Art
The 20 Best Booths at Art Basel in Hong Kong
Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

Art Basel in Hong Kong opened to a select group of VIPs on Tuesday afternoon at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The fourth edition of the Swiss mega-fair’s Asian outpost welcomes 239 galleries, 50% of which, once again, have at least one gallery space in the region. Fifteen new Western galleries—Metro Pictures, Xavier Hufkens, and David Kordansky among them—join the fair for the first time in 2016. And an equal 15 galleries have moved up to the fair’s main Galleries sector from either Discoveries (its section for young galleries and emerging artists) or Insights (its section highlighting both historical and contemporary artistic positions from Asia).

“When we first came to Hong Kong, we were afraid that we would be swallowed by it and disappear into the woodwork,” says Art Basel global director Marc Spiegler, in a nod to the city’s gargantuan size and scale in comparison to that of his show’s other two host cities, Miami and Basel, Switzerland. “But we have managed in a short time to make a huge impact.” In Art Basel’s wake, international galleries have moved to Hong Kong in droves amid a rapidly growing appetite for collecting international contemporary art among the city’s seven million residents.

Art Basel in Hong Kong, too, has grown tremendously in the five years since the MCH Group acquired ART HK. (Spiegler and his Director Asia, Adeline Ooi, are quick to point out that this is growth in quality, not quantity.) A move from May to March last year enabled a bigger and better cadre of European and American galleries to participate. It also saw the introduction of the fair’s Film section, curated again this year by Li Zhenhua. Encounters, a section for large-scale works, curated by Alexie Glass-Kantor, actually shrunk from 21 to 16 pieces this year in order to accommodate particularly ambitious contributions from Lawrence Weiner and Pae White, among others.

Spiegler and, subsequently, Ooi have paid particular attention to aiding dealers from Asia to up the ante at their booths and present themselves on equal standing with their Western counterparts. That’s reportedly led to a steady increase in the square footage taken by Eastern dealers and a tightening of the presentations within them. With so much to choose from, Artsy scoured the aisles to pick out the 20 stands you shouldn’t miss.


Pippy Houldsworth Gallery

Discoveries, Booth 1C34

With works by Luke Diiorio

Installation view of Pippy Houldsworth’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

Installation view of Pippy Houldsworth’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

why you should stop

New York-based Diiorio has been on our radar for some time now, but his solo booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong is far and away the most impressive we’ve seen yet. Six new paintings (Subaru Carcosa #1–6, 2016) feature striped linen folded and painted in his signature style, the same fabric having been used to paper the booth’s walls.


Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie

Discoveries, Booth 1C46

With works by Wu Tsang

Installation view of Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

Installation view of Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

An extension of Wu Tsang’s current show at Hong Kong’s Spring Workshop, the booth presents further works from Duilian (2016), the artist’s wide-ranging, film-centered project that focuses on the revolutionary feminist poet and martyr Qiu Jin. An orange banner featured in the film at Spring Workshop hangs on the booth’s rear wall as the backdrop to a “dress” of costume swords and red LED tube lighting. Meanwhile, images related to Qiu’s legacy (such as a statue and monument) are interspersed with images taken during the film’s production.


Metro Pictures

GALLERIES, BOOTH 3D05

WITH WORKS BY ROBERT LONGO, CINDY SHERMAN, CAMILLE HENROT

Robert Longo, Untitled (Hunter), 2015 and Untitled (Pine Tree), 2015 on view at Metro Pictures’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the gallery and the fair.

Robert Longo, Untitled (Hunter), 2015 and Untitled (Pine Tree), 2015 on view at Metro Pictures’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the gallery and the fair.

