Art Basel Hong Kong: A Fresh Perspective on Art Fairs

As an art advisor, I typically prepare extensively for art fairs, selecting galleries and artworks for clients. However, this year at Art Basel Hong Kong, I attended without clients, allowing me to fully immerse myself in the experience and explore the city’s cultural landmarks.

Upon arrival in Hong Kong, I visited the gallery district, attending openings at Hauser & Wirth, Pedder Building Galleries, and the new Pearl Lam Gallery on Duddell Street. Pearl Lam’s exhibition „The Night“ by Maggi Hambling was particularly striking. This exhibition highlights Hambling’s mastery in capturing the ethereal beauty of nature and physical touch across canvases of energy and emotion, reminiscent in some instances of Chinese calligraphy. Pearl Lam’s enduring passion for art and the deep, intuitive connection she shares with artists, is something we have in common. 

After the evening walk enjoying art, I strolled up to Hollywood Road and stopped at a noodle bar for a very spicy hot soup and with kindle in hand sat on the street reading a Hong Kong mystery.

During the fair, I relished the freedom to discover new Asian galleries and reconnect with familiar artists, including Yang Fudong, who I collaborated with on his film “Moving Mountains” for the Rolls-’Royce Art Program. His new work “Sparrow on the Sea” is a site-specific ‘architectural film’ shown on the facade of the M+ Museum during Art Basel. Shot in Hong Kong, the black-and-white film weaves together scenes from seaside villages and nocturnal city streets. By referencing visual motifs and textures from classic Hong Kong cinema of the 1970s to the 1990s, Yang aims to evoke a sense of nostalgic familiarity. 

Networking opportunities abounded, especially in the VIP Lounge, where I caught up with longtime collaborators such as Chinese artist Wang Xiao Hui, whose retrospective I curated in the Tianjin Museum of Modern Art in 2009. 

Family and friends met at Pearl’s Gala Dinner at the Peninsula Hotel. The company has an interesting art program titled: “Art in Resonance”. It facilitates partnerships between contemporary artists and Peninsula properties around the world, offering inspiring experiences for hotel guests and a spotlight for creators.

Over the next day, I explored the new cultural district and M+, a museum shaped significantly by public input and home to Uli Sigg’s renowned collection. The museum focuses on design, film, and popular culture – thus M+ – Museum and More.

Last dinner was with collector friends and the artist Joseph Tong who presented his new series of works at Art Basel. His philosophical approach and experimental use of materials like Plexiglas and dichroic film challenges traditional art perceptions and engages with environmental and existential themes. His works emphasize his unquenchable thirst for intellectual exploration. IAM has placed his works in private collections and created commissions in companies. 

After three days of enriching art, insightful conversations, and the vibrant backdrop of Hong Kong, I returned to Copenhagen, inspired and energized by the art that fuels my business.


On Key

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