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3 Main Trends from Art Basel Hong Kong

Thursday, April 5

When we think about the art world, London, New York, and Paris might be obvious forerunners, but lately, Hong Kong has been topping the bill coming in as the third largest art market in the world over the last decade. This is mostly due to Art Basel’s Art Hong Kong, an annual art fair which is taking place in the city from March 29-31 for 2018. Read on to find out more about the event and some of its highlights. 

Art Basel stages annual art shows in Miami Beach, Basel, and Hong Kong. Their mission is to showcase the latest artists and nurture their careers while providing insight into the diversity of the regions represented. This year’s Hong Kong installment will feature 248 galleries representing 32 countries and territories. 

This year’s show makes it clear that certain trends are emerging in the art world. These include:

Interactive Mirrors: 

Yoko Ono’s ‘Mirror Image’ installation prompts people to ‘look in the mirror and write down what they see.’ Paper and pen are provided.

‘Cookie Mirror’ was created by Sophia Al-Maria, a Qatari-America artist. Her interactive display features a monologue by performance artist Bai Ling. Ling performs surrounded by thin panels of glass that fragment her image. 

The show continues this trend featuring the works of sculptor Anish Kapor who is best known for his steel and resin pieces including ‘Random Triangle Mirror, and ‘Sky Mirror.’

Bright Colors/Throwback Themes:

Both themes that appeal to the millennial generation, one example of this combination would be Mak Yong Tung’s relic which features bright pastels, angelic images, and a prominently featured Gameboy device.

TBC by Takashi Murakami and Virgil Abloh is a brightly colored flower with a smiley face center that pays homage to sixties flower power and is a signature design for Murakami.

Further capitalizing on the brightly colored theme is Untitled by Secundino Hernandez. This is a modern rainbow colored acrylic that is both vibrant and eye-catching. 

Political Issues:

Art and politics often go hand in hand. The Gow Langsford Gallery booth features some works by New Zealand artist Colin McCahon. His abstract art incorporates themes of life, death, and spirituality as well as Maori and settler politics.

Sydney Galleries like Roslyn Oxley9 features the totemic bark drawings that are a central theme in the works of indigenous artist Nyapanyapa Yunupingu. Brisbane photographer and videographer Tracey Moffatt offers works that focus on indigenous culture.

Auckland gallery Michael Lett reflects on New Zealand’s encounters with the refugee crises, rising sea levels, and other political issues. A standout piece is an unusual interpretation of passports presented as nine small sculptures made of nautilus shells by Zac Langdon Pole.

Basel HK promises to provide an introspective look into the art world uncovering new trends and revealing what is on the minds of people today. The event promises to be a significant contribution to the continuing growth of the artistic scene in Hong Kong and throughout the world. 

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