2013.05.21 Tue, by
Art Basel Hong Kong 2013 Essentials

Even for the experienced art fair and biennale-circuit set, Art Basel HK represents a challenge. Hong Kong is a sartorial nightmare – rain, heat, humidity, air con, long days and longer nights with barely a chance for a pit stop combine to thwart expected levels of glamour and sophistication. Add to that little time to eat or sleep, plus intoxicating levels of art and alcohol, and you are in for a ride. Here, in no particular order, are a few tips.

A light jersey / shawl for ladies (Ed: ahem, “ladies”?)

Fully rehearsed order prepared in advance for impatient food vendors (NY deli-style)

Money – in suitable amounts (for that Yves Klein work you had your eye on, or a sandwich) (Ed: just say the number of dish, in order).


Portable fan

Yoga class / manicure / hair-do / massage / hair brush / lip salve

Aspirin – many (Ed.)

Notebook and pen (Ed. Folks still use “pens”?)

Good recall (of artists’ names, Art World notaries, books and booths) (Ed. Oh, shit.)

Flexibility – your evening / nocturnal plans may change from minute to minute


Coffee – progressing through the day from cappuccinos to espressos / 鸳鸯 yin yeung (a coffee and condensed milk drink which serves as breakfast and lunch for one gallerist)


VIP / media card / entry ticket (as appropriate)

A safety pin


Sunglasses – large

(Behind the above) a good eye


Required reading – see Randian

Sensible (yet stylish) footwear

Business cards – thousands

A snack (Ed. um, you mean Champagne, right?)

Spare phone battery – charged

A large bag into which to deposit catalogs, fliers, press releases, artist’s biographies, egos etc.

A plan – you can’t expect to see everything, so it’s best to have a hit list in your sights

A good opening line (e.g. “My name’s Larry / Jay / Lu Jie”)

Last but not least, the address of your hotel (or that of the cute artist / collector / cocktail waiter you just….)