Top 12 Shows You Shouldn’t Miss during Art Basel Hong Kong 2018
178,4x85x72cm/701/4 337/16 x283/8 in. Photo: Claire Dorn / Courtesy Perrotin
Good Summer, 2017
Acrylic on canvas
213,4 x 548,6 cm / 7 x 18 ft
Photo: Claire Dorn / Courtesy Perrotin
Samson Young, Palazzo Gundane (homage to the myth-maker who fell to earth), 2017. Silk-screen print on vinyl cover, felt-tip pen on vinyl records, 3D-printed nylon, vitrine of found objects, movable curtain system, neon, video, animation, and ten-channel sound installation. Photo: Simon Vogel.
Sculpture: KAWS, Waiting, 2017. Bronze, paint, 178,4x85x72cm/701/4 337/16 x283/8 in. Photo: Claire Dorn. Courtesy of Perrotin. Painting: KAWS, Good Summer, 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 213,4 x 548,6 cm / 7 x 18 ft. Photo: Claire Dorn. Courtesy of Perrotin.
Ah, Hong Kong in March! For art collectors and art lovers, this means only one thing: Art Basel Hong Kong is around the corner. So pack your bags and wear your comfy shoes for a full-immersion into what the city has to offer during this very special time of the year.
This is the most awaited art event in Asia not only for the quality and variety of works on sale at the booths of the fair, but also for the multitude of collateral exhibitions, scattered around the city. This year in particular there will be rich with the opening of new gallery branches, art spaces putting up their best shows, not to mention the international stars having their work showcased in Hong Kong for the first time.
Thanks to these shows you will be able to see not only the latest art trends across Asia and “the best from the West”, but also learn and participate to the international conversation of where contemporary art is heading. To make this job easier for you, here at Cobo we have put up a selection of the twelve must-see exhibitions, so you’ll be able to balance the commercial side of the fair with the most pressing art discourses.
TEXT: CoBo Editorial Force
IMAGE: Courtesy of galleries, museums and artists
1 – Songs for Disaster Relief World Tour, Samson Young, M+
Co-presented by M+ and Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Samson Young: Songs for Disaster Relief World Tour is the Hong Kong edition of the exhibition Songs for Disaster Relief conceived by multidisciplinary artist Samson Young for the 57th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2017.
Featuring a series of sculptures, objects, videos, sound installations, and site-specific pieces, the exhibition offers a unique audiovisual experience that re-examines the popularity of charity singles from the 1980s.
Creatively repurposing and misreading iconic songs made by popular artists for charitable causes, Young draws on seemingly unrelated past and current events to explore the social, political, and philosophical implications of these type of hits in a cross-cultural context. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of talks, guided tours, and live performances.
9 February – 6 May, 11am–6pm, Wednesday to Sunday M+ Pavilion, West Kowloon Cultural District
2 – Wolfgang Tillmans, David Zwirner
The brand new gallery of David Zwirner in H Queen’s, Central welcomes Art Basel with Wolfgang Tillmans’s first exhibition in Hong Kong. The exhibition will present recent developments in Tillmans’s portraiture and still lifes, self-portraits revealing thermal energy and figurative scenes. We will also see his abstract photographs composed on a photocopying machine and Xeroxes and containing text fragments.
Moving between private, public, and natural spaces, the works in the exhibition continue the artist’s investigation of the surface of the visible world and the limits of what can be seen. Through his seamless integration of genres, subjects, techniques, and exhibition strategies, the artist has expanded conventional ways of approaching the medium.
His practice continues to address the fundamental question of what it means to create pictures in an increasingly image-saturated world.
26 March – 12 May Opening on Mar 26, 2018 – 5 – 9 pm 80 Queen’s Road Central 5/F – 6/F, H Queen’s
3 – Mark Bradford, Hauser & Wirth
There is another leading international gallery which has decided to open its Hong Kong outpost in the newly-developed H Queen’s complex. This is Hauser & Wirth, kicking off with an exhibition of new paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Mark Bradford.
Bradford is one of the world’s most prominent and critically-acclaimed contemporary artists. His densely layered paintings and mixed media installations question America’s social landscape, politics and cultural history through a rigorous physical and material approach to the canvas.
