Art Basel

A tower of light, Tracey Emin's heart and much more: What Art Basel has to offer

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 May, 2014, 6:02pm
UPDATED : Friday, 16 May, 2014, 2:00am

Hong Kong’s tallest building will be transformed into a dazzling lighthouse as Art Basel makes its hotly anticipated return to the city.

“(alpha) pulse,” by Berlin artist Carsten Nicolai, is an ambitious large-scale light installation that will generate a pulsing light pattern across the façade, lighting up the entire 118-storey, 490-metre high skyscraper on the harbour front, in what promises to be a visually spectacular show.

The work explores the effects that light impulses have on the mood and creativity of its audience, according to the artist.

An app can be downloaded that provides an accompanying soundtrack for the installation.

The lightshow will take place each night from Thursday to Saturday, between 8.30pm and 9.20pm.

Leading contemporary artist Tracey Emin has already unveiled a giant neon light installation at The Peninsula Hotel in the run-up to the art fair.

Launched last week, “My Heart is with You Always” is said to be the first artwork to be projected onto the 30-storey tower at the hotel. The bright red and pink neon artwork, suggestive of the sign-off to a love letter, can be viewed from across the harbour.

It follows on from her “I Promise To Love You” series last year, which featured digitally rendered neon Valentine’s messages on the billboards of New York’s Times Square. It is on display nightly from 7pm till midnight until Saturday.

“Apocalypse Postponed,” presented by Absolut with Hong Kong-based artist Nadim Abbas, is set to be another popular installation as it combines a “post-apocalyptic bunker” setting with live music, theatrical performances and limited edition cocktails.

Absolut mixologists have developed the drinks based on the theme of the installation, including 2666: A Space Cocktail, a beetroot drink served in a blood bag.

The event is free to attend at 1 Tang Lung Street in Causeway Bay, and runs every night between 5pm and 2am until Saturday.

At the heart of Art Basel is its fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre which includes 245 galleries from 39 countries across the world, half of which have exhibition spaces in Asia-Pacific. Tickets are required

Hong Kong’s thriving filming industry will also be under the spotlight, with an evening film programme discussing the films by 41 artists including Hong Kong’s Kwan Sheung Chi and Christopher Doyle.

Curated by Beijing multimedia artist Li Zhenhua, it will explore six diverse themes from "Urban Life" and "Fiction Mix" to "Beautiful Visuals".

The free programme will take place at the agnes b. cinema at the Hong Kong Arts Centre from Thursday until Saturday.

Chai Wan Mei late night open studios will feature the "creative ecosystem" of the Chai Wan industrial area, where visitors can explore galleries and artist studios.

The festival takes place on Friday and Saturday, and shuttle buses are available from the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. 

Art Basel’s talks programme also makes a return, bringing together top international artists, curators, collectors and critics to discuss the latest developments in contemporary art from Asia and across the world.

“Conversations” features an impressive line-up of artists including Liu Kuo-sung who will reflect on his experiences as a Chinese artist living in the United States, Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as on the developments of modern ink painting.

For full details of the Art Basel programme see