Preview: 9 highlights from Art Basel Hong Kong 2017

Attracting over 240 galleries from 34 countries, Art Basel Hong Kong brings together key galleries from the Asia-Pacific region.

This fifth edition sees the involvement of 29 new galleries with key representation from Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

Bingyi, 'Wanwu: Metamorphosis', 2013. Image courtesy of the artist and Ink Studio.

Bingyi, ‘Wanwu: Metamorphosis’, 2013. Image courtesy the artist and Ink Studio.

In its fifth edition, Art Basel Hong Kong features 242 galleries from 34 countries and territories. Taking place from 23 to 25 March in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the fair includes 29 new galleries and a new section called Kabinett. The art ranges from early 20th century to contemporary artists, with half of the participating galleries with spaces in Asia and the Asia Pacific region.

This year Art Basel Hong Kong features strong representation from galleries with bases in Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, as well as from Hong Kong and Mainland China. Out of the new galleries participating this year, ten are from Asia: A+ Contemporary, Bank, C-Space, Hive Center for Contemporary Art, imura art gallery, Jhaveri Contemporary, Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery, Mind Set Art Center, The Third Gallery Aya and The Third Line.

Lin Tianmiao and Wang Gongxin, 'Here? or There?', 2002. Image courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York and Paris.

Lin Tianmiao and Wang Gongxin, ‘Here? or There?’, 2002. Image courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York and Paris.

The show has several sections and programs, including Galleries, Insights, Discoveries, Encounters, Film, Conversations, Salon and the new addition Kabinett. In Galleries, the main section of the show, there will be 190 specialising in Modern and contemporary art with works such as painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, photography, video and editioned works.

Art Radar selected nine highlights from Art Basel Hong Kong, just a tasting of what is in store this year.

Galleries

1. Rudi Mantofani at Gajah Gallery

For Art Basel Hong Kong Singapore-based Gajah Gallery presents Indonesian artist Rudi Mantofani. Mantofani is a sculptor and painter who focuses on form and scale. His metaphorical works revolve around landscape and provide new interpretations to the tradition of landscape painting. He implements visual ploys, such as flattening space through repetitions, or he uses humour to distort perception of space.

Rudi Mantofani, 'Bertabur Bintang', 2016. Image courtesy the artist and Gajah Gallery.

Rudi Mantofani, ‘Bertabur Bintang’, 2016. Image courtesy the artist and Gajah Gallery.

As part of his work, Mantofani questions the role of objects in our everyday life, questioning whether we can see beyond their function or utility. He challenges these perceptions by taking away the utility value of the objects, asking whether the objects are then still important. In this approach Mantofani critical intervenes in the material culture around us.

2. Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook at Tyler Rollins Fine Art

New York based gallery Tyler Rollins Fine Art brings the work of Thai artist Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook. One of Southeast Asia’s most respected contemporary artists, Rasdjarmrearnsook develops video, installation, and graphic works. In the 1980s and 1990s, she created ghost-like female figures in shadowy environments through a process of etchings and aquatints.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, 'The Treachery of the Moon', 2012. Image courtesy the artist and Tyler Rollins Fine Art.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘The Treachery of the Moon’, 2012. Image courtesy the artist and Tyler Rollins Fine Art.

From this early work she set up the main themes of her practice: death, the body, and women’s experience. Her work increasing expressed the limitations of women in Thai society through the physicality of the body and the concreteness of her sculptural installations. She incorporates natural materials marked by wear in order to confront the physicality of life and death. By the late 1990s Rasdjarmrearnsook moved increasing towards working with videos, which has remained a core part of her artistic practice.

3. Keisuke Tanaka at Yamamoto Gendai

Japanese gallery Yamamoto Gendai presents the work of Japanese sculptor Keisuke Tanaka. Keisuke Tanaka develops themes around life and death, creating work that draws upon the spiritual place of the mountain. The hand-carved, detailed sculptures create miniature and surreal worlds. Themes of destruction and growth are developed in pieces that seem to transport the gallery space to a world in limbo.

Keisuke Tanaka, 'Echo', 2016. Image courtesy Yamamoto Gendai, Tokyo.

Keisuke Tanaka, ‘Echo’, 2016. Image courtesy Yamamoto Gendai, Tokyo.

Shi Jin-Hua, 'A 100 km Walk', 2012-2017. Image courtesy of Mind Set Art Center and the artist.

Shi Jin-Hua, ‘A 100 km Walk’, 2012-2017. Image courtesy Mind Set Art Center and the artist.

Insights

Insights features curatorial projects by 27 galleries, as well as solo shows, historical material and thematic group exhibitions. Eight of the galleries are new to the show.

