Art Basel 2015

Art Basel 2015

There's gold everywhere at Hong Kong Art Week, and not just on the walls

Arts editor Kevin Kwong takes a light-hearted view of the art shining out from the walls and floors of Hong Kong galleries in Art Week

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 March, 2015, 1:55pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 March, 2015, 2:45pm

I'm seeing gold everywhere this Hong Kong Art Week.

There are those large and opulent-looking "paintings" by Rudolf Stingel made of electro-formed, copper-plated nickel and gold showing at the Gagosian Gallery in the Pedder Building in Central.

There is Ann Veronica Janssens' Golden Circle in her first solo show at Axel Vervoordt Gallery. There is the gold/blue edition of Robert Indiana's iconic pop-art sculpture Love in Christie's "Asia+ First Open" sale on March 15. And there is the video Man of Gold, showing at the Colombian gallery +MAS: Arte Contemporaneo's stand in Art Basel satellite show Art Central.

I could go on.

So perhaps gold is the trending colour in this part of the art world at the moment. Or maybe just in China - think Apple Watch and new MacBook gold editions. Very bling, very China.‎

One big local collector recently told me that there is a "colour guide" (probably produced by unscrupulous art consultants) that informs Chinese art buyers which colours are hot and which are not, ie. red, at some point, was supposed to fetch more money than the other hues. I can see gold sitting at the top of that chart right now.

Some galleries are striking gold too, it seems. The eager PR for David Zwirner Gallery (note: Zwirner is on top of Art Review's Power 100, second only to The Tate) imparts the news that her client has been doing brisk business at Art Basel so far. Sales include Chris Ofili's Dead Monkey - Sex, Money and Drugs (2000), which went for US$2 million on the first day of private viewing.  ‎

With all this gold stuff, perhaps it is just one big coincidence, but like all art dealers currently in town,  I'd rather see gold bling than red everywhere.