Tour of beauty: from galleries and installations to auctions

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 May, 2014, 10:49pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 May, 2014, 9:30pm


May will see more art exhibitions opening than you can shake a paintbrush at. It is hard knowing where to start when at Art Basel Hong Kong alone, from May 15 to 18, 245 local and international galleries will be showing.

Fear not, we have 48 tips and highlights to let you make the most of the city’s biggest visual arts jamboree. There are events for art collectors, and we have a handy pricing index (below) for buyers of all budgets.

$= entry level, $$ = intermediate, $$$ = deep pockets


01 Get around town, gratis
The Hong Kong Arts Centre is putting on free bus services from the day before “Art Basel Hong Kong” until May 19. The buses depart every 30 minutes from 11am to 5pm, and connect the arts centre and Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai with the Oil Street Art Space in North Point, the Hong Kong Museum of Art in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Cattle Depot Artist Village in To Kwa Wan, and the Osage Art Foundation in Kwun Tong. Inquiries: 2582 0200.

02 Explore southern shores
United under the name of the South Island Cultural District, a dozen studios and venues in Wong Chuk Hang will open their doors on May 15 for an art night from 5pm to 10pm. Expect performances, dance, music and food. Inquiries: $$-$$$

03 Industrial evolution
“Chai Wan Mei” is a two-day event packed with pop-up shows, guerilla events and performances in galleries and public spaces in Chai Wan. Shuttle buses are available from Central and Wan Chai on May 16-17. Inquiries: $

04 It’s all about the money
Giant banknotes from the past, created using ancient Suzhou embroidery techniques, are part of the “Spring and Autumn” show at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery in Central. Husband and wife duo Shao Yinong and Muchen have woven themes of power and empire into the work. May 16- 17. Inquiries: 2810 0065 $$

05 Blow millions in moments
You could easily do just that at the second Art Basel Hong Kong. This year’s event features works from premier galleries, spanning nearly 40 countries and territories, in six different exhibition sectors. Tickets begin at HK$250 and top out at HK$850, and are available through HK Ticketing. Inquiries: $$$

06 Western take on Chinese ink
Alisan Fine Arts presents French abstract artist Fabienne Verdier’s “The Ink Discipline”. Verdier’s works are inspired by Chinese traditional ink techniques. May 10-Jun 7. Inquiries: 2526 1091. $$$

07 Supporting home-grown artists
“I want to be seen” is a show by a group of Hong Kong artists who use their talents to explore their identities. Meet and mingle with them at the cocktail opening on May 13, at 6pm at Galerie Ora-Ora, May 14-Jun 30. Inquiries: 28511171$

08 A constellation of stars under a single roof
The fourth edition of the “Asia Contemporary Art Show”, from May 15 to May 18, has its biggest international line-up yet. Featured artists include Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama and Jöel Moens de Hase. The show covers five floors of the Conrad Hong Kong Hotel. HK$180 and HK$260 includes free refreshments. HK Ticketing. Inquiries: 3128 8288. $-$$

09 When the jungle takes back the concrete
French photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagreze shot to fame with his first book Vertical Horizon, showing Hong Kong’s skyscrapers. His second book, Wild Concrete, captures nature’s attempts to reclaim the city. The launch is at AO: The Photo Book Centre at 3pm on May 17. Inquiries: 2889 1893 $-$$

10 Ink artists, invisible no more
A retrospective of work by mainland ink artist Liu Kuo-sung, “Rearward Glance — From the 1960s to the Present” is on show at Galerie du Monde from May 9 to June 30. Liu will make two appearances, including on May 15, when he joins the show’s curator Zhu Hongzi and Lesley Ma Weichung, the ink curator for the visual culture museum M+. Inquiries: 2525 0529 $$$

11 Putting names to new faces
Seventy works by 60 young Asian artists — all born after 1975 and one-third from the mainland — are the core of the “New Faces New Works” exhibition by Art Nova 100. The show runs from May 9 to Jul 6 at K11. Inquiries: 3118 8070 $

12 Artistic perspectives on urban planning
In “New Work” at White Cube from May 14 to August 16, Los Angeles-based artist Mark Bradford has created a series of collaged paintings (above) that explore Hong Kong’s structures of power and politics through the lens of urban planning and housing. Inquiries: 2592 2000 $$$

13 Quick intro to 20th century Chinese masters
Champagne reception at the opening of “Pioneers of Modern Chinese Paintings in Paris” at de Sarthe Gallery on May 13 from 6pm-9pm. Artists include Xu Beihong, Zao Wou-ki, Lin Fengmian and Chu Teh-chun. Inquiries: 2167 8896 $$$

14 Big, bright and sparkly London-based design duo
Patrik Fredrikson and Ian Stallard unveil Prologue, their 4-metre-high outdoor sculpture studded with 8,000 Swarovski crystals, in the courtyard of PMQ, the former Police Married Quarters on Hollywood Road in Central. Inquiries: 2540 6977

