Art Basel Hong Kong 2014: First time participant galleries prepare for the fair

Four gallerists tell Art Radar about their expectations from Art Basel’s second edition in Hong Kong.

Art Basel Hong Kong is ready to roll out its second edition from 15 to 18 May 2014, featuring a total of 245 premier galleries from across the world. Art Radar asked four galleries who are new to the show about their preparation, the artists they are exhibiting and their hopes from the art fair.

Birgit Jürgenssen, 'Illumination', 1990,  slides, glass, steel, electric light, 50 cm x 20 cm. Image courtesy Galerie Hubert Winter.

Birgit Jürgenssen, ‘Illumination’, 1990, slides, glass, steel, electric light, 50 x 20 cm. Image courtesy Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna.

Hubert Winter, owner of Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna, Austria

Why did you apply to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong this year? How did you feel to be accepted?

There are two main reasons that I want to mention: curiosity for the Asian art market and to establish new business relationships with Asia. I was delighted to be accepted.

What will you be taking to the fair and how did you choose these works?

I faced a lot of questions regarding the selection of artists for Art Basel Hong Kong. One of our artists, Lei Xue, is from China. We have already presented him at various European art fairs. Lei Xue has always started from the origin of a dialogue between East and West. The entanglement of both is the resource of his art works that dissolve the polarity of the different cultures.

We also want to give an insight into the highlights of the gallery. The entire line up for Art Basel Hong Kong is Judith Fegerl, Michael Höpfner, Birgit Jürgenssen, Fred Sandback, Lawrence Weiner and Lei Xue.

What are the challenges in getting ready for the event? How busy do you anticipate being at the fair?

Thanks to the organisation of the Art Basel Team, the preparations are going very smoothly. I think that we will be very active during the short period from 15 to 18 May.

What are the benefits of attending a fair of this magnitude?

Gaining experience and a lot of humility given the fact [sic] of the exhibited art.

What are your hopes from the fair and what would your ideal day at the fair be like?

To learn more about Chinese and Asian art in general, also to meet Asian art collectors, curators and get an insight into their individual perspective.

DO NOT REUSE. Bill Brandt, 'Nude, Taxo d'Aval France', 1957. Image © Bill Brandt Estate, courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery

Bill Brandt, ‘Nude, Taxo d’Aval France’, 1957. Image © Bill Brandt Estate. Image courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery.

Michael Hoppen, owner of Michael Hoppen Gallery, London

Why did you apply to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong this year? How did you feel to be accepted?

We believe Art Basel Hong Kong to be the best fair in Asia and Hong Kong the best city in Asia to meet collectors. We are delighted to be participating again.

What will you be taking to the fair and how did you choose these works?

We decided to bring a one-artist booth, and we have selected Bill Brandt as the artist.

What are the challenges in getting ready for the event? How busy do you anticipate being at the fair?

The main challenge is the amount of fairs and shows we participate in. We have just completed a fair in New York and now we have to get ready for Hong Kong. [But] the fair is very well organised, and we are used to fair planning.

What are the benefits of attending a fair of this magnitude?

The huge variety of people we will meet.

What are your hopes from the fair and what would your ideal day at the fair be like?

We always like to meet new collectors so we hope to do so again this year.

Imi Knoebel, 'Red Rat', 2008, acrylic on aluminium, 300 x 300 x 14 cm. Image courtesy Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska.

Imi Knoebel, ‘Red Rat’, 2008, acrylic on aluminium, 300 x 300 x 14 cm. Image courtesy Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska.

Nikolaus Ruzicska, owner of Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg

Why did you apply to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong this year? How did you feel to be accepted?

We applied because Art Basel is always of top quality. We were exhilarated to be accepted.

What will you be taking to the fair and how did you choose these works?

We asked a young art historian and curator from Vienna to curate a booth on the theme “Homage to the Colourful Square”, alluding to Malevich’s “Homage to the Black Square”. She came up with a beautiful array of works by seven international artists from three generations: Henrik Eiben, Liam Gillick, Imi Knoebel, Brigitte Kowanz, Niko Luoma, Gerold Miller and Francois Morellet.

What are the challenges in getting ready for the event? How busy do you anticipate being at the fair?

We always try to be as professional as possible. We will hopefully be very busy.

What are the benefits of attending a fair of this magnitude?

Networking and selling at the highest level.

What are your hopes from the fair and what would your ideal day at the fair be like?

An ideal day would involve many sales, many new contacts, and we’d be busy as hell!

Lei Xue, 'Fish', 2014, gold-plated porcelain, handmade by the artist, 150cm x 60cm x 30cm. Image courtesy Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna.

Lei Xue, ‘Fish’, 2014, gold-plated porcelain, handmade by the artist, 150 x 60 x 30 cm. Image courtesy Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna.

Anna Schwartz, Director of Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney/Melbourne, Australia

Why did you apply to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong this year? How did you feel to be accepted?

Art Basel Hong Kong is a dynamic exchange between diverse interlocutors. I have actually participated in Art Hong Kong (ART HK) previously.

What will you be taking to the fair and how did you choose these works?

A diverse range of artists from different places who all strongly assert our position today in consideration of the psychological, the cultural and the political moment.

What are the challenges in getting ready for the event? How busy do you anticipate being at the fair?

From Australia, a lot of organisation and expense is involved.

What are the benefits of attending a fair of this magnitude?

Visibility and discussion. Extending the domain of our conversations.

What are your hopes from the fair and what would your ideal day at the fair be like?

I hope to create opportunities and sales for artists. An ideal day would be new conversations, invitations to international events for artists and a nice local dinner.

Kriti Bajaj

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Related Topics: art fairs, photography, interviews, Asia expands, events in Hong Kong

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