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

A fair first for longstanding New York gallery Metro Pictures, a presentation of new works by Robert Longo was generating much buzz at today’s preview, with staff remaining coyly optimistic. Charcoal works on paper range from US$50,000 all the way up to US$425,000 for an exquisite silhouette of a tree, Untitled (Pine Tree) (2015). As well as seeking to establish an Asia collector base for Longo’s work, the gallery’s introduction to Hong Kong gives a platform to several works by Cindy Sherman and watercolors by Camille Henrot.


a.m. space

Discoveries, Booth 1C49

With works by Chang Huei-Ming, Frank Tang Kai-Yiu

Installation view of a.m. space’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

Installation view of a.m. space’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

Taiwanese artist Chang’s fake, vibrating IKEA plants are the immediate draw into this local gallery’s booth for their whimsical play with the boundary between life and death. But it’s Tang’s works that strike the hardest. The artist uses traditional Chinese landscape painting techniques on silk to recreate the foliage-covered dividers that some residents of his native Hong Kong use to simulate nature in their windowless yet exorbitantly expensive apartments. 


Hauser & Wirth

Galleries, Booth 1D13

With works by Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Philip Guston, David Smith, Mark Bradford, and Zhang Enli

Installation view of Hauser & Wirth’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

Installation view of Hauser & Wirth’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

This curated presentation of works takes the spider as its theme, owing to the arachnid’s status as a symbol of good fortune and happiness in Chinese folklore since the Han dynasty. Louise Bourgeois’s over-eight-foot-tall creature (Spider Couple, 2003) is the booth’s real treat, a standout amid the fair’s offerings for the collector on the hunt for blue-chip sculpture. 


Kukje Gallery

Galleries, Booth 1C13

With works by Haegue Young, Bill Viola, Kibong Rhee, Anish Kapoor, Donald Judd, Kyungah Ham, Park Seo-Bo, Kwon Young-Woo, Lee Ufan, Ha Chong-Hyun, Gimhongsok, Aaron Young, Michael Joo, Ghada Amer

Installation view of Kukje Gallery’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

Installation view of Kukje Gallery’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

Major market interest in the work of the Dansaekhwa artists (Korean monochrome painters) that Kukje has long supported continues at Art Basel in Hong Kong. Particularly strong pieces by Ha Chong-Hyun, Kwon Young-Woo, and Park Seo-Bo exemplify the trend at the gallery’s stand. The gallery also contributes to the fair’s Encounters section with Kyungah Ham’s What you see is unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities (2014–2015).


Chambers Fine Art

Galleries, Booth 1D04


With works by Fu Xiaotong, Yan Shanchun, Zhao Zhao

Installation view of Chambers Fine Art’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

Installation view of Chambers Fine Art’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

In a fair brimming with loud, colorful, and shiny works reminiscent of its Miami sister a half-decade ago, Chambers’s cabinet of landscapes by Fu Xiaotong is a serene retreat. The works are created through a painstaking process of pricking traditional Chinese rice paper with a pin thousands of times (the exact number being used as each piece’s title) to create photorealistic, textured mountainsides.


Vitamin

Galleries, Booth 1B05

With works by Pak Sheung Chuen, Firenze Lai, Danh Vo, Xu Tan

Installation view of Vitamin’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

Installation view of Vitamin’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

Vitamin primarily presents two micro-solo shows: Pak Sheung Chuen’s series “Nightmare Wallpaper” (2015) and “Horizon on the Boundary” (2016) explore the court system and geopolitical history of Hong Kong, which he represented at the Venice Biennale in 2009. On the other side, three documentary-style video installations by Xu Tan typify the Guangzhou-based artist’s socially engaged practice, looking at, among other things, the developing understanding of labor and freedom in his home country. 


Andrea Rosen

GALLERIES, BOOTH 1C06


WITH WORKS BY TETSUMI KUDO, DAVID ALTMEJD, YOKO ONO, SIMON FUJIWARA, ELLIOTT HUNDLEY, FELIX GONZALEZ-TORRES

Installation view of Andrea Rosen’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the gallery.

Installation view of Andrea Rosen’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the gallery.

