Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
2013.05.23 Thu - 2013.05.26 Sun
Opening Exhibitions
Vernissage: Wednesday, May 22, 5 pm to 9 pm (by invitation only)
1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
+852 3127 5529
Opening Hours
Thursday, May 23, 12 pm to 7 pm Friday, May 24, 12 pm to 7 pm Saturday, May 25, 12 pm to 7 pm Sunday, May 26, 12 pm to 5 pm
Magnus Renfrew

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Art Basel Hong Kong 2013

So, the Art Basel behemoth is almost upon us in Hong Kong. This year, 245 exhibitors (slightly down on last year’s 264) will converge on the Exhibition Centre; 50% of them are drawn from the Asia and Asia-Pacific regions, whilst this year sees a new influx of New York galleries.

First-timers include Dominique Levy Gallery (New York), Johnen Galerie (Berlin) and Mayoral Galeria D’Art (Barcelona). By contrast, conspicuous by their absence this year (for fair-tigue or other reasons) are Primo Marella Gallery, Bitforms, Ltd. Los Angeles, Michael Hoppen Gallery, Maureen Paley, Vilma Gold and Alexander Ochs. For a full list of who’s in and who’s out compared with last year, see our run-down below.

One also notices – following the opening by a number of Western and mainland Chinese galleries of spaces in Hong Kong – that it is now these new branches that are represented at the fair (examples are Pekin Fine Arts, Perrotin and Rossi + Rossi).

Having dispensed with Asia One and Art Futures, the 2013 Basel edition will have four sections. Alongside the main Galleries section will be Insights – presenting projects developed specifically for the fair by Asian or Asia-Pacific galleries; Discoveries is the new name for the emerging-artist platform. Encounters (curated by Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo) will involve a series of giant works around the exhibition halls, brought by the likes of Tang Contemporary, Arndt, Edouard Malingue, Simon Lee and Osage galleries.

Away from the main drag, a plethora of satellite events and shows promise to keep you moving between venues such as Spring Workshop, the experimental/collaborative design workshop ilivetomorrow and the Goethe-Institut. These, and impressive exhibitions amongst Hong Kong’s growing crop of galleries make for a very busy schedule, and that’s before the parties start. (You will have the opportunity to see works of Frank Auerbach, Nadim Abbas, Chinese avant-garde photography from the 1980s and ’90s, Qiu Zhijie and Auguste Rodi.)

Our list of essentials (thanks to Those Who Know) is here to help you get through the week looking less like a Jackson Pollock than latter-period Agnes Martin – cool, calm yet richly expressive.

Billy Apple, “For Sale (Test Strip)”, letterpress on canvas, 460 x 860 mm, 1961 (at Starkwhite gallery, hall 1, 1D19).
Billy Apple,《出售(试验片)》,布面凸版印刷,460 x 860 mm, 1961 (Starkwhite画廊, 1号展厅, 1D19展位)。

Look out For:
From Beijing veteran Pekin Fine Arts (hall 1, 1B23), memorable paintings by Nashunbatu, Zhang Dali photograms and some more off-the-wall pieces by Hungarian artist Kata Legrady. Galerie Urs Meile (hall 1, 1B15) will be a good spot for sculpture, with work by Hu Qingyan, Not Vital and Li Gang.

A reliable source for painters such as Jia Aili and Ma Ke is Platform China (hall 1, 1B27). Alongside its usual solid stable of emerging names, Beijing Commune (Hall 3, 3C07 ) has vouched to bring both its newest recruits (Shang Yixin will have his first solo show at the gallery later this year), and older work from the likes of Liu Jianhua (Painted Sculpture Series 2002-9). Magician Space (Hall 1, 1C25), who blazed a trail with Gao Weigang in 2011 but fell somewhat short of that high last year, will try its luck with Zhuang Hui and Dan’er, plus three other artists.

Look out for striking colours and texture courtesy of Pearl Lam Galleries (hall 1, 1D09) with Zhu Jinshi and Jason Martin; Tang Contemporary (hall 3, 3C17) will be immersing visitors in Ya Lei’s (paradoxically comprehensive) “Limited Art Project.” The trove of works by young Chinese artists flown in by White Space (Hall 1, 1B12) will include He Xiangyu’s “My Fantasy” – a work you are unlikely to forget.

New recruit Gallery Yang (hall 3, 3D19), from Beijing, will bring mixed media work by Yan Bing; Victoria Miro (hall 3, 3D05) – also in HK for the first time, is playing it safe with Yayoi Kusama. White Cube is bringing a staggering 53 artists to booth 1D12 (hall 1).  Don’t miss an appealing “Small is Beautiful” show chez Hadrien de Montferrand gallery (hall 3, 3D26), which will include early works by Ai Weiwei, Huang Rui, Mao Yan, Li Guijun and Ling Jian.

From Shanghai, highlights include Leo Xu Projects (hall 1, 1C56) with a solo display by Chen Wei and Shanghai Gallery of Art (hall 1, 1B28), who will show Gao Weigang (to match his exhibition there this month), as well as the likes of MAP Office and Xu Bing. Aike Dellarco (hall 1, 1D50) will be there with a video installation and photography by Li Ran.

There will be video works also at Vitamin Creative Space (hall 3, D02). ShanghART (hall 1, 1D11) has diverse offerings this year, ranging from Zhou Tiehai to Yang Fudong, MadeIn Company, Liang Shaoji and Geng Jianyi. French titan Perrotin (hall 1, 1C37) lists art fair-favourite Wim Delvoye for their booth, who will rub shoulders there with artists like Takashi Murakami, Lionel Estève and Bharti Kher for a really international mix. Chengdu-based A Thousand Plateaus (hall 3, 3D13) will feature sculpture, photography and painting.

Head to Edouard Malingue (hall 3, 3D20) for large paintings by Cui Xinming, and perhaps a couple of pieces in neon and mixed media by Laurent Grasso. Almine Rech (hall 3, 3D31) has ten artists at HK this year, including Richard Prince, Ugo Rondinone, Liu Wei and Yeesookyung. And speaking of Korean artists, Arario (hall 1, 1B04), of course, has local names plus a sprinkling of imports like Subodh Gupta and Geraldine Javier.

Around the fair, one could also look out for works by Mao Xuhui, Mao Yan, Mona Hatoum, René Burri, Ronald Ventura, Jorge Méndez Blake, Lawrence Carroll, Frank Walter, Georg Baselitz, Arne Quinze and Becky Beasley. And there’s no escaping those three big “A”s – Anthony Gormley, Marina Abramović and Anish Kapoor in hall 1.