It’s that time of year again. Art Basel Hong Kong (ABHK) arrives for the first time in our great city with tons of buzz. For those who are new to all this, all you need to know that this art fair in Hong Kong is the 3rd largest art fair in the world, third only to Art Basel in Basel and Art Basel in Miami. Before the Art Basel brand took over this year, the fair was dubbed ART HK (see all my ART HK posts here). The fair grew so successful since its inception in 2007 that ART BASEL officially became the major stakeholder of the fair in 2011.
This year there wil be 245 galleries from the around the world with over 50 percent coming from Asia and Asia-Pacific. Of the 245, 48 galleries will mark their first appearance at a fair in Hong Kong. The show will be presented in four sectors: “Galleries” for general work, “Insights” for Asia based works made for the HK Show, “Discoveries” for works by emerging contemporary artists globally, and “Encounters” for site specific works exhibited beyond the booth around the floor and curated by Yuko Hasegawa, chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.
Before we get further into the fair, so much is happening around the city with “OFF-Basel” (Official and Unofficial) Activities in the build up to opening night this Wednesday for VIP Members and Thursday for the General Public.
Here is our TOP 5 ‘OFF-Basel’ Guide to (Official and Unofficial) Events and Exhibitions Outside Art Basel Hong Kong:
+ ‘PAPER RAIN’ A Public Parade by Arto Lindsay
This multi-media parade built around the idea of cinema, unspools along the Victoria Harbourfront and on the Star Ferry. Contributions from Nadim Abbas, Haegue Yang, Angela Su, João Vasco Paiva, Korakrit Arunanodchai, Alice Ma, Enoch Cheng, Otomo Yoshihide, Cedric Maridet, Kung Chi Shing and Shane Aspegren, as well as more special guests to be announced.
Art Basel Hong Kong is eager to invite the public to take part and participate in this public event commemorating the first day of Art Basel in Hong Kong. The parade begins with a choir performance at the HKCEC Expo Drive Entrance. Then officially commences from Central Pier No. 10 (ferry will take public from Wanchai to Central). Parade will take artists and public to the Victoria Harbourfront and will end with an electro-acoustic performance by Otomo Yoshihide.
23 MAY 2013, Thur 16:30 - 19:00 / Public Parade Begins at HKCEC Expo Drive Entrance and Ends at the Viewing Platforms at the Victoria Harbourfront / Free and Open To The Public / Weblink
+ The Saamlung Three: Nadim Abbas @ CL3, Joao Vasco Pavia @ Goethe-Institute, Adrian Wong x Absolut Art Bureau @ Fringe Club
The highly celebrated Saamlung may have ceased operations as a commercial gallery in January 2013, but its space-less expansive projects and works are going the non-commercial route with new shows for the week of Art Basel Hong Kong curated by founder, Robin Peckham.
Expect new works by its core group of artists, Nadim Abbas, Joao Vasco Paiva, and Adrian Wong (under the Absolut Art Bureau curation)…in three spaces. Abbas’ animated GIFs and molecular structures will be exhibited in an architect’s studios at CL3. One floor below, Paiva continues his formal studies at the Goethe-Institut spaces, and supported by Edouard Malingue Gallery. Wong will have a very interesting “art bar” installation at the Fringe Club with animatronic jazz bands, geriatric lounge singers, Asian porn soundtracks, and surly waiters from a soy sauce steak joint.
Nadim Abbas at CL3 Architects 20-25 MAY 2013, 15F Hong Kong Arts Centre 2 Harbour Road Wanchai / Joao Vaco Paiva at Goethe-Institut Hong Kong 20 MAY - 8 JUN 2013, 14F Hong Kong Arts Centre 2 Harbour Road Wanchai / Adrian Wong Wun Dun Art Bar with Absolut Art Bureau 22-25 MAY 2013, BF Fringe Club 2 Lower Albert Road Central / Free and Open to The Public / Weblink
+ MOBILES by Xavier Veilhan
Word on the street is that Xavier Veilhan may erect site specific MOBILES at Galerie Perrotin’s 50 Connaught Road home. This week expect a group of recent and never-before scene mobiles of varying shapes and dimensions. Veilhan is known for his site-specific interventions in cities, parks, and living environments (most recently iconic Lautner homes in Los Angeles.)
