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Art Basel in Hong Kong 2016 | © Art Basel/Courtesy Art Basel
Art Basel in Hong Kong 2016 | © Art Basel/Courtesy Art Basel
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What to Expect at This Year's Art Basel Hong Kong

Picture of Sally Gao
Updated: 14 March 2017
Now in its fifth year, the prestigious Art Basel Hong Kong draws premier artists, collectors, gallerists, and art aficionados from around the globe. In the March 2017 edition, 242 participating galleries from 34 countries will showcase some of the best contemporary art worldwide. As usual, artists from the Asia-Pacific region are strongly represented. Here’s a quick guide on what to expect at this year’s show.

Ticketing and basic information

The show runs from March 23 to March 25 at the Convention & Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai. Regular price tickets are HK$180-$750 (US$23-98), available online at HK Ticketing or at the door. The opening times are as follows:

Thursday, March 23: 1pm – 8pm

Friday, March 24: 1pm – 9pm

Saturday, March 25: 11am – 6pm

Visitors can download Art Basel’s official mobile app (available on Android and the App Store) to access interactive floor plans, event listings, and a full catalog of the artworks on display.

What’s on display?

The show’s main sector, Galleries, features 190 modern and contemporary art galleries, including 29 new exhibitors — ten each from Asia and Europe, and nine from the Americas. Some of the new names include local Hong Kong gallery Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery, A+ Contemporary from Shanghai, and mor charpentier from Paris. Expect a mix of modern and contemporary works, ranging from the early 20th century to the emerging artists of our time.

Apples, 2016, by Liu Wei
Apples, 2016, by Liu Wei | Courtesy of Liu Wei and Lin & Lin Gallery

The Insights sector features 27 special curatorial projects, ranging from solo shows to thematic exhibitions. Expect a special emphasis on Chinese contemporary art and Asian art history, including a 25-piece exhibition of Taiwanese works from the 1960s and 70s, created by members of the avant-garde Fifth Moon Group and curated by Galerie du Monde.

There will also be special sections dedicated to emerging artists, large-scale installations, special projects, and film. Highlights include The Deep Blue Sea (2017) by Vietnamese artist Dinh Q. Lê, a cascading scroll installation featuring images taken from the ongoing refugee boat crisis in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Deep Blue Sea by Dinh Q. Lê
The Deep Blue Sea by Dinh Q. Lê | Courtesy of 10 Chancery Lane Gallery and P.P.O.W.

This year’s show also debuts a new sector, Kabinett, which was previously exclusive to Art Basel Miami Beach. 19 galleries will put on a diverse range of specially curated projects within their booths. Artists showcased in this sector include Cao Yu, Etel Adnan, Abbas Kiarostami, and Lee Kit.

What else is going on?

A program of talks, lectures, and panel discussions will be held throughout the fair. The daily Conversations series gathers leading museum directors, historians, and art critics to discuss special topics related to contemporary art. The more relaxed Salon series takes place in the afternoon, including a roundtable discussion titled“Does Political Art Matter?” and a presentation called “Un/Bound | The Art of Publishing.”

In addition, a number of separate art shows will take place around the same time as Art Basel, as part of what’s known as Hong Kong Art Week. The Spring 2017 edition of the Asia Contemporary Art Show will run between March 18 and March 20 at the Conrad Hotel, with over 3,000 artworks on display. Meanwhile, Art Central takes place between March 20 and March 25 on the Central Harbourfront, featuring 100 contemporary galleries.

Atarimae-no-koto (3kg Painting), 2015, by Sadaharu Horio
Atarimae-no-koto (3kg Painting), 2015, by Sadaharu Horio | Courtesy of Sadaharu Horio and imura art gallery