Picks of Art Basel HK 2014

Art Basel Hong Kong, 2013, Long March Space
Art Basel Hong Kong, 2013, Long March Space

Art Basel HK 2014 is on our doorstep, and this year’s programme is even heftier and more exciting than the last.

Invites are flooding in one after and another and you’re double booking yourself every night. But what to attend? Where are the great parties and interesting exhibitions? And where will Kate Moss be? Well, fret no more. Below I have put together a list of my favourite Art Basel Week events and parties. It’s gonna be a big one this year. Like its Miami counterpart, ABHK is set to swallow up Hong Kong with a dizzying number of peripheral events and parties.

Say goodbye to your green juice cleanse!

Monday 12 May
Panel Discussion: Sharing a Collection
Kicking off the Art Basel HK 2014 week will be a breakfast panel talk hosted by Ocula at Duddell’s in Hong Kong, on Monday. The talk is entitled ‘Sharing a Collection’, and the panel will comprise Alan Lo, Howard Bilton and William Lim – who will discuss how and why they share their art collection.
RSVP at rsvp@ocula.com
Duddell’s, Level 3, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell St, Central

Aftermath: Post-Sense Sensibility, Fifteen Years On
Also at Duddell’s later that afternoon, check out ‘Aftermath: Post-Sense Sensibility, Fifteen Years On’, an exhibition of Chinese contemporary art curated by Philip Tinari, Director of Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art.

‘Post-Sense Sensibility’ was a series of extreme underground exhibitions in Beijing at the turn of the millennium which gave rise to a cohort that includes some of the key voices in contemporary Chinese art today. ‘Aftermath’ reunites this key group on the walls of Duddell’s, asking what has changed and what remains. The exhibition will include works by Chen Wenbo, Jiang Zhi, Liu Wei, Qiu Zhije, Shi Qing, Sun Yuan, Peng Yu, and Yang Fudong, among many others.

After the event, if you’re after a good old fashioned or martini, Duddell’s master mixologist, Mark Jenner (formerly of the Connaught Hotel in London) is your man! You’ll thank me for it.

Opening party: Monday 12 May, 6-8pm
Duddell’s, Level 3, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell St, Central
RSVP to members@duddells.co

Opteres Dinner
Hong Kong Tatler has this year joined forces with private art consultancy Opteres to bring a one-of-a-kind occasion that’s not to be missed by art lovers and collectors. Two pairs of museum-grade works by two Western masters, which have not been seen in decades and collectively worth in excess of USD100 million, will be unveiled on the evening of May 12 at SKY100, International Commerce Centre.
By Invitation only.

Asia Society Art Gala
If you didn’t manage to wrangle an invite to Opteres’s dinner, maybe you managed to snag an invite (or buy a table) at Asia Society‘s annual fundraising dinner which will this year honour artists Takashi Murakami, Bharti Kher, Zhang Xiaogang and Liu Guosong. Like last year’s inaugural dinner, which included guests like Larry Gagosian, Fumio Nanjo, and Mariko Mori, this one also promises to be chockablock full of art world heavy hitters.
By invitation or ticket purchase.

Tuesday 13 May
Absolut Bar: Apocalypse Postponed
This year the Absolut Art Bar installation will be created by Hong Kong rising art world star, Nadim Abbas and also feature a specially commissioned soundscape by Steve Hui and animations by Wong Ping.

Set in a post-apocalyptic environment featuring custom sandbag enclosures and a blood bar, ‘Apocalypse Postponed’ will draw inspiration from a range of sources, from cult science fiction films including A Clockwork Orange, Dune and Alien, to 20th century defensive plans and fortifications such as the Swiss National Redoubt, the Atlantic Wall and WWII bunker ruins scattered around Hong Kong.

Performances and DJ sets by Carsten Nicolai, Singapore artist Ming Wong, Silver Apples, DJ Sniff, and Hong Kong’s The Head Clowns, Julie Shah and The Belfies (Sean Fitzpatrick and yours truly, come and check us out Wednesday night).

13-17 May 2014, 5pm-2am daily
Soundwill Plaza II (Midtown), Midtown POP, 17/F,
1&29 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong


Exhibition Openings
Tuesday night will see a slew of exhibitions kick off. British artist Toby Ziegler will open his first solo Hong Kong show at Simon Lee Gallery in Pedder Building. Also opening that night in Pedder will be a Hernan Bas exhibition at Lehmann Maupin Gallery. It’ll probably be yet another queue and crush of people as visitors wait for slow elevators and try to hurriedly make their way from one floor to another, so plan ahead, prioritise, and maybe leave a little something to see later when the building isn’t so crammed during this yearly art pilgrimage.

A little schlep away on Connaught Road, White Cube will be kicking off American artist Mark Bradford‘s first Hong Kong exhibition, while upstairs Galerie Perrotin will be showing a double bill exhibition of Ryan McGinley and Jean-Michel Othoniel‘s work.

Exhibition cocktail openings from 6- 8.30pm, Tuesday 13 May. For gallery opening hours please check websites.
Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong
50 Connaught Rd, Central, Hong Kong

Mark Bradford, 'Grids Are Not Flat', 2014. Courtesy White Cube
Mark Bradford, ‘Grids Are Not Flat’, 2014.
Courtesy White Cube

Wednesday 14 May
Art Basel Vernissage 5-9pm, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

… and if you’re after a vernissage after-party head over to the Absolut Bar presented by the talented team at Moustache, to hear The Belfies (shameless self promotion), and Ming Wong, live from 11pm.
Soundwill Plaza II (Midtown), Midtown POP, 17/F,
1&29 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Thursday 15 May
Carsten Nicolai
From May 15 to 17 Hong Kong’s skyline will get the Art Basel treatment as it’s turned into a light installation by internationally-renowned Berlin based artist, Carsten Nicolai. His new work, named ‘α (alpha) pulse’, will generated a light pattern that will pulsate in a synchronised frequency across the entire façade of Hong Kong’s iconic 490 meter high International Commerce Centre (ICC) on the Kowloon harbour front.