4. Shi Jin-Hua at Mind Set Art Center

For Insights Mind Set Art Center presents conceptual and performance artist Shi Jin-Hua from Taiwan. Much of his work is based around his experiences of being a type I diabetic, in which he monitored and recorded his physical conditions and insulin injections from an early age. Shi Jin-Hua developed this confrontation of life and death on a daily basis into a creative practice that incorporates his body. His practice relates to this continual process of measuring and recording.

Dinh Q. Lê, 'The Deep Blue Sea', 2017. Image courtesy the artist and 10 Chancery Lane Gallery and P.P.O.W.

Dinh Q. Lê, ‘The Deep Blue Sea’, 2017. Image courtesy the artist, 10 Chancery Lane Gallery and P.P.O.W.

Encounters

The Encounters section presents large-scale sculptural installations and performances supported by a number of institutions. The works will be displayed throughout the two exhibition halls.

5. Dinh Q. Lê with 10 Chancery Lane Gallery and P.P.O.W.

Hong Kong based 10 Chancery Lane Gallery and P. P. O. W. will present an installation by Vietnamese artist Dinh Q. Lê as part of the Encounters section. Living between Ho Chi Minh City and Los Angeles, Dinh Q. Lê is best known for his large-scale photographic and video works. He questions perceptions of historical events and explores people’s personal memories of events. Through this process he has studied the legacy of the Vietnam War and its ramifications in contemporary Vietnam. His work as also been inspired by Vietnamese grass mat weaving, the motifs of which work their way into his creative practice. In this installation, Dinh Q. Lê explores the refugee crisis using four common images from refugees in the Mediterranean Sea across 150-foot expanse of photo paper. The scale of the image questions how photos are used in today’s culture of media consumption.

Waqas Khan, 'In the Name of God II', 2017. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Krinzinger.

Waqas Khan, ‘In the Name of God II’, 2017. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Krinzinger.

6. Waqas Khan with Galerie Krinzinger

Vienna based Galerie Krinzinger brings Pakistan artist Waqas Khan to this edition of Art Basel Hong Kong. In 2003 Khan developed his natural aptitude for art in the Lahore art institute National College of Arts. His work is inspired by songs and scripture to create geometric and hypnotic works. The drawing technique is detailed and precise, often using expanding circles that transform into a large work of light and shade. The result are abstract works that create tension between discipline and chaos. The patterns seem mathematical in their order, but there is also human flaws and unavoidable deviations that add to the humanity of the work. The drawing-sculpture that will be shown at Art Basel Hong Kong this year is a parchment that unfolds through the space, like a book. The material is Wasli Paper, and comes from a tradition used in India since the 10th century.

Rirkrit Tiravanija, installation. Image courtesy of the artist and neugerriemschneider.

Rirkrit Tiravanija, installation. Image courtesy the artist and neugerriemschneider.

7. Rirkrit Tiravanija with neugerriemschneider

Berlin’s neugerriemschneider presents Rirkrit Tiravanija, a Thai artist now living between New York, Berlin and Chiang Mai. In his installations works from the 1990s, Tiravanija cooked meals for gallery-goers, creating work that brought people together. This interactive approach is common in much of his work, where he encourages exchange among participants. The objects that Tiravanija evolve out of this process and are often ephemera connected with exhibitions. For the Encounters section neugerriemschneider will present a large-scale installation within a structure of traditional bamboo scaffolding. In the installation visitors will find five 3D-printed bonsai tree on bases inspired by Constantin Brâncuși’s wooden pedestals.

Chen Shaowiong, 'Ink-Media'. Image courtesy the artist and Boers-Li Gallery.

Chen Shaoxiong, ‘Ink-Media’. Image courtesy the artist and Boers-Li Gallery.

Film

The Film section is curated by Beijing and Zurich-based curator, artist and producer Li Zhenhua, and will display a number of films. Two standouts in this program are Yao Qingmei and Chen Shaoxiong.

8. Chen Shaoxiong

Chen Shaoxiong was educated in printmaking and works in a variety of media, such as photography, video, installation and ink painting. His work explores the dynamics of China’s rapidly changing cityscapes, recording the hectic pace of contemporary life.

Xao Qingmei, 'Solar spectrum - Royal Ballet of the Night'. Image courtesy the artist and Magician Space.

Xao Qingmei, ‘Solar spectrum – Royal Ballet of the Night’. Image courtesy the artist and Magician Space.

9. Yao Qingmei

Yao Qingmei’s work Dance! Dance! Bruce Ling! (2013) is a performance that enacts micro-interventions in order to question the reality we live in. Taking gestures out of context, the performance turns its attention towards the legacy of communism. Yao Qingmei uses expression borrowed from cinema, theatre and dance to create a work that is both a parody and poetic exploration.

Claire Wilson

1602

Related topics: Asian art, art fairs, events in Hong Kong, Asian artists, market watch, news

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