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

Don’t miss this mashup of Altmejd and Kudo, both masters of making the grotesque beautiful. Kudo’s sculptures take the form of traditional bonsai arrangements, but on further inspection they reveal blossoming genitalia. Altmejd’s recent sculptures are comparably tame, but the two come together for one of Hall 1’s more tightly curated duos.


Night Gallery

DISCOVERIES, BOOTH 1C54

WITH WORKS BY MIRA DANCY

Installation view of Night Gallery’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

Installation view of Night Gallery’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

Last fall, we picked out Mira Dancy from the embarrassment of emerging art riches that was Frieze London. Less than half a year later, the New York-based painter has been a standout at nearly every major fair and survey since, with works quickly snapped up in the first few hours of every showing—as was the case at Independent earlier this month. But it’s no hype machine; Dancy’s paintings seriously just keep getting better—and at Art Basel in Hong Kong, a new highmark has been set again.


neugerriemschneider

Galleries, Booth 1B15


With works by Ai Weiwei, Billy Childish, Olafur Eliasson, Noa Eshkol, Jorge Pardo, Elizabeth Peyton, Tobias Rehberger, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Pae White

Installation view of neugerriemschneider’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

Installation view of neugerriemschneider’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

Major installations by Tobias Rehberger (who opens a new dazzle-camo-inspired design of MCM’s Hong Kong flagship store), Pae White (who dropped everything to create the tapestries she shows at the booth and in Encounters), and Rirkrit Tiravanija (whose piles of t-shirts sporting slogans such as “Freedom Can’t Be Simulated” were nearly gone by Tuesday’s end) set neugerriemschneider out once again as one of Art Basel’s most ambitious Western presentations.


Ingleby

Galleries, Booth 3C02

With works by Charles Avery, Peter Liversidge, Callum Innes, Andrew Miller, David Batchelor, Frank Walter, Kevin Harman, Katie Paterson

Installation view of Ingleby’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

Installation view of Ingleby’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

The returning Scottish gallery contributes to this year’s Encounters series of site-specific installations by way of Peter Liversidge’s sparse forest of skeletal trees. At the booth itself, those same sparse branches are translated to small-scale collages of tape and book pages, priced from £2,500. Elsewhere, Charles Avery’s darkly humorous paintings from his ongoing series “The Islanders” further explore his imaginary port city, Onomatopoeia.


Galerie Ora-Ora

Galleries, Booth 3C21

With works by Huang Dan, Peng Wei, Peng Jian, Zhang Yanzi, Halley Cheng

Installation view of Galerie Ora-Ora’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

Installation view of Galerie Ora-Ora’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

After a stint in the fair’s Insights section last year, Ora-Ora graduates to Galleries with a curated exhibition, “Cha-Na.” Addressing ideas around instantaneousness and the moment, a highlight is Huang Dan’s almost four-meter-tall Once Youth (2014). The jimo—or “accumulative ink,” a technique of traditional Chinese ink painting— work captures the joyful leap of four boys into an orange-colored sea below.


Blindspot

Galleries, Booth 3C36

With works by Leung Chi Wo, Trevor Yeung, Zhang Xiao

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

A Hong Kong mainstay in the field of contemporary photography, Blindspot moves to Galleries this year following previous forays in the Insights and Discoveries sections. A particular draw is local artist Trevor Yeung’s new series “The Artichoke Eater,” comprised of videos and photographs of individuals devouring the notoriously difficult-to-eat veg. The young up-and-comer was among the shortlist for the 2015 edition of the BMW Art Journey award.


Edouard Malingue

Galleries, Booth 3C09

With works by Wang Wei, Ko Sin Tung, Yuan Yuan, Jeremy Everett, Wong Ping

Installation view of Edouard Malingue’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

Installation view of Edouard Malingue’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

Away from its first-floor presentation of Tromarama’s Private Riots (2014–2016), Edouard Malingue’s booth explores issues of privacy and intimacy. Taking center stage—quite literally—is Wang Wei’s installation Natural History 5 (2012), constructed from the very same tiles that once formed part of a police station in Beijing’s Sanlitun district. Hidden behind a pink plastic curtain—evoking ideas of taboo—is animator Wong Ping’s Doggy Love (2015), a kind of technicolored teenage dream of sex and desire.