Veilhan, as a multidisciplinary artist, is “possessed by a highly personal artistic universe inhabited by a heterodox range of characters, objects and animals. Through these devices, the playful component emerges as a fundamental element in evoking a reality populated with symbols, metaphors and other semantic ambiguities.” These timeless studies a transformed into iconic objects that aim to communicate via a “POP” language.
Xavier Veilhan’s Mobiles / 21 MAY - 6 JUL 2013, Galerie Perrotin 50 Connaught Road Central HK / Free and Open To The Public / Weblink
+ The Gift Shop by TANGRAM
For the second year in a row, Tangram will make Hong Kong’s best independent art, design, and fashion available for all Art Basel guests to take a little something back from Hong Kong with them as gifts for themselves or their loved ones in the world. Yes, it’s the long awaited annual, The Gift Shop, a 2 day pop-up concept shop to be located in Tangram’s studios in Chai Wan Mei (the art and design spaces within Chai Wan’s industrial district.)
Tangram’s newest collections will be on sale, but so will the rest of these amazing independent brands:
Stars & Tart (silk scarves) / Ferse Verse (paper products) / Hammer & Needle ( Leather Goods for Men) / Harlex (leather goods that can be personalized) / Gemma Hayden Blest (pressed plant collages) / 15SquareStreet (Men’s accessories) / TheYesterdaySkin (vintage and repurposed womenswear collection) / Or-Play (thoughtful children’s toys) / La Petite Mort Preserves and Jams (by Ashton Winkler, ex-Heirloom) / Teahka / MatterMatters (women’s accessories) / Tangram Loves Jaycow (bespoke headpieces with Jaycow Milliner) / Signed Prints By HK Illustrators Kitty Wong, Emilie Sarnel, Emilie Eldridge
Although Tangram’s founder Paola Sinisterra is perfectly happy with the “Off-Basel” annual shop to stay in Chai Wan, something tells me that this initiative should be closer to the fair next year because it is a treat for guests from out of town to go to a one-stop-shop for all the “CURATED” independent and design goods from our city. And I say curated because that HKTDC Design Store at the Convention Center and Hong Kong Airport just DOESNT Cut it. NO Offense to Anyone.
The Gift Shop / 24 - 25 MAY 2013, Tangram Studio, Unit 1701 Chai Wan Industrial City Phase 2 70 Wing Tai Road Chai Wan / Free and Open To The Public / Facebook Page and Instructions for Transportation
+ Wong Chuk Hang Art Night
With the Chai Wan Mei galleries and design space unveiling open studio programs for Saturday and Sunday, I’d like to highlight another new Art District on Hong Kong Island… the Wong Chuk Hang Art District composed of a group of gallery spaces with include Spring Workshop, Blindspot (annex), Rossi & Rossi, Pekin Fine Arts, Gallery EXIT, and Alisan Fine Arts.
This Thursday night will be their “Art Night” with exhibits by Qui Zhijie, Fang Lu, David Adamo, Christopher Orr, Yang Xinguang, and photographs by Ai Wei Wei, Gu Zheng, Han Lei, Zhao Liang, Qiu Zhijie, and RongRong to name a few. Should be fun. Plus the SPRING space is amazing. (See previous post.)
Wong Chuk Hang Art Night / 23 MAY 2013 Thur 17:00-23:00, 3F Remex Centre 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road (entrance Heung Yip Road) Aberdeen / Free and Open To The Public / Shuttle Bus Available at Art Basel Hong Kong Expo Drive Entrance Starting 18:00 / Weblink
I will see you at all these things… well me or my clones.