The inaugural exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong will span both floors of the gallery’s 10,000 sq ft space, extending across the 15th and 16th stories of H Queen’s, the purpose-built stacked gallery building designed by William Lim of CL3.
26 Mar to 12 May Opening 26 March 6pm to 8pm, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat 11am – 7pm
15-16/F, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central
4 – Déjà Vu, OSGEMEOS, Lehmann Maupin
Finally the work of Brazilian artist duo OSGEMEOS will be brought over to Hong Kong. The show Déjà Vu will present new paintings and a sound installation from these two highly influential artists who are sought out for numerous high profile collaborations and commissions, transforming buildings and public spaces across Europe, South America, and the United States.
Similar to the surrealist artists of the early 20th century, OSGEMEOS seek to defy conventions and push boundaries in art and society through the exploration of the subconscious and one’s imagination.
However, in direct contrast to the surrealist notion of a solitary dream space, the twin brothers Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo translate a shared intuition and vivid inner worlds into a collaborative process for art-making. Through their art, OSGEMEOS seek to empower their audience to consider their own subconscious and how this is influenced by pop culture, music and folk art.
26 March to 12 May Tuesday-Friday, 10 am-7 pm, Saturday, 11 am-7 pm 407 Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street
5 – Heliocentric, Jennifer Guidi, Gagosian
It’s the year of the first times: indeed, for her first exhibition with Gagosian and also her first solo exhibition in Asia, Jennifer Guidi will present a completely new body of works. Guidi’s “sand paintings” mix oil paint with sand to create surfaces oscillating in colour and texture.
Evolving from her earlier figurative paintings, the sand paintings reside delicately and elusively in between figuration and abstraction, evoking the traditions of landscape and naturalist painting.
Responding to natural phenomena, Guidi’s sense of color and the physical and tactile emanations are based on her observations of light in Los Angeles, where she lives and works. With their luminous qualities and their textured relief, Guidi’s paintings register the most minute shifts in perception, echoing natural effects and creating their own sensory horizons.
March 26 to May 12 Opening 26 March, 6–8pm Gagosian, 7/F Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central
6 – Rooting the Synapse, Antony Gormley, White Cube
You definitely don’t want to miss Antony Gormley’s second exhibition at White Cube Hong Kong. Foregrounding a new development in the artist’s practice, the exhibition presents the Rooter series of iron sculptures. These have been all made in the past two years, and apply a plant-like branching systems to map a human body in space.
The inspiration comes from Goethe, who compares the body of man to a tree planted in the sky. He describes the hemispheres of the brain as being like a seed from which the central nervous system extends. This idea reversed the traditional notion of anatomy and allowed a limbed body to be likened to an “unknown space” which is searched out by the antennae-like tendrils of nerves.
Beside the German thinker, the Rooter series of sculptures draws on a wide range of cultural references, echoing our fascination with repeated patterns that can be found in both the manmade and natural world, like Greek key patterns, cloud patterns of ancient China or the vine patterns of the Maya.
27 March to 19 May 2018
Opening 26 March, 6–8.30pm
White Cube Hong Kong 50 Connaught Road Central
7 – Doug Aitken, Massimo De Carlo
Prepare to be surprised by Doug Aitken’s new exhibition, where the artist will present three works, created specifically for this show. The central piece is called Inside Me, and is a vast and extraordinarily materic composition created with clear mirror, aluminium, resin and concrete: the hexagon sculpture conveying both stillness and perpetual kaleidoscopic movement.
On the other side of the gallery a large-scale aluminum and stainless steel letters spell the word Future, part of an iconic bodywork made of text pieces. The Mirage is a mesmerizing four-minute video piece that depicts different views of a site-specific installation set in the Southern California desert. All three works convey an ethereal dream like quality but are also grounded in their materiality. Aitken’s practice allows the viewer to operate as a spectator, actor and voyeur and the artwork creates thought-provoking self-reflexivity.
27 March to 19 May 2018 Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat 10.30 am – 7pm Opening 26 March 6pm – 8 pm Shops 301-302A, 3F Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central
8 – Emerald City, Group Show, Cosco Tower and chi art space
The group exhibition Emerald City bring to life a cross-section of artistic approaches to rethink geometry in relation to the connectivity of universal knowledge through space. The exhibition showing approximately 40 artworks across multiple disciplines including painting, sculpture, video, photography, site-specific installation, in Cosco Tower and chi art space in Hong Kong.