Xavier Hufkens

GALLERIES, BOOTH 3D07

With works by Roni Horn, Tracey Emin, David Altmejd, Michel François, Adam Fuss, Alice Neel, Sterling Ruby

Tracey Emin’s Lean Back (2015) and Sterling Ruby’s Acts Adultism (2015) on view at Xavier Hufken’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair and the gallery.

Tracey Emin’s Lean Back (2015) and Sterling Ruby’s Acts Adultism (2015) on view at Xavier Hufken’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair and the gallery.

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

Positioned at opposite ends of what marks the Belgium gallery’s first foray into Art Basel in Hong Kong are Alice Neel’s thoroughly arresting 1971 portrait Ron Kajiwara and Tracey Emin’s Your Lips Moved Across My Face (2015). The latter is a particularly timely addition to the blue-chip booth in light of this week’s launch of the U.K. artist’s first-ever China solo at White Cube and Lehmann Maupin in Hong Kong’s Central district.


Ink Studio

Insights, Booth 3D31

With works by Li Huasheng

Installation view of Ink Studio’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

Installation view of Ink Studio’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the fair.

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

Stealing the show at Beijing-based Ink Studio’s Li Huasheng solo presentation for this year’s Insights section is the monumental grid painting 0669 (2006). The dizzying work recently wowed crowds in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2013 survey of contemporary ink painting from China, and is on sale here for US$550,000. Turning 72 this year, Li Huasheng has evolved his style significantly, as seen in sparser works, in which those ever-present lines are at odds with the work’s elegant Chinese calligraphy.


MEM

INSIGHTS, BOOTH 3D15

WITH WORKS BY KIMIYO MISHIMA

Installation view of MEM’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the gallery.

Installation view of MEM’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the gallery.

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

A newcomer to this year’s Art Basel in Hong Kong, Tokyo’s MEM presents a remarkable array of works by Japanese artist Kimiyo Mishima. The booth spans collage paintings completed by the now octogenarian (and still very much active) Mishima in the 1960s to her more recent “Fossils of Information”—incredibly realistic ceramic sculptures of discarded drink cans, crumpled newspapers, and comics, completed this year and last—which drew major interest at today’s preview.


TKG+

BOOTH 3D01

With works by Wu Tien-Chang, Kao Chung-Li, Yuan Goang-Ming, Yao Jui-chung, Su Yu-Hsien

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

New to this year’s fair is Tina Keng Gallery’s sister venue, TKG+. With a focus on new media and emerging artists, the Taipei space has a curated show, “Mapping An Island Nation,” at this year’s fair, featuring Wu Tien-Chang (Venice Biennale, 2015) and Yao Jui-chung’s work for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, from his “Roaming Around the Ruins” series. With what must surely be the most affordable work at this year’s fair, Su Yu-Hsien’s CD recordings of her 2011 video installation Plastic Man, featuring a trio of trash recyclers in Tainan, cost an eminently reasonable HK$120 a pop.


Lawrie Shabibi

Insights, 3D29

With works by Farhad Ahrarnia, Shahpour Pouyan

Installation view of Lawrie Shabibi’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the gallery.

Installation view of Lawrie Shabibi’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy of the gallery.

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP

In Hong Kong for the first time this year, Dubai gallery Lawrie Shabibi presents “Recentring Modernism,” featuring works by Farhad Ahrarnia and Shahpour Pouyan. The latter recalls through drawings a spectacular Shi’ite mausoleum in Iraq recently destroyed by ISIS; while Ahrarnia’s highly intricate works continue the artist’s exploration of traditional crafts through Khatam. A form of marquetry or mosaic comprising inlaid wood, camel bone, ivory, and metals, here they’re organized to resemble Kazimir Malevich’s geometric abstract paintings.



Frances Arnold and Alexander Forbes


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