Nicolai has also designed a mobile phone app adding a layer of interactivity to the installation which will allow viewers to tune into an audio soundtrack to accompany the installation, as well as respond to the light display on the ICC’s façade
More details here: www.artbasel.com/en/Hong-Kong/About-the-Show/Special-Event

‘α (alpha) pulse’ will run from 8:30—9:20pm over three days from May 15—17. Recommended viewing areas for the public to view the artwork are Tamar Park, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, and the terrace on Podium 3 and 4 of the IFC Mall.

Art Basel HK: Conversations and Salon
Bringing together leading artists, curators, gallerists, collectors, and critics from across the world, Art Basel’s Conversations program in Hong Kong will again offer dynamic discussions between prominent figures of the international art world. Featured artists include Nadim Abbas, Chim↑Pom, Chow Chun Fai, Chu Hing Wah, Fiona Hall, Kwan Sheung Chi, Lam Tung Pang, LAM Laam Jaffa, Lee Kit, Leung Chi Wo, Leung Mee Ping, Liu Kuo-sung, Lo Chi Kit, Ahmed Mater, Carsten Nicolai, The Propeller Group, Fabienne Verdier, Wu Mali, Wu Daarkuen and Xu Tan.

A platform for shorter, more informal presentations, the afternoon Salon program features artist talks, panel discussions and lectures with artists, curators, museum directors and researchers. Topics are as varied as the participants, ranging from a focus panel on the Vietnamese art scene, artist talks and a discussion on collecting and archiving, to a talk on film as an art genre, entitled ‘Activism Utopia’. Salon will also include a talk between artists Nadim Abbas and Lee Kit with William Lim and Christoph Noe; a discussion between Li Zhenhua, curator of the film sector, and the artists Kwan Sheung Chi and Chim↑Pom; and an artist talk with Carsten Nicolai and Nikolaus Hirsch, Frankfurt curator and architect.
Free to the public.

Conversations takes place daily from Thursday 15 May 15 to Saturday 17 May, from 10am to 11:30am.
Salon talks are held daily from Thursday 15 May, to Friday 16 May, from 1pm to 7pm, and Saturday 17 May, from 1pm to 5pm.

Art Basel Film
The first edition of Art Basel’s Film sector in Hong Kong will comprise a 3-day programme with screenings taking place in the agnes b Cinema at the Hong Kong Arts Centre. The evening film programme will be curated by Li Zhenhua, the founder and director of Beijing Art Lab, and will include video art work, short films and art documentaries. May 15-17
RSVP essential to filmhongkong@artbasel.com

Wong Chuk Hang Art Night
If you want to get off the beaten track and explore Hong Kong’s industrial arts community, head over to Wong Chuk Hang Art Night. Over fifteen galleries and studios will join forces on Thursday and open their doors to the public, including Blindspot Gallery, Gallery EXIT, Caroline Chiu Studio, Koru Contemporary Art, Pekin Fine Art, and Spring Workshop which will show works by recent artist in residence Christodoulos Panayiotou. Free public access.

VIP shuttle buses available from HKCEC Expo Drive Entrance; Various locations starting from Spring Workshop, Remex Centre, Level 3, 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen

Friday 16 May
Intelligence Squared Debate
This year the premier international forum for live debate, and a must-see on the Hong Kong Art Basel calendar, will debate ‘Asia Should House its Poor Before it Houses its Art: The Funding of Museums is Best Left to Private Patrons’. The debate will be moderated by Michael Lynch, CEO of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, with a line up including Philip Tinari; Jessica Morgan, Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art at Tate Modern ; Jake van der Kamp, Financial columnist for South China Morning Post; and Vishwas Kulkarni, Mumbai-based art critic and journalist.

Room N101, The Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre
Friday 16 May 2014, 6:30pm-8:00pm

Chai Wan Mei
Chai Wan Mei, the creative art and design festival held annually since 2012, presents its third edition in 2014, gathering more than 60 artists, designers and creative professionals across 40 studios, and 3 performances, over a period of two days on the 16 & 17 May.

This year’s edition brings together a rich program of fine art exhibitions, guerrilla art installations by cutting-edge artists in public spaces, curated designer pop-up village, interactive artist performances, artist and curator talks, designer workshops, book launches, open studios late-night cocktails, and the Chai Wan Nites warehouse party, to celebrate the second edition of Art Basel Hong Kong and cement its new Asian identity within Hong Kong’s dynamic art hub.

Limited capacity RSVP essential
Chai Wan Mei, Chai Wan Industrial City,
Phase 1, 60 Wing Tai Road, Chai Wan, Hong Kong
For more details: www.chaiwanmei.com

Chai Wan Nites Art Party
Lots of music and a special performance by Performa award-winning artist Ryan McNamara will entertain guests at this industrial art party where local creatives and international art world figures mingle.
Access with Art Basel Private View Card. 10pm till late.
RSVP essential to chaiwannites@gmail.com

… and beyond Art Basel

Check out Para/Site‘s ‘Ten Million Rooms of Yearning: Sex in Hong Kong’. Curated by Cosmin Costinas and Chantal Wong, this exhibition explores the “connections between sex, desire and the city’s society and historical conditions.” The show will take place over multiple venues and will include works by Lee Kit, Angela Su, Antonio Mak, Lam Hoi-sin, and Danh Vo.
9 May – 10 August.

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