Art Basel announces the return of ambitious, full-scale program for its Hong Kong show with 177 galleries from 32 countries and territories – its largest in the city since 2019 – including the sector for monumental works and a new site-specific commission by Pipilotti Rist
- Encounters, the curated sector dedicated to large-scale works, will return to the show for the first time since 2019 with 13 expansive presentations
- Conversations will feature more than 85 speakers across the fair’s four days, offering a platform for dynamic dialogue among international artists, gallerists, curators, critics, collectors, and more, free and open to the public
- With free public admission, the Film program will feature 29 video works, including ‘MEMORIA’ by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, as well as special screenings curated by Hong Kong-based Videotage and Ghost 2565, Bangkok’s triennial video and performance art series
- 15 galleries will participate in Kabinett, the sector for thematic solo presentations within galleries’ main booths, with a strong Asia focus
- ‘Hand Me Your Trust’, a new, site-specific moving image work by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist, will take over the M+ Facade, commissioned by M+ and supported by Art Basel and UBS
- Art Basel, whose Global Lead Partner is UBS, will take place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) from March 23 to March 25, 2023, with preview days on March 21 and 22
Marking its largest show since 2019, the 2023 edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong will welcome 177 galleries from 32 countries and territories across Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Africa, plus the return of all the fair’s special sectors, including Encounters, Kabinett, Conversations, and Film. Over two-thirds of participating galleries have exhibition spaces in the region – with 33 galleries having exhibition spaces in Hong Kong – reinforcing Art Basel’s commitment to showcasing exceptional art from its host city and across Asia and the Asia Pacific.
Curated for the sixth time by Alexie Glass-Kantor – Executive Director of Artspace, Sydney and the curator for the Australian pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale – Encounters will feature 13 large-scale installations under the theme ‘This present, moment’:
‘After an extended period apart, the opportunity to activate Encounters feels especially important. Every project in this year’s sector considers in some way how we can hold space – how we might be present – individually and collectively in the singularity and precarity of this moment,’ says Glass-Kantor.
Highlights from Encounters include:
- Trevor Yeung’s ‘Mr. Cuddles Under the Eave’ (2021), in which the artist continues his practice of personifying botanic ecology and inanimate objects to articulate the complexities of human emotion and relationships. Presented by Blindspot Gallery.
- ‘Trolley Party’ (2023), a site-specific work by Jaffa Lam consisting of 14 meters of patchwork made from recycled and found everyday fabrics and emerging from six chairs made of industrial trollies. Inspired by Lam’s childhood memory of women workers, the installation invites visitors to enter its serene interior. Presented by Axel Vervoordt Gallery with Zilberman Gallery.
- Masked mannequin sculptures in ‘Solitude of Silences’ (2017-2019) by Gimhongsok, portraying laborers who compose the majority of modern urban populations and represent uncertainty over the value of labor. Presented by Kukje Gallery.
- The marble installation ‘The Wine Dark Sea’ (2022, 2023) by Ukrainian artist Stanislava Pinchuk, on migrant journeys and conceptions of hospitality. Presented by Yavuz Gallery.
- Carlos Aires’s ‘Like Tears in the Rain’ (2023), a sculptural installation made with scrupulously shredded decommissioned Euro banknotes: a topography of money, in the form of a bizarre landscape. Presented by Sabrina Amrani.
- Wu Shanzhuan and Inga Svala Thórsdóttir’s ‘Constellation Forest’ (2018), invites visitors to stroll and dwell on the show floor within a ‘grove’ of arched wooden forms resembling the vaults of a church. Presented by Hanart TZ Gallery.
For the full list of artists and galleries presenting in Encounters, please visit artbasel.com/hongkong/encounters.
Taking place at the HKCEC from March 22–25, Conversations – curated by Stephanie Bailey, writer, editor, and Art Basel Content Advisor and Editor, Asia – creates a platform for dynamic dialogues between members of the international art world, who offer their unique perspectives on producing, collecting and exhibiting art. Highlights from the program include:
- The future of the biennale with Hoor Al Qasimi, Binna Choi, Shubigi Rao, ruangrupa, and Adeena Mey.
- Synergies between public and private patronage with Nadia and Rajeeb Samdani and Michael Govan.
- Navigating multipolarity from an institutional perspective with Philip Tinari, Mami Kataoka, Nikita Yingqian Cai, Aaron Cezar, Aya Al-Bakree, and Christopher K. Ho.
- Reflections on solidarity beyond feminism with curators Mia Yu and Azar Mahmoudian and artists Jaffa Lam, Kresiah Mukwazhi, and Kawita Vatanajyankur.
- Representing contemporary art from Africa in Hong Kong with gallerists Baylon Sandri and Dolly Kola-Balogun and artists Wallen Mapondera and Victor Ehikhamenor.
