“Trolley Party” (2023), Axel Vervoordt Gallery
Presented by Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Chinese artist Jaffa Lam brings us Trolley Party (2023) a site-specific interactive installation that comprises recycled umbrella fabric patchworked to form a 14-metre tent that emerges from six industrial trollies that serve as chairs for its audience. Alluding to the Hong Kong community, the umbrella fabric is stitched together by a communal effort and takes inspiration from Lam’s childhood experience with women workers. Now on display in a commercial environment, Trolley Party becomes a visual depiction of the juxtaposition of labour and consumerism.
“Solitude of Silences” (2017-2019), Kukje Gallery
Korean artist Gimhongsok and Kukje Gallery invite us to reflect on the value of labour with “Solitude of Silences” (2017-2019), an immersive installation featuring masked mannequin figures that portray members of the working population. A signboard is placed next to each figure, telling their story — every single person enters the workforce with different hopes and dreams, but they all eventually become a cog in the machine that is modern society. By replacing real-life workers with mannequins, Gimhongsok also challenges the authority that an artist, an employer or the audience holds over people and objects, breaking the third wall.
“Mr. Cuddles Under The Eave” (2021), Blindspot Gallery
Hong Kong’s very own Blindspot Gallery presents Chinese artist Trevor Yeung, who uses botanic ecology to articulate the complexities of existence in Mr. Cuddles Under The Eave (2021). A total of 13 uprooted pachira aquatica (money trees) are hung from the ceiling on a metallic grid to form a dramatic plant installation, recalling scenes from 2018 when the Typhoon Mangkhut left thousands of trees mutilated overnight in Hong Kong. Through binding plants in harnesses and leaving them in a state of immobility, Yeung spotlights the vigour of these living species to depict the stoicism of being, even in the midst of suffering.
Awol Erizku: “Gravity”, Ben Brown Fine Arts
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Hailing from Los Angeles is conceptual artist Awol Erizku, who brings a piece of Egypt to the bustling heart of our city. He joins hands with Ben Brown Fine Arts to present his ten-metre sculpture “Gravity” in Pacific Place, marking the first time off-site project under the Encounters sector of Art Basel Hong Kong. Unveiled for the first time, the interactive inflatable installation is modelled after King Tutankhamun, the antepenultimate pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty of ancient Egypt. Erizku will discuss the premiere of “Gravity” with Encounters sector curator Alexie Glass-Kantor in the Swire Properties VIP Lounge at Art Basel Hong Kong on 22 March.
Displayed until 2 April 2023 at Pacific Place
An established regular at Art Basel Hong Kong since the fair’s conception, Lehmann Maupin brings a diverse collection of artworks spanning painting, sculpture and mixed media. Their booth will feature works from artists like Lari Pittman, conceptual duo Gilbert & George, Billy Childish and Mandy El-Sayegh, as well as debut new paintings by Liu Wei, Marilyn Minter, and Tammy Nguyen, whose first solo exhibition with the gallery opens in Seoul next week.
Galerie du Monde
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Founded in 1974, Hong Kong’s Galerie du Monde is bringing together the contemporary artworks of 14 artists, majority of whom are internationally established Chinese artists. Names include ceramics-based artist Cathy Lu, Hong Kong animation artist Kongkee, and the late Wesley Tongson, whose works will be further immortalised at Galerie du Monde’s booth. On display as part of Art Basel Hong Kong’s Kabinett sector, a selection of Tongson’s works portray the revered artist’s mastery of his chosen medium of ink. Best known for his unique splash-ink painting techniques that produced vivid yet tranquil landscapes, Tongson’s later monochromatic works also gave rise to new methods for the artist in the form of finger and fingernail painting. Developed during a time when his mental health was greatly suffering and nearing the final years of his life, these creative shifts were a sure testament to his love and devotion to his craft.
“Poop Me to The Moon”, Para Site
Continuing its commitment to spotlighting emerging Hong Kong artists since Art Basel Hong Kong’s very first run, local gallery Para Site presents a solo exhibition by IV Chan. Titled “Poop Me to The Moon”, Chan’s installation explores feelings of grief and anxiety from the perspective of a child. The immersive installation is inspired by the artist’s childhood bunk bed and features massive soft sculptures made to resemble faecal matter, creating an environment that evokes both a sense of intimacy and discomfort. Chan will also stage two live performances at her Para Site booth throughout the course of Art Basel.
Booth: Institution 5 (opposite Hall 1B entrance)
Hauser & Wirth
With an expansive curated selection of both contemporary and historical masterpieces, Hauser & Wirth returns to Art Basel Hong Kong with a roster consisting of over 20 global artists, including the illustrious Rita Ackermann, Pipilotti Rist, George Condo and Philip Guston. Among the exhibiting works include one of Guston’s most provocative oil paintings from the mid-’70s. It was a socially and politically tumultuous time in the United States and Guston’s artistic response can be observed through paintings such as “Lower Level”, where a cluster of legs sink into a blood-red mass as a survivor looks on. Another highlight includes a contemporary cast-glass sculpture by artist Roni Horn that belongs to a series that has been constantly growing since the ‘90s.
EditorKaitlyn Lai and Alyanna Raissa J. Payos
CreditLead image: No Time To Think (2022) by Rita Ackermann. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.