Art Basel

Conversations and Salon series added to Art Basel Hong Kong

Popular discussion series from other fairs added to Hong Kong schedule, writes Bonnie E. Engel

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 May, 2014, 9:58am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 May, 2014, 9:58am

This extraordinary art show at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is bringing, for the first time, Art Basel's popular educational programmes, Conversations and Salon. Sessions for both programmes take place in the auditorium

on Level 1, at the entrance of Hall 1A. Talks from the Conversations programme are free to the public. An Art Basel VIP card or ticket includes admission to Salon talks.

Some of the most prominent and respected figures in the international art world have shared their knowledge, ideas and expertise during Art Basel's Salon and Conversations series at all three fairs in Basel, Switzerland; Miami, Florida - and now in Hong Kong.

Conversations is a long-established morning programme of talks and panel discussions which offers audiences first-hand access to renowned cultural speakers and opinion-formers from across the international art world. The afternoon Salon series serves as a platform for shorter, more freestyle presentations, including artist talks, panel discussions, lectures and book launches.

Tomorrow, there will be a talk on "The Global Art World: Making Biennials". With a focus on Gwangju, South Korea, Sharjah of the United Arab Emirates and Sydney, this panel will discuss the range of biennials, what roles they play in the international and local communities, and to what extent they mediate across different cultural regions. Hou Hanru, artistic director at the MAXXI Museum in Rome, will lead the discussion.

On Saturday, "Collectors' Focus: Cross Cultural Collecting" will be discussed. To what extent does an Eastern or Western way of collecting exist in a world in which local or national identities are being challenged? Where does a collector's responsibility lie when it comes to cross-cultural exchange and art education? The moderator is Elaine Ng, editor-in-chief of ArtAsiaPacific, Hong Kong.

The 16 sessions of the Salon programme begin today starting at 1pm, with six events occurring on the hour through to 6pm today and Friday, and four talks through 4pm on Saturday. Consult the Art Basel Hong Kong programmes for details of each talk and its location.

Of particular interest to Hongkongers on today's schedule is the 2pm "Collecting and Archiving: Art vs. Architecture" section, with Aric Chen, curator of design and architecture for M+, Hong Kong; David Gianotten, partner and architect with the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, Hong Kong; and Claire Hsu, co-founder and director of the Asia Art Archive. The moderator is Alexandra A. Seno, managing partner at AXS-Asia.

At 3pm, "Artist Talk: Made in Hong Kong: On Collecting Milk Pudding and Table Cloths" features Hong Kong artists Nadim Abbas, Lee Kit and William Lim, who is an architect, collector and publisher of The No Colors. The session is moderated by Christoph Noe, director of The Ministry of Art, Hong Kong. And at 5pm will be the discussion "Film Talk: Activism Utopia" featuring Artist's Collective of Tokyo.

Tomorrow, the initial session at 1pm, "Artist Talk: Carsten Nicolai: (alpha) pulse", has the creator of Hong Kong's mammoth light show, Carsten Nicolai from Berlin, in conversation with Nikolaus Hirsch, a curator and architect from Frankfurt, Germany.

The 2pm session "Art History: Hans van Dijk: Dialogues in the Development of Contemporary Art in China" discusses the immense work of Hans van Dijk, who almost single-handedly wrote the book on modern Chinese art and its artists and developed a show entitled "5,000 Names". This panel is moderated by Philip Tinari, director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing.

On Saturday, two panels stand out as important to Hong Kong and Chinese attendees. "Beyond Space: Artist Networks in Hong Kong" at 1pm features Hong Kong artists with international reputations: Leung Chi-wo, artist and co-founder of Para/Site Gallery; Chow Chun-fai, artist and chairman of Fotanian Artist Village; Chu Hing-wah, artist and founding member of the Hong Kong Visual Arts Society; and Lam Tung-pang, artist and co-founder of Fotanian Open Studios Stephanie Bailey, a writer and editor based in Hong Kong and London, will moderate the discussion.

"Artist Talk: We Have Never Unknown Each Other" at 2pm is moderated by Feng Boyi, curator of the Cross-straits Four Regions Artistic Exchange Project and art director of the He Xiangning Art Museum in Shenzhen.

He has worked several times with artist Ai Weiwei, publishing his journals illegally or working with him in exhibitions, and he has also organised many controversial art exhibitions in China. In addition, he has been assistant editor of the China Artists' Association newsletter Artist's Communication since 1988. The Chinese panellists include: Wu Mali, an artist from Taipei; LAM Laam Jaffa, an artist from Hong Kong; Wu Daarkuen, an artist and curator from Taipei; and Wang Dong, curator of the He Xiangning Art Museum.

The Conversations and Salon segments of Art Basel offers art lovers rare opportunities to see and hear some of the most respected and revered artists and art experts attending the fair.