While the political discontent that ignited the protests remains largely unresolved, collectors were nonetheless in high spirits, with some impressive sales registered within hours of the fair’s opening. Art Basel’s decision to shift its Hong Kong edition from May to March has been a hit, attracting a spate of new galleries and leveling out a lopsided fair and auction calendar for collectors. And the opening evening’s boisterous sales bode well for 2015 to be a watershed year in the Asian fair’s young history.
With 233 galleries hailing from 37 countries (half of them from Asia), Art Basel in Hong Kong continues to play the diversity card, acting as a gateway to discovering Asia Pacific-based galleries alongside noteworthy European and American names. A strong spattering of younger galleries presenting emerging artists in the Discoveries section too. In spite of the variety of galleries and artists, the fair’s 2015 edition is a consistently painting-heavy affair: from Lee Ufan
’s gestural one-touch strokes at Paris-based ABHK newcomer kamel mennour to Xu Zhen
’s slick take on
’s notorious L’origine du monde
at Beijing’s Long March Space
—a healthy supply of Yayoi Kusama
canvases are also to be seen seemingly everywhere.