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Art Basel | Hong Kong: the Ultimate Guide for the Week, Basel's Big and Bold Encounters Sector
by ArtSlant Team


Art Basel | Hong Kong: User's Guide

Peter Augustus provides an exhaustive list of the week's activities.

Following a successful launch last year, Hong Kong’s edition of Art Basel is back with a larger schedule of events and even more art than one can see in a week. This year boasts more than 3,000 works of art from over 200 galleries.

Although a welcomed spotlight, Hong Kong was never lacking in the international art show circuit, or arts for that matter—we currently have several a year and even two fairs that proudly share the weekend with Basel (read on to find out who).

While Basel has prepared an impressive schedule of artist talks, public art displays, and exhibitions in addition to their main event held at the HK Convention Hall, local galleries and businesses have been peppering the week with their own celebrations of art, beginning on Monday the 12th.

With a slew of official, unofficial, and underground events happing across the S.A.R., here is our breakdown of how you can enjoy the much anticipated annual event whether you’re a local, a tourist, or an art connoisseur...

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Sheer Size and Ambition: "Encounters"

Graham Webster previews Art Basel | Hong Kong's 17 grand installations.

Visitors to Art Basel in Hong Kong will be treated to a collection of seventeen large-scale installation works, mostly by East Asian artists, each handled by a different gallery. Ten of the seventeen artists selected by Yuko Hasegawa, chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, come from Greater China and six from the Mainland alone. Hasegawa also curated this "Encounters" sector in last year's inaugural edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong, but she has selected an entirely different set of artists and only six repeat galleries. The impact of large works amidst bustling booths likely justifies the “Encounters” moniker; some rather naturally come to provide landmarks and meeting points for busy show-goers...

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Hong Kong-based artist Nadim Abbas has long created environments that explore the patterned and structural features of space. After an intricate installation at ARTHK11 in 2011, Abbas returns for Art Basel in Hong Kong in a scaled up and out manner with a commission for the nearly 4,000 square meter Absolut Art Bar. Apocalypse Postponed fuses Abbas’ architectural sensibilities with a recent interest in military themes and the idea of war. The Art Bar has been in the works for over a year, and ArtSlant sat down with Abbas weeks before the May 13 launch to discuss the project and its progress.

Katherine Grube: You’re now working in the physical Art Bar space in Soundwill Plaza II - Midtown in Causeway Bay. How are you holding up? What have been some of the bigger hurdles you’ve encountered since construction began?

Nadim Abbas: We’re still trying to overcome many of them...The space’s design has taken a lot of guises...A defined relationship between inside and outside is one of the defining characteristics of the space ambiently. It’s kind of a psychic vacuum I guess...

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Nadav Kander, Chongqing VI (Sunday Afternoon), Chongqing Municipality, 2006; Image courtesy of artist and Blindspot Gallery, at Art Basel | Hong Kong, Insights Sector

FX Harsono, Journey 1; Courtesy of the artist and Galeri Canna, at Art Basel | Hong Kong: Galleries

Markus Oehlen, Positive painting - Dark version #6, 2014; Courtesy of the artist and Gerhardsen Gerner, at Art Basel | Hong Kong: Galleries

Yu Hong, Lost in the Night, 2013; Courtesy of the artist and Long March Space, at Art Basel | Hong Kong: Galleries

Yayoi Kusama, Pumpkin (#0552), 1989, Acrylic on Canvas, 45.4 x 38 cm. Available at Artserene Gallery, Hong Kong at Asia Contemporary Art Show




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Posted by ArtSlant Team on 5/16/14

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