Art Basel Hong Kong returns to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) with 104 leading galleries from 23 countries and territories selected for the 2021 edition. Bringing together Art Basel’s digital and physical platforms in a new scale and format, this year's show features 56 satellite booths by galleries who could not physically attend and the new ‘Art Basel Live: Hong Kong' initiative to broadcast the show to a global audience.Art Basel Hong Kong will present a unique overview of the diverse art scenes across Asia and beyond, focusing on both historical work from the region and emerging artists and galleries. Art Basel Hong Kong, whose Lead Partner is UBS, will take place from May 19 to May 23, 2021.
The ninth edition of Art Basel Hong Kong will feature a strong line-up of galleries from across Hong Kong and overseas, presenting a wide scope of works including both contemporary positions, such as Rirkrit Tiravanija's presentation of paintings inspired by Philip Guston at Gladstone Gallery, Danh Vō presented by Take Ninagawa, and historical presentations that expand our knowledge of pioneering practices ranging from Fernando Zóbel at Mayoral to a deep dive into the early experimental artists of the 1970s Korea with Arario Gallery.
Art Basel will launch the new digital initiative ‘Art Basel Live: Hong Kong' to amplify the international visibility of its exhibitors by connecting galleries digitally with a global audience. ‘Art Basel Live: Hong Kong' will run in parallel to the show, including an Online Viewing Room, a program of special events, as well as live broadcasts and virtual walkthroughs for VIPs from the HKCEC and throughout the city, bringing audiences from around the world to Hong Kong. Additional details on ‘Art Basel Live: Hong Kong' and its programming will be announced in the coming weeks.
To further support its galleries in a time of restricted international travel into Hong Kong, Art Basel will offer new models and approaches for the upcoming show. Satellite booths have been introduced across all sectors for exhibitors whose physical attendance is not possible due to current regulations. With 56 booths this new concept will allow each exhibitor to present their own small, curated exhibition that will be staffed by a local representative appointed by Art Basel.
Reflecting the type of collaborative events catalyzed by the pandemic period, several international galleries have also joined forces for collective booths, such as Silverlens and Rossi & Rossi, Meyer Riegger and Sies + Höke, as well as Antenna Space and Balice Hertling. A special highlight will be the collective booth by eight leading Italian galleries: Alfonso Artiaco, Cardi Gallery, Galleria Continua, Galleria Franco Noero, Galleria d'Arte Maggiore G.A.M., Mazzoleni, Massimo De Carlo and Rossi & Rossi. Art Basel also welcomes the Fine Art Asia Pavilion as a special feature of the show, a thematic showcase of antiques and objet d’art made mostly before the 1940s.
Adeline Ooi, Director Asia, Art Basel said: ‘It has been truly inspiring to witness the ways in which the art world has been adapting to the current circumstances. We are deeply grateful to our participating galleries for their commitment to our show here in Hong Kong this year. Once again, Hong Kong’s institutions and non-profits have offered their full support by putting together a range of programs and events alongside Art Basel Hong Kong. We are delighted that we are able to introduce new models that support our galleries, from the satellite booths to the expansion of our digital offerings as a way to amplify the international reach of our galleries with ‘Art Basel Live: Hong Kong'.'
The main sector of the show features 86 of the world's leading galleries presenting the highest quality of painting, sculpture, drawings, installation, photography, video and digital works. This year’s Galleries sector includes a strong overview of historical works from Asia, such as the presentation of the first generation of experimental artist from Korea, Kim Kulim, Byungso Choi, and Soun-Gui Kim at Arario Gallery; Tokyo Gallery + BTAP's showcase of work by Yoshio Sekine, Kishio Suga, Jiro Takamatsu, Lee Ufan, Lee Jin Woo, and Park Seo-Bo. These historical presentations will be complemented by a range of young artists such as Firenze Lai at Vitamin Creative Space, Harold Ancart at Clearing, Elizabeth Glaessner at P.P.O.W, Trevor Shimizu at 47 Canal, and Bendt Eyckermans at Carlos/Ishikawa. Participating in the Hong Kong show for the first time, Proyectos Monclova from Mexico City will present a selection of new works by Gabriel de la Mora from his ongoing series, 'Neornithes'. Other first-time participants include Karma, while Empty Gallery and Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery will be graduating from Insights.
Bringing together 10 galleries this year, Insights illustrates the modern art history of Asia and the Asia-Pacific through curated presentation of works by important artists from the region. Highlights include a series of new works by Korean photographer Heeseung Chung at Gallery Baton; Leo Gallery’s presentation with Lin Yan, whose work interprets ink and Chinese rice paper in a contemporary way; first-time participant Shibunkaku’s booth of works by post-war Japanese artist Morita Shiryu, a pivotal figure in contemporary calligraphy in Asia; and Axel Vervoordt Gallery's presentation of‘Encounter – A Mirror Woman’ by Korean artist Kimsooja. Asia Art Center will juxtapose the works of Lee Tsai-chien and Fadjar Sidik, who are from Taiwan and Indonesia respectively, to explore the evolution of geometric abstraction in the two regions; while Nukaga Gallery will bring together works by Saori Akutagawa and Yuki Katsura, two radical women artists who represent the dynamic creative transformation experienced by women in post-war Japan.
Focused on solo shows by emerging artists, Discoveries this year will feature 8 galleries, including first-time participant Anat Ebgi, showcasing new paintings by Greg Ito. Other highlights include High Art’s presentation of paintings by Hun Kyu Kim that take inspiration from the tradition of Korean silk painting technique, and Shanghai-based conceptual artist Liu Ren presented by Don Gallery. Capsule Shanghai will present Hong Kong-based artist Leelee Chan, while Vanguard Gallery will showcase a multi-media installation by Shandong-based artist Zhu Changquan.
Museums Shows and Institutions
Visitors to the show will have the opportunity to view Hong Kong's leading museums and institutions:
Asia Art Archive
'Learning What Can’t Be Taught'
Asia Society Hong Kong Centre
'Extended Figure: The Art and Inspiration of Lalan'
Hong Kong Museum of Art
'Mythologies: Surrealism and Beyond – Masterpieces from Centre Pompidou'
Tai Kwun Contemporary
'Portals, Journeys, and Other Stories'
The Hong Kong Art Gallery Association (HKAGA) will host a series of gallery nights in the lead-up to Art Basel Hong Kong.
As ever, Art Basel's highest priority at all times remains the health and safety of its staff, exhibitors, and visitors. In full compliance with the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulations from the Hong Kong government, the physical layout and logistics of the show have been planned with social distancing considerations, including widened aisles, reduced hall capacity, and setting up social distancing queues on site.