15 Mysterious artist
There is an unveiling of “a new work by one of Britain’s leading contemporary artists” at The Peninsula Hong Kong on May 8 at 6.30pm. Judging from the “My Heart is With You Always” message on the invitation, we suspect the artist is Tracey Emin. Inquiries: 2920 2888

16 Still keen on Chinese contemporary art?
Near the entrance to Art Basel, the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art (UCCA) is showcasing exclusive limited edition artworks by artists such as Liu Wei, Xu Zhen and Zhang Enli whose new collaboration with the Beijing Cultural Institute will be presented publicly for the first time. May 15-18. Inquiries: $$-$$$

17 Night views
About 40 galleries will stay open until 10.30pm on May 13 for Art Gallery Night. Cocktails, talks, slideshows, tours and meet-the-artist sessions are free and coordinated by the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association. Inquiries: $-$$

18 Talking collections
K11Art Foundation chairman Adrian Cheng Chi-kong shares tips for young art collectors in conversation with Zhao Li, an academic at China’s Central Academy of Fine Arts, on May 9. Cheng will make his curatorial debut with “Space Painting”, an exhibition by mainland artist Zhang Enli from May 12 to July 13. Inquiries: 3118 8070 $-$$$

19 On the block
Christie’s holds its spring sales from May 24 to May 28 at the Convention and Exhibition Centre with highlights on show from May 22. A free public seminar “An Introduction to a New Market of Japanese Contemporary Art” at 3pm on May 17 may be a cheaper proposition. Inquiries: $$-$$$

20 Cutting edge paper art
In her new solo show “Tidbits of Life”, graphic designer Evan Wu Siu-ping combines Chinese ink with mixed media to reinterpret traditional Chinese cultural symbols. May 12-Jun 26, Artify Gallery. Inquiries: 3543 1260 $

21 Net Worth
Artist Joey Lai, a descendent of a local fishing family, teams up with art space Project Artist X for her first ceramic exhibition “Still Movements” (May 10-Jun 18) in which she expresses her innate feelings for the sea. Inquiries: 2420 7600 $

22 Calming influences To create his solo show “Monumental Sculpture” (May 13 to Jun 21) at Galerie Perrotin, French contemporary artist Jean- Michel Othoniel consulted a fung shui master to help determine the form and colour of his futuristic sculptures in mirrored glass and stainless steel. Inquiries: 3768 2180 $$$

23 Need a break to exercise?
iPreciation presents Singaporean performance artist Lee Wen at Art Basel (May 15-18). His mixed media installation PingPong Go-Round (2013), an interactive, circular ping pong table, encourages viewers’ participation. Inquiries:

24 Contemporary spin on traditions
Miquel Barceló pays homage to his native Majorca and other places he has visited including France and west Africa for a show entitled “Courant Central” (May 14- Jul 15) at Ben Brown Fine Arts. The show features his primitive cave drawing-inspired paintings and ceramic sculptures. Inquiries: 2522 9600 $$-$$$

25 Altered reality British artist Toby Ziegler has a new show at Simon Lee Gallery (May 14-Jul 1) that explores the relationship between control and abandon, by manipulating and reinterpreting historical representations. Inquiries: 28016252 $$$

26 Portrait perfect
London-based photographer Nadav Kander presents two of his most accomplished series in his first solo show in Hong Kong. “Curves of Moon and River of Blue” is at Blindspot Gallery from May 10 to Jul 19. Inquiries: 2517 6238 $$

27 Artist gets around
Urban vinyl pioneer Michael Lau presents “Remember-disc, time-table” (above) at his eponymous pop-up gallery from May 15 to June 1. The show features 44 circular pieces, a reflection on the important life lessons the artist has learnt. Inquiries: 3486 7070 $

28 All about sex
“Ten Million Rooms of Yearning. Sex in Hong Kong” at Para/Site Art Space (May 9- Aug 10) features works by international and local artists that focus on the relationship between sex and desire in the context of Hong Kong society and history. Inquiries: 2517 4620

29 New media road movie
Berlin-based Japanese artist Yuichiro Tamura — who explores the boundary between human behaviour and aesthetics — will show his work Nightless, a road movie consisting of images from Google Street View, at Para/Site Art Space. Inquiries: 9123 5621

30 Japanese pictures move out of the shadows
The open video library at the Moving Image Archive of Contemporary Art in Chai Wan (above) has a great Japanese archive. The collection includes videos from artists such as photographer Daido Moriyama. Inquiries: 9123 5621

31 Expect the unexpected
British urban artist D*Face will present 18 new paintings at his first solo exhibition in Asia, “Honestly Dishonest”, at Above Second (May 16-Jul 6). The graffiti artist will also create a big public installation at PMQ. Inquiries: 3483 7950 $$-$$$

32 Post-80s Gen art
A selling exhibition “Another Dimension” from May 9-18 at Sotheby’s presents more than 20 contemporary paintings created between 2013 and 2014 by Beijing-based Song Yige. Her works investigate the relationship between daily objects. Inquiries: 2524 8121$$

