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May 20, 2013

Arts on Fire!

From Hollywood Road’s galleries to up-and-coming neighborhood open studios to the city’s newest art inspired hotspots, temperatures are rising, excitement is in the air and creativity abounds. The first ever Art Basel is sweeping into town this Thursday, May 23 – Sunday, May 26, bringing with it the prestige of its Swiss roots, the sizzling energy of its Miami counterpart, and the most exciting artists and galleries from Asia, and the world. Ready to paint the town? From exclusive exhibits to arts on parade to insider industry hangouts, we’re taking you to the week’s most inspiring spaces and places…

Know Before You Go
The premiere of Art Basel will showcase works by over 3,000 artists, from more than 245 galleries, with more than half from the Asia Pacific region, 48 never having been seen before in HK.  This diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, and performances will run across four sectors, “Galleries” featuring established galleries from around the globe, “Discoveries” showcasing emerging artists, “Insights” dedicated to art from Asia, and “Encounters” presenting large scale installations that transcend traditional gallery spaces, curated by Yuko Hasegawa. Keep your eyes peeled for the BMW Art Car designed in 1990 by César Manrique and the colourfully awe-inspiring Complete Bin Development installation by Liam Gillick.

Talk the Talk
Every morning and afternoon of the show, Art Basel’s Conversations and Salon, will offer first-hand access to panels of preeminent leaders from the international art world, presenting on a number of highly relevant topics, from “Collecting in the Asia Pacific Region” to “Building Asia’s New Museums” (Open to the Public). Friday evening will see one of the pinnacles of the week, the hotly anticipated Intelligence Squared debate deliberating whether or not “The Market Is the Best Judge of Art’s Quality” (Tickets: HK$300,

Walk the Walk
Paper Rain. Paper Rain… Sing a long to the melodic harmonies of Art Basel’s harbour front PAPER RAIN Opening Parade, led by artist and musician Arto Lindsay. Featuring the contributions of artists, musicians, actors, and filmmakers from around Asia, the parade will begin with a choir performance at the HKCEC, leading you to Golden Bauhinia Square where you will be ferried to Pier 10 — the starting line of all the action.  Ferries will be boarding at Golden Bauhinia Square to Central Pier 10 at 5pm. Please RSVP to with your name and the the subject PARADE to reserve your ferry trip to the parade start. (Space is limited)

See and Be Scene
With interiors by Ilse Crawford, whose design credits include Soho House New York, a world-class exhibition program curated by some of Asia’s cultural icons, a lush outdoor terrace and a Michelin-star Cantonese Chef, the newly unveiled Duddell’s  (3/F & 4/F, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street, Central) art salon, restaurant and bar is sure to be the toast of the town. Walk a little farther up the road and immerse yourself in a space filled with history, cultural inspiration and live entertainment, not to mention bespoke cocktails that are works of art unto themselves, at the Adrian Wong designed Wun Dun: Absolut Art Bar at the Fringe Club (Lower Albert Road, Central, open daily from 5pm until 2am). Also top of the art buzz list: KEE Club, AMMO, Café Gray, and SEVVA.

Brush Up
Just in time for Art Basel, the city’s galleries are upping the ante on their exhibits with some groundbreaking, expertly curated shows. Check out: “Writings Without Borders” featuring 11 artists from around the world including UK sensation Tracy Emin at Lehmann Maupin, “Day Falls/Night Falls” by Japanese Master Hiroshi Senju at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, “A Vision in My Dream” by pioneer of modernism Marc Chagall at Opera Gallery, “Light Before Dawn” Unofficial Chinese Art 1974 – 1985 at the stunning Asia Society, a solo show by Japanese contemporary star Takashi Murakami  at Galerie Perrotin, “The Sum of all Evil” by British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman at White Cube, and “Wonderworks” a group show curated by HK’s own Mandy D’Abo at The Space.

Be Inspired
With art top of mind, now is the time to visit one of the city’s burgeoning creative hubs. On the evening of Friday, May 24 and all day on Saturday, May 25, delve into the depths of Chai Wan at Chai Wan Mei Art & Design Open Studio comprised of more than 30 art spaces featuring specially curated exhibitions, performances, pop-up art installations, open-air video screenings, and more. On Thursday, May 23, from 5 – 11pm, check out Wong Chuck Hang Art Night. Start at non-profit exhibition space Spring Workshop before heading to the area’s giant galleries and undiscovered private kitchens (Buses will be available from HKCEC).

Whether you’re a budding art lover or a seasoned aficionado, there’s no place hotter than Hong Kong this week…see you at Art Basel!

Art Basel Hong Kong 2013
Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre
Hall 1 & Hall 3 (Harbour Road Entrance)
Wednesday, May 22, 5pm to 9pm – Vernissage, invitation only
Thursday, May 23, 12pm – 7pm
Friday, May 24, 12pm – 7pm
Saturday, May 25, 12pm – 7pm
Sunday, May 26, 12pm – 5pm
For full Show Guide, click here.
For Tickets visit or click here.

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