Art Basel Hong Kong may be in town, but there are plenty of other art events to see this month as well.

Hong Kong’s busiest month of the art calendar presents two major art fairs, so art lovers run the risk of overlooking the multitude of art events and exhibitions taking place outside of the fair mayhem. Art Radar brings you four shows and events taking place around the city that are not to be missed this May.

Bui Cong Khanh, 'Vase Number 3', 2009, porcelain, 52 x 15 x 15 cm. Image courtesy 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong.

Bui Cong Khanh, ‘Vase Number 3’, 2009, porcelain, 52 x 15 x 15 cm. Image courtesy 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong.

Hong Kong never ceases to disappoint when it comes to art entertainment, from the second edition of the Affordable Art Fair 2014 bringing in an even bigger number of visitors to this year’s Sotheby’s Spring Sales producing record-breaking sales for numerous contemporary Chinese and Southeast Asian artists.

Still, there is no rest for the wicked as we are about to embark on Hong Kong’s busiest art month. May is launched with two influential art fairs, with Art Basel Hong Kong‘s second edition and the Asia Contemporary Art Show running concurrently. To match these popular events, Hong Kong’s galleries are putting on exhibitions and events focused on the region’s best art to tempt fair-goers.

Art Radar rounds up four events not to be missed in Hong Kong in May 2014.

Zhang Enli, Space Painting, 2013, Watercolour on wall. Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. Courtesy of Ruder Finn Asia

Zhang Enli, ‘Space Painting’, 2013, Watercolour on wall, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. Image courtesy Ruder Finn Asia.

Art Gallery Night

In anticipation of Art Basel Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association’s participating member galleries will stay open from 6pm to 10:30pm (GMT+8) on 13 May 2014. This evening will also include a full programme of free talks, special tours and events, as well as an opportunity to network with fellow art enthusiasts including locals and overseas visitors coming to visit the Art Basel Hong Kong opening on the following day.

Close to 40 member galleries will be participating this year, covering all areas of Hong Kong including Sheung Wan, Central, Wan Chai, Aberdeen, Chai Wan and Sha Tin.

Xu Bing, Mustard Seed Garden Landscape Scroll, 2010, Woodblock print, ink on paper, 48,2x546,2cm. Collection of the artist. Photo courtesy of Xu Bing Studio.

Xu Bing, ‘Mustard Seed Garden Landscape Scroll’, 2010, Woodblock print, ink on paper, 48,2 x 546,2cm. Collection of the artist. Photo courtesy Xu Bing Studio.

Asia Society: “It Begins with Metamorphosis: Xu Bing”

Acclaimed Chinese contemporary artist Xu Bing’s upcoming solo exhibition at the Asia Society from 8 May to 31 August 2014 is a must-see. This will be the conceptual artist’s first solo show in Hong Kong, displaying his latest works. The exhibition explores how, through the transformative power of materiality and communication, the notions of memories and histories are reformed, challenged and reflected.

Curated by Dr. Yeewan Koon, the show will demonstrate how metamorphosis marks the beginning of a process, bringing insight into Xu Bing’s art and the artist himself. The award-winning artist is distinguished for his creative, artistic use of words and texts, and how they affect our understanding of the world.

Carsten Nicolai, α (alpha) pulse, 2014. Courtesy of Sutton PR Asia.

Carsten Nicolai, ‘α (alpha) pulse’, 2014. Image courtesy Sutton PR Asia.

Carsten Nicolai: α (alpha) pulse

Each night during Art Basel Hong Kong (15 to 17 May 2014), the Hong Kong skyline will be illuminated by a spectacular audio-visual installation created by renowned Berlin artist Carsten Nicolai. The sound artist, influenced by scientific references and mathematic patterns, will present this new workα (alpha) pulse, which will generate light pulsating patterns in a frequency across the entire façade of Hong Kong’s iconic 490 metre high International Commerce Centre building. This experiment aims to explore the effects of audio-visual stimulation on the human perception.

An accompanying mobile phone application will also be made available for the public to participate in the light installation. The recommended spots to view this installation are Tamar Park, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park and the terrace on Podium 3 and 4 of the IFC Mall.

Zhang Enli, Space Painting, 2013, Watercolour on wall. Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. Courtesy of Ruder Finn Asia.

Zhang Enli, ‘Space Painting’, 2013, watercolour on wall. Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. Image courtesy Ruder Finn Asia.

K11 Art Foundation: “Space Painting by Zhang Enli”

Prominent contemporary artist Zhang Enli will be having his first ever solo show in Hong Kong from 12 May to 13 July 2014, titled “Space Painting by Zhang Enli”, at K11 Art Foundation. The exhibition is curated by Adrian Cheng, and will present recent works by the artist that explore the creativity of space, influenced by childhood memories and by a sense of security.

Zhang Enli was particularly successful at Sotheby’s Spring Auction sale last month, with his Dancing N°2 reaching HKD 6,640,000 (USD 856,383), the highest auction price for the artist yet, highlighting  Zhang Enli’s increasing recognition in the art market.

Claire Bouchara


Related Topics: open air events, Hong Kong artists, gallery shows, ink art, light art, sound art, event alert, events in Hong Kong

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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