Three artists from Art Basel Hong Kong’s Discoveries sector have been shortlisted for the next BMW Art Journey.

The three emerging artists shortlisted for the BMW Art Journey are Ali Kazim, Zac Langdon-Pole and Gala Porras-Kim.

Ali Kazim at Jhaveri Contemporary, Art Basel in Hong Kong 2018. © Art Basel

Ali Kazim at Jhaveri Contemporary, Art Basel in Hong Kong 2018. © Art Basel

The new BMW Art Journey shortlist, announced on 28 March 2018, was selected by an international expert jury comprising Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York; Claire Hsu, Director, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; Bose Krishnamachari, President, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India; Matthias Mühling, Director, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, Munich; and Pauline J. Yao, Curator, Visual Art M+, Hong Kong.

The three emerging artists (PDF download) – Ali Kazim, Zac Langdon-Pole and Gala Porras-Kim – presented solo shows within the Discoveries sector at Art Basel in Hong Kong. They are now invited to submit their proposals for the development of projects supported by BMW. The winner will be announced in early Summer 2018. Meanwhile, the winner of the 2017 BMW Art Journey in Hong Kong, Astha Butail (represented by GALLERYSKE, New Dehli, Bangalore), is presenting some first insights into her upcoming project In the Absence of Writing at the BMW Lounge at Art Basel Hong Kong.

The 2018 BMW Art Journey shortlist

Pakistani artist Ali Kazim (b. 1979), represented by Jhaveri Contemporary, has brought a new body of work at Art Basel Hong Kong 2018, drawing inspiration from the landscape outside his hometown of Lahore. The location was once part of the flourishing Indus Valley Civilization (circa 3,000 BCE to 1,500 BCE), and is now a desolate valley dotted with mounds and terracotta shards, and used as a burial site for local communities. The immersive installation in the gallery booth features a large-scale miniature painting-style landscape mapping the contours of the land, some smaller watercoulours and a group of cast objects, arranged on the floor, giving the feel of the three-dimensionality of the landscape itself. The work draws particular attention to the legacies of an ancient syncretic culture.

Zac Langdon-Pole at Michael Lett, Art Basel in Hong Kong 2018. © Art Basel

Zac Langdon-Pole at Michael Lett, Art Basel in Hong Kong 2018. © Art Basel

New Zealand artist Zac Langdon-Pole (b. 1988) presented a solo installation within Auckland-based gallery Michael Lett’s booth, comprising new sculptures that “form a poetic exploration of identity and belonging”. His series entitled “Passport (Argo-nauta)” (2018) is an exploration of time, and space, through the pairing of two disparate materials: iron meteorites and paper nautilus shells. The meteorites have been handcrafted to fill the shell’s aperture. In an essay (PDF download) about the works, curator Vera Mey writes:

Naming these delicate objects “passports” conjures associations with both the boundaries and limitlessness of time and movement. The shells reincarnate, serving as hosts for the meteorites that precede and will succeed human existence. Reading the materials as a communion of two different bodies, the works also resemble organs like listening ears of a new being.

Gala Porras-Kim at Commonwealth and Council, Art Basel in Hong Kong 2018. © Art Basel

Gala Porras-Kim at Commonwealth and Council, Art Basel in Hong Kong 2018. © Art Basel

Colombian-born, Los Angeles-based artist Gala Porras-Kim (b. 1984), represented by Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles, presented an installation of artefacts that attempt to reconstruct and reimagine ambiguous historical fragments from various ethnographic institutions. Through her work, she questions the socio-political contexts that “influence the manifestaion and interpretation of language and history”. Her practice is heavily research-based and ultimately aims to reconsider how intangible subjects have been represented in social science and cultural studies, such as linguistics, history and conservation.

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When announcing the shortlist, the jury commented on the artists’ work:

In this year’s edition of BMW Art Journey at Art Basel in Hong Kong, the jurors noticed a wide search for narrative with a mostly consistent search for fact. […] We admired Ali Kazim’s meditative approach to the desolate landscape of Pakistan, and found his labor-intensive process combining miniature painting techniques with a contemporary sensibility to be layered and haunting. Zac Langdon-Pole’s work ‘Passport (Argonauta)’ creates a poetical and surprising combination of materials. Proposing a new notion of the passport, the nautilus shell and meteorites from different parts of the world suggesting a metaphysical and timeless idea of identities. We appreciated Gala Porras- Kim’s investigation into and imagination of ways in which objects within institutional collections undergo reinterpretation via changing social and physical contexts. She touches on the subjectivity of history and the endless possibilities of making meaning of fragments and traces.

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia


Related topics: Asian artists, art fairs, news, prizes, 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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