A city established by trade and passers-through, Hong Kong, China, now boasts one of the world’s most robust and compelling art markets. This week, like an added sparkle or a swirl of whipped cream, Art Basel opens in the city for all to enjoy. This is the fourth edition of the festival in Hong Kong and one of the biggest yet, with 239 galleries to see (600 applied!), so there’s plenty to see, do, and appreciate. So while the event isn’t going on in New York City, lots of Western galleries like Gagosian and Lehmann Maupin have galleries on Art Basel Hong Kong’s list.
The fair is so large that even Doryun Chong, chief curator for gallery M+, recommends that visitors pick and choose what they want to see because there’s just no way to do it all. “It’s the most clichéd recommendation that is the most truthful,” he says. “Don’t put importance on mastering the whole space—you will quickly tire out. Focus on what catches your eye. Think about why it’s catching your eye and try to learn more about that artist.”
Some of those things to see and do include works by fan-favorite Warhol, of different mediums, all with different content. If bugs or creepy-crawlies are of more interest to you, you can go see some enormous sculptures of spiders by Louise Bourgeois. Spiders are said to bring happiness and wealth, according to Chinese culture. Those works are on display with Hauser and Wirth who selected a “bugs” theme for their collection.
Korean artist Do Ho Suh’s works sold for between $10,000 and $200,000 with Lehmann Maupin, hefty prices for a city that considers itself pretty moneyed.
An interesting and interactive piece from Zhang Ding and ShanghART and Krinzinger is 18 Cubes, a display that invites guests to put on a pair of black gloves, grab a piece of onyx from the work, and destroy it.
Art Basel Hong Kong will run until Saturday, March 26th, and tickets range from 180 HKD to 650 HKD.