33 Passionate about literature and art?
Head over to Edouard Malingue Gallery in Central to view “Brave New World”. Mainland artist Sun Xun has created a series of works including the animated film What Happened in the Year of the Dragon (2014) as a response to Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World (1932). The show runs from May 13 to July 5. Inquiries: 2810 0317 $$

34 Collectors’ charm
The second edition of Hong Kong Arts Centre Collectors’ Contemporary Collaboration (CCC) sees curator Agung Hujatnikajennong putting together a show titled “Passion/ Possession”. May 10 to 29, Pao Galleries. For free tours, email $-$$$

35 Open to debate
Four speakers — Jake van der Kamp, Vishwas Kulkarni, Jessica Morgan and Philip Tinari — join Michael Lynch, the chief executive of the West Kowloon Cultural District, on May 16 to debate “Asia Should House Its Poor Before It Houses Its Art”. Organised by Intelligence Squared at the Convention and Exhibition Centre. HK$300 HK Ticketing 3128 8288

36 Vintage views After Vintage Studios launches on May 16, photography fans will be able to see and buy vintage prints by masters such as Ansel Adams and Robert Frank. Also on offer are century-old Japanese studio portraits, and Chinese portraits from the Cultural Revolution. Inquiries: $-$$

37 Meet one of the world’s most influential art collectors
Independent journalist Patricia Chen has made a short film, China’s Art Missionary, and written a book on Swiss art collector Uli Sigg, who is known for his collection of Chinese contemporary art. She and Sigg take part in a two-hour programme on May 16 from 3pm at the agnès b. cinema. Free entry with registration at $-$$$

38 For a good cause To raise funds for Operation Smile China Medical Mission, a charity that offers free surgery for children, Mandarin Oriental’s The Clipper Lounge presents “Smile” an exhibition of more than 15 selling art pieces by established and emerging local artists. Until May 25. Inquiries: 2522 0111

39 Feel the art
The Popsy Room, calling itself the region’s first multisensory gallery, has opened in Sheung Wan with an exhibition titled “Meditation and Megrim”. Four Hong Kong-based artists, Jun Cambel, Manuel Rubio, Yan Yung and Sjors van Buyten, alongside music curator John Mahon and aromatherapist Kat Lai, have cooked up a feast for all the senses. Inquiries: 9305 2272

40 Think inside the Cuba
Photographer Quentin Shih explores the unwritten tension and melancholy of Cuba’s citizens in “La Habana in Waiting” at the Fringe Club from May 15-19. Inquiries: 25217251$$

41 Snapshots of the past
Cyprus-born Christodoulos Panayiotou’s two-month residency with Spring Workshop ends with “The Permeability of Certain Matters” (May 3-Jul 13) featuring his latest photographs exploring pre-industrial and globalised production. Inquiries: 2110 4370

42 Finding sculpture in architecture
The YY9 Gallery in Chai Wan is showing “Poetic Space” by Arthur Chan and Sim Chan from May 9 to July 30. The works deconstruct the cityscape and transform urban scenes into kite-shaped sculptures. Inquiries: 2574 3730 $

43 Drop in for some street art American street artist JonOne opens his solo show at Art Statements in Aberdeen with a live painting performance on May 8. The Paris-based painter is known for his distinctive calligraphic style, which is influenced by Jackson Pollock and Jean Dubuffet. Expect lots of drips and colours. Inquiries: 2696 2300

44 Bright yet dark American artist Hernan Bas’ “Case Studies” at Lehmann Maupin in Central from May 13 to June 28, is captivating yet spine-chilling. The colourful paintings hint at the artist’s experiences, and reference mythology, literature and horror films. Inquiries: 2530 0025 $$

45 Quiz time
Organised by the Asia Art Archive, an art quiz titled “Not as trivial as you think” hosted by artists-in-residence C&G (Clara Cheung and Cheng Yee-man) will test artists including Kacey Wong, Leung Mee-ping and Law Man-lok. Inquiries: 2815 1112

46 Lessons in Japanese aesthetics
Hong Kong’s Videotage and Zen Foto Gallery from Tokyo present “Explosion and Absorption”, with male portraits by Eiki Mori and Nobumasa Ikemori’s large-scale drawings and figures. The show at the Cattle Depot Artist Village starts on May 15 and ends June 3. The artists will give a live performance on May 17. Inquiries: 2573 1869 $-$$

47 The worth of the work
Osage Art Foundation and City University host the third edition of “Market Forces” from May 16 to July 15. This year’s exhibition “Erasure: From Conceptualism to Abstraction” explores the intrinsic aesthetic value of art by evaluating works by more than 20 artists from across Southeast Asia and East Asia. The exhibit is curated by Charles Merewether. Inquiries: 2793 4817 $-$$

48 Now you’re a proud owner, what’s next?
According to law firm Withers, buyers should insist on more than an invoice. “The gallery selling the work should warrant in writing to the purchaser that the work is authentic and that good and marketable title to the work is being transferred to the purchaser free and clear of liens, claims and encumbrances”. $-$$$