- Exploring Cantopop’s influence in the work of Sin Wai Kin, Ming Wong, and Rainbow Chan.
Three talks will take place ahead of the fair, including:
- A group session on humor and critique with meme-makers Jerry Gogosian, Freeze Magazine, and The White Pube.
- A report on the futures of crypto economies hosted in collaboration with Art Dubai’s Global Art Forum, moderated by Shumon Basar.
- A talk in collaboration with the School of Modern Languages, the University of Hong Kong exploring the influence of architecture in the work of Stanley Wong.
Conversations are free for all. Further details will be announced closer to the fair.
Curated by multi-media artist and film producer Li Zhenhua, the Film program will feature eight screenings and 29 video works by artists from across the globe, including Mónica de Miranda, Angela Su, Tromarama, and Shen Xin, among others. Videotage and Ghost 2565 – two important non-profit organizations that focus on video art in the region – will each curate a screening.
The Film program will launch with a special screening of ‘MEMORIA’ by Palme-D’or-winning director Apichatpong Weerasethakul at Theatre II, HKCEC on March 22. Set in Colombia, ‘MEMORIA’ is Weerasethakul’s first feature made outside Thailand. Starring Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton, the special screening spotlights Weerasethakul’s achievements in his filmmaking career.
As part of the short film screenings, Ghost 2565 will present Weerasethakul’s contemporary art practice in the form of a short film on March 25 at Louis Koo Cinema, Hong Kong Arts Centre.
Additional short film program highlights include:
- ‘Runaway Girls’ by Inci Eviner, explores the dreams and fears of girls who have either chosen to run away or were forced to leave their communities, living on the edge of society. Presented by Dirimart.
- ‘45th Parallel,’ a recent work by Lawrence Abu Hamdan that investigates the history and mythology of the Haskell Free Library and Opera House. Presented by mor charpentier.
The short film program is held at the Louis Koo Cinema of the Hong Kong Arts Centre.
The Film program is free to the public. Further details will be announced closer to the fair.
15 galleries will participate in Kabinett, the sector for thematic solo presentations within galleries’ main booths, with a strong focus on Asia.
Highlights from this year’s sector include:
- A body of work illustrating research conducted between the mid-1950s to mid-1960s by Art Informel master Hans Hartung. Presented by Mazzoleni.
- Works on paper by celebrated Indonesian artist Agus Suwage, entitled ‘SiramanDuniawi,’ investigate multifarious notions of identity from the perspective of ancient Hindu-Buddhist culture. Presented by ROH Projects.
- The late Hong Kong ink artist Wesley Tongson’s spiritual journey and artistic path featuring the artist’s splash ink and monumental landscape paintings created with his hands, fingers, and nails, where he poured his bold and raw emotions directly on the paper – a form of liberation for Tongson. Presented by Galerie du Monde.
- Hu Qingyan’s ‘World of Silence,’ a series of marble works that continue the theme of ‘emptiness’ that the artist has been exploring in recent years. Presented by Galerie Urs Meile.
- A survey of works by Rasheed Araeen that spans from the artist’s early portraiture drawings to the minimalistic sculptures for which he is widely known. Presented by Rossi & Rossi.
- A selection of works by Martin Margiela, similar to those in his touring museum show now at the LOTTE Museum of Art in Seoul, including a torso sculpture and film dust painting. Presented by Zeno X Gallery.
For the full list of artists and galleries presentingin Kabinett, please visit artbasel.com/hongkong/kabinett.
‘Hand Me Your Trust’ by Pipilotti Rist
Commissioned by M+ and supported by Art Basel and UBS, ‘Hand Me Your Trust’ is a brand-new site-specific moving image work by Pipilotti Rist for the M+ Facade. The facade is set within the undulating architecture of Hong Kong’s world-famous skyline along Victoria Harbour. Presented in the hustle and bustle of a city with millions of inhabitants, the work incorporates Rist’s typically vivid color palettes and freeform camera work, echoing the dynamic shifts of the scale of Hong Kong’s urban landscape.
Rist approaches the concept of the hand from a variety of scales, mirroring the dynamics of the city itself from an intimate human scale to one that is the size of a building. As the hands weave and chart a path around various objects at varying velocities, Rist takes on not only Hong Kong’s design and architecture heritage, but also the individual hands that sculpted, placed, and forged these ubiquitous forms into being. For Rist, her work looks at hands not only as working and creating, but also ornamentally: our hands can be beautiful extensions of our emotions, to communicate with other living beings without words. The work will be shown on M+ Facade daily from 7 to 9 pm from March 18 to May 21 and every Saturday and Sunday from 7 to 9 pm from 22 May to 17 June 2023.