Art Basel Hong Kong 2021 © Art Basel
The 2022 edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong, and second edition of its hybrid fair, welcomes 130 leading galleries from 28 countries and territories. Alongside robust presentations across Galleries, Insights, and Discoveries, this year’s show will offer dynamic public programs that highlight local artists and create meaningful connections in the city and across the globe: Hong Kong-based moving image pioneer Ellen Pau’s new, site-specific moving image work ‘The Shape of Light,’ co-commissioned by Art Basel and M+, supported by the Lead Partner UBS, as well as a special tram project with artists Cherie Cheuk Ka-wai, Stephen Wong Chun-hei, and Shum Kwan-yi, commissioned by Art Basel and co-presented by the Hong Kong Tourism Board. Art Basel Live, Art Basel’s multichannel digital program will once again amplify the show’s content to global audiences.
Co-commissioned by Art Basel and M+ in celebration of Hong Kong and its thriving art scene, Pau’s ‘The Shape of Light’ explores the possibilities of the immaterial and the material, transforming light into digital objects. Featuring a popular sutra in Mahayana Buddhism, ‘The Heart Sutra,’ expressed here through sign language, the ritualistic video meditates on the concept ‘form is emptiness, emptiness is form’. Natural phenomena like fire, water, and light are rendered in awe-inspiring computer-generated animation. The work will be presented on the M+ Facade from May 20 to June 19, 7pm to 9pm daily. There will be a live performance by Ellen Pau on May 27, as well as a talk and screening on May 28. A four-day online screening from May 29 to June 1 will allow local and international audiences to view a collection of Pau’s pioneering videos and installations made between 1988 and 2015.
Art Basel Hong Kong 2021 © Art Basel
Commissioned by Art Basel and co-presented by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the Artist Tram Project will invite local artists Cherie Cheuk Ka-wai, Stephen Wong Chun-hei, and Shum Kwan-yi to project their works on the exteriors of Hong Kong trams, the vehicles in one of the city’s most iconic transport systems. Like moving canvasses meandering along the island, the three trams capture the artists’ vivid imagination and experiences of the city’s landscapes and everyday scenes, engaging with the public and the artists' own memories of Hong Kong.
In conjunction with the show at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), Art Basel Live will return, featuring Online Viewing Rooms (OVRs), livestreamed videos, virtual tours, and multilingual VIP and public walkthroughs. A dynamic online conversation series premiered in February 2022 as part of Art Basel Live with an artist talk by Apichatpong Weerasethakul and will run through May 20. The series will include a panel, surveying the development of the Asia Pacific Triennale, and a talk on how galleries in Asia are redefining the art marketplace.
Adeline Ooi, Director Asia, Art Basel said: ‘It has been truly exciting to work with Hong Kong’s art community and our local partners to offer dynamic public programs to share with the city. We are honored to work with M+ to present Ellen Pau’s brand-new site-specific moving image work, the first major public co-commission project to light up the museum’s LED facade.’
This year’s show will also feature the Fine Art Asia Pavilion, inviting contemporary artists to create new works that reinterpret antique elements across mediums. Titled ‘ARTique’ and curated by Eric Leung Shiu Kee, the Pavilion will bring together 20 artists.
The fair will feature six large-scale installations presented by select exhibitors, including free-formed work by Hsu Yunghsu which bonds the unrestrained nature of body and spirit, presented by Liang Gallery; ‘Birth of Black Holes, Birth of Geology, Birth of Water’ by Beijing based artist Bingyi, from her land and weather projects, showcased by Ink Studio; and Hanart TZ Gallery’s presentation of a 40-channel speaker system installation sounding the heartbeat of artist GayBird. Flowers Gallery will present a work by Movana Chen on the transformation of media consumption and the daily experience, while Alisan Fine Arts will show Angel Hui Hoi Kiu’s work reminiscent of Hong Kong’s Goldfish Street, as well as New York-based artist Ming Fay’s ‘Garden of Life,’ linking eastern and western philosophies through the theme of life and death.
Curated by Beijing-and Zurich-based multimedia artist and producer Li Zhenhua, the film sector will feature 15 films by and about artists. The films will be presented across three screenings from May 27 to May 28 at Louis Koo Cinema, Hong Kong Arts Centre. The screening on May 27, ‘Bird with no legs,’ will feature eight films exploring the artists’ interpretations of physical and mental mobility from the late-70s to today, and is curated by Videotage, with co-curators Myra Chan, John Chow, Kyle Chung, Chung Wing Shan, Aaron Lam, and Angel Leung.
Additional highlights include Ting-Tong Chang’s Betelnut Tree, Bird’s Nest Fern and Giant African Snail, an installation comprising a semi-documentary video and the dwelling place and apparatuses created by the artist and an Amis tribal hunter in the mountains of Taiwan in 2020; Hajra Waheed’s meditation on the spiral form in The Spiral; Samson Young’s ‘Sonata for Smoke,’ created in response to the artist’s residency at the Ryosoku-In in Kenninji Temple, Kyoto; and Alice Wang’s ‘Pyramids and Parabolas II,’ the second installment of an infinite film series begun by the artist in 2017, exploring how we communicate with the unknown universe through geometric structures. All screenings will be free and accessible to the public. Kindly note that seating will be limited. Details of the screening schedule will be available on Art Basel’s online event calendar.
Art Basel’s highest priority remains the health and safety of its staff, exhibitors, and visitors. In compliance with the regulations set forth by the Hong Kong Government and the Centre for Health Protection, all participants will be required to provide proof of double vaccination upon entry through use of the LeaveHomeSafe app. Visitors with medical exemptions are required to provide a COVID-19 vaccination medical exemption certificate. Those showing vaccination records or exemption certificates without a QR code must complete an exemption paper onsite.
Courtesy of Art Basel.