With Art Basel returning for its third year in Hong Kong, you’ve got no excuse not to know what’s happening, but don’t worry we’ve got your back and created a handy little guide jam-packed with all the need to know info to give you a jump stART on all this art. Ready, steady, Go!
Straight to the Art
Led by new Director Adeline Ooi, Art Basel Hong Kong’s 2015 program will feature 233 of the world’s premier art galleries, from 37 countries, presenting premier works ranging from the Modern period of the early 20th century to the most contemporary artists of today. This diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, and performances will run across six sectors, “Galleries” featuring established modern and contemporary art galleries from around the globe, “Discoveries” a strong showcase of emerging artists, “Insights” dedicated to projects from the Asia-Pacific region, “Magazines” featuring magazine stands, editor talks and panel discussions from the world top art publications, and “Encounters” presenting large-scale sculptural and installation pieces. For the second year running, Art Basel will present a “Film” sector, a three-day, free to attend program curated by Beijing and Zurich-based multi-media artist and producer Li Zhenhua showcased at the Hong Kong Arts Centre’s agnès b. cinema.
Listen to Your Art
Sunday through Tuesday, Art Basel’s Conversations and Salon, will offer first-hand access to preeminent leaders in the arts with talks, panels, lectures and performances. The free to attend morning Conversations series will feature dynamic dialog between prominent voices in the international art world, offering their unique perspective on producing, collecting, and exhibiting art. The afternoon Salon program will be a more informal platform of short presentations featuring a range of speakers including artists, academics, curators, critics and collectors. Sunday evening will see one of the pinnacles of the week, the hotly anticipated Intelligence Squared debate deliberating whether
“The Art World Is A Boys’ Club” or an evolving arena where women are continually breaking the mold. (Tickets: HK$300, www.hkticketing.com).
Total Eclipse of the Art
This year, Art Basel has collaborated with renowned Chinese artist Cao Fei to light up skyline with “Same Old, Brand New” – a video installation, which will be displayed across the entire façade of the 490 metre high ICC tower. The multimedia installation references 1980s video games, reflects on the rapid changes occurring in Chinese society, and aims to turn collective memories into a current reality. Download the “ICC Light and Music Show” app from the Apple app store or Google play store to experience the full exhibit including musical accompaniment to the video. The best spots to view the installation, showing at 6.30pm, 7.20pm, 8.10pm, 9.00pm, 9.50pm (1o-minutes each session) every evening from Friday, 13 to Tuesday, 17 March, are the terraces on Podium 3 and 4 of ifc Mall where an accompanying audio piece by Hong Kong sound artist Dickson Dee will be played. Other recommended viewing points are the harbourfront Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park and Tamar Park. Bring a picnic dinner and a bottle of wine, sit on the grassy lawn and let the lights do the talking. (*image is a draft by the artist)
Eat Your Art Out
Whether it’s hot new restaurant art collaborations or hip beach bars shaking things up on the scene, there are lots of inspiring spaces to sip and savour during the fair… At Duddell’s, you’ll have tons of food for thought in between delectable cocktails and dim sum with their newest exhibit ICA Off-Site: Hong Kongese showcasing the work of local and international artists, which identifies with the evolving nature of Hong Kong. Not just for fish & chips anymore, The Pawn has recently revealed a carefully curated art program in collaboration with one of Hong Kong’s most respected artists, Anothermountainman (Stanley Wong) to be showcased in both the bar and restaurant. Next up, head into The Woods for uber-creative cocktails inspired by Warhol, Hirst, and Rothko, or wander a little bit further down Hollywood Road to Bibo, a glamorous hideaway where you can sip champagne and 1930s cocktails in the presence of inspiring art installations and paintings by some of the world’s most renowned artists including Basquiat, Hirst, Murakami, and Banksy. Set to officially open this week with a series of live music events called “Go South Weekender” is Hotshot, a surf-themed and art filled bar at The Pulse in Repulse Bay by the same owners as Bibo, and a perfect pit stop after checking out the nearby HOCA exhibition by JR. Keep the party going at KEE Club on Friday 13 March with a live performance by platinum award-winning young Swiss musician Bastian Baker and on Saturday 14 March with an exclusive DJ set by Orbital co-founder Phil Hartnoll (both HK$250 on Ticketflap).
