Art Basel

Director Philip Tinari bridges physical divide through words

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 May, 2014, 9:56am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 May, 2014, 9:56am

In the "Conversations and Salon" segment of this year's Art Basel in Hong Kong, Philip Tinari, director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, located in the 798 Art Zone, is engaged in two of the Salon events, that are open to VIP cardholders and those with tickets.

In Beijing, Tinari oversees an exhibition programme devoted to established and emerging artists, Chinese and international, aimed at UCCA's 500,000 visitors.

Tinari is also contributing editor at Artforum and was editor-in-chief of the bilingual magazine LEAP, the international art magazine of contemporary China, which he founded and ran from 2009 to 2011.

He is considered one of the most important young English-speaking art critics in Asia. He was an academic consultant to the Chinese contemporary art department at Sotheby's where he drafted the catalogue for the house's first New York sale of contemporary Chinese art in 2006.

When asked how beneficial these talks are to the public and those wanting to learn more about the specific topics, Tinari said: "The sessions are directed at an art world rather than just general public. They offer opportunities for people in the field to launch books, introduce artists, and raise new and relevant topics."

The first of his Salon sessions is entitled "Artist Talk | Violent Changes: Facts and Fictions", and is a conversation with artist Ahmed Mater, from Abha, Saudi Arabia, at 4pm Thursday, May 15, that will provide insight into art in the Middle East.

Probably of more interest to Asian and Chinese art specialists, his second session is about "Art History | Hans van Dijk: Dialogues in

the Development of Contemporary Art in China", which discusses the immense work of Dutch scholar Hans van Dijk, who wrote the book on modern Chinese art and its artists, entitled 5000 Names.

It will be presented at 2pm, tomorrow.

When asked what he as a speaker gets out of the sessions, he replied: "These sessions are a way of generating interest and driving a conversation, and from my perspective as director of a museum in Beijing, they are a great way to share some of what we are doing with an audience that might not find its way onto our physical premises".

Bonnie E. Engel