Art Week Recap: Art Central & Art Basel Hong Kong 2019
Another year, another Art week and more interesting visual treats. I was having a discussion with a designer friend the other day and we see it in fashion and art that there’s a considerable amount of works that just skim the surface without the depth and breadth of concept, construction and artful execution of the past.
Well, everything is driven by demand these days, so the artists give the people what they want. Instant gratification, skimming the surface, referencing culture and history superficially and violà you have a visually exciting piece to be sensationalised over social media without the depth and longevity of the collections we visit at museums. We have unfortunately (d)evolved as a society.
As with every year and different shows, I find it’s a mixed bag of works – masterpieces, clever pieces and then alot of art I don’t understand and cannot connect with at any level. I’m not an art critic just a lay person with the hoi polloi, but annoyingly curious about everything. And oh, I don’t take selfies with art pieces and I am not very good at taking photos either given that it’s hard to get a good one with the crowd – so might as well take the time to enjoy the art and really study it.
It was my first time at Art Central this year and I really enjoyed it. Art Basel also brought a different crowd this year – so many serious buyers and collectors who were impeccably dressed, compared to previous years of fancy “creative” dress to be seen. Well, everyone has their own opinion if this year was better than the previous years. I think it was just different and many clever pieces that made me giggle.
Loved Japanese artist Aki Inomata’s hermit crab project.
And it makes perfect sense that the market is moving in the direction of meeting the demands of buyers – there seemed to be more pieces that would look good in a personal collection at home – or in a private museum. The press releases are still coming through and it seems like it was a good year for sales.
If there was just one piece of work or artist I’d invest in, it’d be this wonderful piece of work by Korean artist at Art Central Kwon Neung. Tongue-in-cheek and a brilliant series of tableau injecting history, pop culture and famous artists/art all in one painting. There’s a Jerry mouse in the bottom right corner that unfortunately got cut off in my photo. Can you recognise everyone and every piece of art in there?
Gallery “Lévy Gorvy has received a warm welcome to Hong Kong. We have had a wonderful start to the Art Basel Hong Kong. We’ve seen a lively and interesting mix of clients from the United States, Europe, and across Asia, and we have been reconnecting with existing collectors and met many new people. The gallery has sold works by Robert Rauschenberg, Pat Steir, Franz Kline, and Dan Colen.” – Dominique Lévy
A musuem bought the giant silver blimp “Lee Bul’s Willing To Be Vulnerable – Metalized Balloon” at Art Basel Encounters represented by Lehmann Maupin.
There were many really fun pieces by Korean artists this year both at Art Central and Art Basel that were my favourites this year. Some of my favourite pieces were by Korean artist Sun Tae Hwang with artful line drawings on glass lit by a lightbox, creating these beautiful shadows reflecting time of day.
There were several pieces that explored colonialism and identities post-imperialism. Loved the leather work referencing Vasco de Gama’s voyage to India and reminds me of the Indonesian Wayang Kulit shadow puppets.
I could smell this before I saw the exhibition. Zhang Yu’s “Tea Feeding”.
Plenty more art events happening around town and Surface sums it up well, featuring some of my favourites with the likes of James Turrel (at Asia Society – the architecture itself of the former artillery site is worth a visit) Lumen at Pacific Place and the Kaws exhibition at PMQ.