Art Basel Hong Kong will celebrate its fifth year with a wide array of both established and emerging artists and galleries.
Founded in 1970, Art Basel is a massive showcase of modern and contemporary art hosted in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. You may remember Paste’s coverage of Art Basel Miami, the showcase that took place in early December of 2016 and was somewhat marred by the recent U.S. election, though it boasted high art sales, ironically from largely conservative art collectors. Art Basel Hong Kong will host 241 galleries from 34 countries, and put them into sectors such as Insights, Discoveries, Kabinett and Encounters.
The Encounters sector will present 17 large-scale sculptural installations, which according to a press release, will “transcend the traditional art fair booth.” Alexie Glass-Kantor, director of Art Space and third-year curator of the Encounters sector, said that audience engagement and interaction is important to the success of the sector. This year, Encounters will explore the themes of time, space and meaning. Glass-Kantor said, “I was interested in exploring the relationship between time and experience, specifically, how time is related to ‘encounters.’” The projects, which include four site-specific installations and 12 new works, are by internationally acclaimed artists Pio Abad, Rasheed Araeen, Katharina Grosse, Gonkar Gyatso, Joyce Ho, Hu Qingyan, Bingyi, Waqas Khan, Kimsooja, Alicja Kwade, Dinh Q. Lê, Li Jinghu, Sanné Mestrom, Michael Parekowhai, Shen Shaomin, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Wang Wei.
The installations range widely in purpose and construction, from sculptures of communist leaders in crystal coffins to 3D-printed bonsai trees. Other projects include 180 counterfeit reproductions of Margaret Thatcher’s handbag and a cascading scroll exploring the ongoing refugee crisis. Like Art Basel Miami, it seems impossible to separate art from politics.
Art Basel Hong Kong 2017 will take place from March 23-25, and you can find more information here. Watch below to see footage of last year’s fair.