Adeline Ooi is new Asia director for Art Basel Hong Kong

Art Basel appoints Adeline Ooi as Director Asia.

Malaysian Adeline Ooi starts her new role as Director Asia of Art Basel in January 2015, stepping up from her previous role as VIP Relations Manager for Southeast Asia. She brings specialised expertise in Asian art as well as strong curatorial experience to the role.

Adeline Ooi, Art Basel Director Asia. Photo: Tara Sosrowardoyo. Image courtesy Art Basel.

Adeline Ooi, Art Basel Director Asia. Photo: Tara Sosrowardoyo. Image courtesy Art Basel.

On 30 December 2014 (PDF download), Art Basel announced the appointment of curator and art advisor Adeline Ooi as the new Director Asia, starting from January 2015. Ooi, who is replacing previous Director Asia Magnus Renfrew, comes from Art Basel’s internal organisation, where she served for the past two years as Art Basel’s VIP Relations Manager for Southeast Asia, covering Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The directorial position has been vacant since September 2014 when Magnus Renfrew left Art Basel to take up the role of Deputy Chairman, Asia and Director of Fine Arts, Asia at Bonhams in Hong Kong. Renfrew had spearheaded the first two editions of Art Basel Hong Kong in 2013 and 2014, having also directed ART HK since its inception in 2008.

More from Asia

Ooi will help establish a stronger presence of Asian art on the international stage through Art Basel’s global platform. Director Marc Spiegler was quoted in the press release as saying:

I am delighted for Adeline to join the Art Basel team as our Director Asia. With her wide background in curating and advising, Adeline brings experience and contacts across the diverse art scenes within Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. She also has an extensive network within the Western artworld and experience in dealing with every level of the art market.

Li Jinghu, 'Rainbow, Installation, 2009, presented by Magician Space at Art Basel Hong Kong 2015. Image courtesy the artist and Magician Space.

Li Jinghu, ‘Rainbow, Installation’, 2009, presented by Magician Space at Art Basel Hong Kong 2015. Image courtesy the artist and Magician Space.

Supporting Asia on the international stage

Adeline Ooi was born in Malaysia in 1976 and holds a BA (Hons) Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins, London. In addition to her role as the VIP Relations Manager (Southeast Asia) for Art Basel in 2013 and 2014, she concurrently directed RogueArt, a Malaysia-based cultural agency that she co-founded in 2009. Among her clients are artists, galleries, institutions, and both corporate and private collections. Previously, from 2006 to 2008, Ooi worked as Curator and Programme Director of Valentine Willie Fine Art gallery in Kuala Lumpur.

Ooi’s experience with the Asian art scene not only comes with professional directorial skills, but also with a strong curatorial background. Among her recent projects are “Media/Art Kitchen”, a touring new media art exhibition featuring artists from Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam supported by Japan Foundation, and “Turning Targets #5 –Dobrak!”, a group show featuring cross-disciplinary projects by Indonesian artists at Cemeti Art House in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Quoted by BLOUIN ArtInfo, Ooi commented on her new appointment:

While I have worked with Art Basel for the last two years, this new role will require a lot of learning, and my focus for the initial months as Director Asia will be on supporting the team in delivering the upcoming show in Hong Kong.


Yayoi Kusama
, 'Walking on the Sea of Death', 1981, presented by Fergus McCaffrey gallery at Art Basel Hong Kong 2015. Image courtesy the artist and the gallery.

Yayoi Kusama
, ‘Walking on the Sea of Death’, 1981, presented by Fergus McCaffrey gallery at Art Basel Hong Kong 2015. Image courtesy the artist and Fergus McCaffrey.

Save the date: March 2015

Art Basel announced last year that it would move its 2015 Hong Kong edition to March. The third edition of Art Basel Hong Kong will run from 15 to 17 March 2015, with two private preview dates on 13 and 14 March.

In addition to the participation of renowned international galleries and emerging spaces, as well as its rich programme of events, talks and lectures, Art Basel Hong Kong will again feature the Encounters section, curated by Alexie Glass-Kantor (PDF download) – curator, author and Executive Director of Artspace in Sydney – as well as the Film sector, once again curated by multi-media artist, curator and producer Li Zhenhua.

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

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Related Topics: art fairs, directors, events in Hong Kong

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