on artists Mariko Mori and Sun Xun. A Thousand Plateaus will present a peculiar video work by artist Chen Qiulin, showing a series of surnames in Chinese pictorial characters, and carved out of Tofu. Almine Rech is presenting a tightly curated booth this year, comparing the vividly colored sculptures of Aaron Curry with a series of complementary canvases by Xu Qu. Takeshi Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki gallery space will also be on hand presenting a series of animation-influenced works by MR. and Chiho Aoshima. Also particularly cutting is the exhibition of photographs documenting Ai Weiwei’s censorship from an exhibition at China’s Power Station museum, on view at Tokyo’s Mizuma Art Gallery.
The fair opening will cap a week of openings and events in Hong Kong, as many galleries open new exhibitions to target the sudden influx of foreign collectors. Gagosian is presenting a series of works by Rudolf Stingel at its Hong Kong exhibition space, and Galerie Perrotin has opened a series of works by Gregor Hildebrandt. On top of her prominent position as keynote speaker during the fair, Cao Fei will also take up a prominent role on the city’s skyline, installing an immense video work on the side of the International Commerce Centre tower, the tallest building in the city. This year will also see the launch of ABHK’s first satellite fair, Art Central, boasting a sizable selection of smaller, predominantly Asian galleries looking to cater to interested collectors.
With a flurry of activity this week, Art Basel Hong Kong’s short opening hours should nevertheless offer the catalyst for a strong art week in the city. The fair Vernissage opens tomorrow.
“Asia Gears Up for Art Basel Hong Kong” [New York Times]
“Hong Kong’s Art Basel Lures Collectors Chasing Warhol” [Bloomberg Businessweek]
“Inside Art Basel Hong Kong” [WSJ]
“Art Basel Hong Kong: Just Another Fair?” [Forbes]
“Asia gets top billing at Hong Kong’s third Art Basel” [South China Morning Post]