Art Basel Hong Kong is an important platform for Asian Contemporary Art and undoubtedly an unmissable rendezvous for the Asian Art Market. For this year’s edition, half of the participating galleries have exhibitions space in Asia and the Asia-Pacific which shows the fair’s commitment to the region’s art scene.
Among the highlights of this year Encounters section was Willing to be vulnerable – Metalized Ballon, the giant silver zeppelin-shape balloon that could be seen suspended in the air by South Korean artist Lee Bul and Where Are We Going? by Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota. In her site-specific installation, boats made of white cotton that hung from the ceiling seemed to float toward an unknown destination.
In the Discoveries section, the fair focused on new talents including the emerging artist Shen Xin, showing her last video work at the MadeIn Gallery’s booth, Lu Yang with her hypnotic video installation presented by Société, and the young Taiwanese artist Peng Yihsuan who exhibited his series Impermanent Marks at the A+ Contemporary’s booth.
The Insight section highlighted the regional art scene with 21 galleries presenting work by Asian artists. In this section, Pifo (Beijing) presented Tea Feeding a performative installation by Zhang Yu. The work consists of bowls, positioned in a grid on large scale paper sheets, that the artist filled with tea that spilled over and created stains on the paper. The artist came every day to the gallery’s booth to repeat the process. This minimal artwork was very much steeped in Chinese and Zen cultures. A bit further at Baton’s booth, South Korean artist Jinnie Seo exhibited her installation The Presence of Absence, a series of cut copper plates, folded and unfolded, which took inspiration from the artist’s childhood memories.