Emerald City’s conceptual origin is reflected in the inclusion of a number of key artists and works created at similar times, in multiple locations in the pre-internet era. The focus is on the 1980s and 90s, a time which saw a huge scale reimagining of global connectedness. These include China’s integration into the world economy, led to the formation of artistic movements including Neo-Geometric (“Neo-Geo”) in the US, Rational Painting in Image on the visual.
The common threads of creative exploration that run through these movements offer insight into the potential for cohesive creativity formed in isolation.
28 March – 22 April 2018 Opening: 27 March 2018, 5-8pm
11am – 7pm Cosco Tower, 33 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. chi art space. 8/F, New World Tower 2, 18 Queen’s Road Central
9 – A Beast, a God, and a Line, Group show, Para site
This expansive travelling exhibition explores and untangles the boundaries and definitions of the geographic area called “Asia-Pacific” and its narratives. The artists on show all belong to different generations and backgrounds, but they are all putting forward political, art historical, and aesthetic interrogations, reflecting on how the region has been going through a process of replacing its colonial cartographic coordinates.
The exhibition aims to mark the current historical moment, with a focus on the turn towards politicised religion and nationalism and the loss of confidence in the ideals and certainties of Western liberal democracy. It looks at how the breakdown in the unity of ideals that lead to globalisation are challenging the basis of a common ground for contemporary art.
17 March to 20 May 2018, Opening 17 March 7.00 – 9.00pm 22/F, Wing Wah Industrial Building, 677 King’s Road, Quarry Bay
10 – Ceramic Works and…, Yoshitomo Nara, Pace Gallery
Steadfast, pensive and mischievous Yoshitomo Nara’s work draws observations from nature and humans, to suggest an emotional range of psychological expressions. This show at Pace Gallery has a dual focus on the form and materiality. The cornerstone of the exhibition comprises 12 new ceramic sculptures, where Nara links together volumetric considerations with aesthetic qualities of the clay to service a conversation between the two.
The show also present new paintings, where the artist continues to present his familiar images of a single figure that he’s continued to refine. Relying on the thinner quality of acrylic paint compared to oil, Nara creates each painting by adding and removing pigment until he reaches his desired effect of contemplation.
On the other hand, for his works on paper, Nara presents a more narrative approach. The lively pencil lines capture moments and figures, all in an expressive style experimenting with light, shadow, stillness and movement.
27 March to 12 May Opening: 26 March, 6 – 8 pm 12/F, H Queen’s 80 Queen’s Road Central
11 – KAWS, KAWS, Perrotin Gallery
With a simultaneous exhibitions in the Tokyo Perrotin gallery, the renowned and multifaceted American artist KAWS, the definitive heir of the Pop Art movement, will make Asian audiences question about consumerist culture and the narrative of the artist; a timely reflection during Art Basel Hong Kong.
KAWS’ art crosses painting, sculpture and printmaking along with fashion, merchandise and toy production while drawing upon art history and popular culture. In his paintings, he deconstructs his appropriation of iconic characters into forms that draw on the tradition of abstract painting. In the show at Perrotin we will see how the artist personalises quintessential Pop icons, converting branded figure like Keith Haring and Jeff Koons into his own brand ambassadors.
27 March to 1 April
Tue – Sat 11am – 7pm 50 Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong
12 – Expanded Portrait Compositions, George Condo, Hong Kong Maritime Museum
Expanded Portrait Compositions, is the first major exhibition by American artist George Condo in Hong Kong. Showcasing a brand-new body of paintings and works on paper that have been created by Condo specifically for the Maritime Museum in Hong Kong, the exhibition will be on view for two weeks only.
The show will be comprised of eight paintings on canvas and five works on paper that display the artist’s unique method of integrating myriad techniques of drawing and painting into singular artworks.
Condo’s recent portraits of single and multiple figures present a bold view of humanity in a state of psychological cubism, a term and art theory he created. This is based on reconfiguring faces and abstracted bodies, using the materiality of paint to recreate the immateriality of the human psyche.
March 27 – April 6, 2018
Mon-Fri 9.30am-5.30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-7pm Central Pier 8, Central