Just in time for Art Basel, the city’s galleries are upping the ante on their exhibits with groundbreaking, expertly curated shows. Check out: Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes’ exhibition at White Cube, which will be launched on 12 March in conjunction with a private concert by Brazilian musician Bebel Gilberto at MO Bar, French artist JR’s “Ghosts of Ellis Island. An Unframed Project, Short Preview” at Galerie Perrotin, young American artist Alex Prager’s debut exhibition in Hong Kong at Lehmann Maupin, “Perfection by Chance—A Yi Pai Series Exhibition” of leading Chinese artists curated by distinguished Professor Gao Minglu at Pearl Lam Galleries, Chinese contemporary pop artist Jacky Tsai’s first solo show in Hong Kong at The Cat Street Gallery, “Forces of Nature” featuring portraits by renowned American photographer Annie Leibovitz and canvases by celebrated Japanese contemporary painter Hiroshi Senju at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, “Life is Only One” a solo exhibition by Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara at Asia Society, an exhibition by Italian painter Rudolf Stingel at Gagosian Gallery and “The Inevitable” an exhibition of new paintings by renowned Hong Kong-based artist Simon Birch at Ben Brown Fine Arts.
Groove Is In the Art
Looking for more groundbreaking events to feed your creative side? Check-out the first-ever edition of Art Central, an innovative contemporary art fair running alongside Art Basel from 14 – 16 March 2015 and staged in a 10,000-square metre pop-up designer space on the new Central Harbourfront. Don’t miss an outdoor Street Food corner hosted by Brickhouse, Beef & Liberty and Classified, an 11-metre mural by Hong Kong graffiti artist Xeme and an awe-inspiring crystal light installation created by Swarovski in collaboration with HK interior designer extraordinaire Joyce Wang. Over at Conrad Hong Kong, the intimate Asia Contemporary Art Show will give you the chance to view and buy original paintings, limited editions, sculpture and photography while meeting and greeting with the artists firsthand (12 to 15 March). A little further afield at Chai Wan Mei Art & Design Festival on 14 and 15 March, explore Hong Kong’s grassroots arts scene with guerilla art installations, designer pop-ups, interactive performances, open studio cocktails and their second annual epic Chai Wan Nites warehouse party on the Saturday.
Need somewhere to relax away from the hustle and bustle and digest all of this culture? Where better than at the Mandarin Oriental where you can sip specially designed cocktails inspired by the various exhibition sectors “Insights”, “Discoveries”, “Encounters” and “Film” at M Bar (though 22 March) or indulge in the Revive After Baseling revitalizing foot and leg treatment at The Mandarin Spa (HK$1000). Or just steps away from the show, duck into the Grand Hyatt for a “Cake Painting Afternoon Tea” created by British artist Peter McDonald and Executive Pastry Chef David White to evoke an artist’s studio, including the chance to paint your very own ‘blank canvas’ cheesecake (14 – 31 March). Across the harbour at The Peninsula, witness an awe-inspiring public art installation by renowned British artist and sculptor Richard Wilson entitled “Hang On A Minute Lads… I’ve Got A Great Idea”, featuring a full-sized replica of a vintage twin-axel Harrington Legionnaire coach that appears to be teetering on the edge of The Peninsula’s seventh-floor Sun Terrace (through 8 April). Or head to Langham Place Hotel for a leisurely stroll through their collection of over 1500 Chinese and contemporary art pieces (art kit and audio guide available), followed by lunch or cocktails at the hotel’s newest watering hole Alibi. **After your art tour, Dim Sum & Then Some readers can enjoy a complimentary glass of Prosecco with lunch or a complimentary cocktail or chocolate dessert in the evening when mentioning “DSTS” to your server (through 11 April).
Got all that? Everything kicks off this week, so get out there and get your art on.
Art Basel 2015
Saturday, 14 March 2015, 4pm to 9pm Vernissage (limited tickets available, advanced purchase only)
Sunday, 15 March 2015, 1pm to 8pm (limited tickets available, advance purchase recommended)
Monday, 16 March 2015, 12 noon to 8pm
Tuesday, 17 March 2015, 12 noon to 5pm
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