For the first time in more than two years, Art Basel will stage an in-person Hong Kong art fair this May, hosting just over 100 galleries from 23 countries, including international stalwarts such as Gagosian, Pace, and Hauser & Wirth.
But this year’s event will be a much more regional affair, taking place in a dramatically changed world since Art Basel’s previous live edition, held in the city in 2019.
More than 70 of the 2021 attendees already have spaces in Asia, including more than 30 that run galleries in Hong Kong. By comparison, only 32 dealers will come from outside East Asia, and only two of those—David Kordansky in Los Angeles and the High Art gallery in Paris—will send their own staff to the event. The rest will present satellite “ghost booths” to be staffed by Art Basel trainees. (Gallery staff will be accessible remotely for the duration of the fair’s opening hours.)
Interestingly, more than 30 other galleries from nearby cities, such as Take Ninagawa in Tokyo, TKG in Taipei, and CLC Gallery Venture in Beijing, will also skip the trip in favor of ghost booths.
The total number of galleries in this year’s event has also been radically reduced. In 2019, Art Basel Hong Kong presented 242 dealers from 36 countries. This year, 104 will partake—a 57 percent drop in the total number of exhibitors.
Like the participating galleries, collectors attending the event are likely to be far less international than in years’ past. The Hong Kong government currently requires travelers from almost every country to quarantine in a hotel (on their own dime) for a full 21 days upon arrival.
This is also the first edition of the fair to be held under Hong Kong’s national security law, which bans activities related to secession, terrorism, subversion of the state, and collusion with foreign influences. The law has already thrown a wrench into the gears of the M+ museum, which recently stated it would not show a political photograph by Ai Weiwei in its inaugural exhibition.
Among the big-name international galleries that exhibited in 2019 but will skip this year’s edition are Thomas Dane in London; Marian Goodman in New York; Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg and Cape Town; and Kerlin Gallery in Dublin.
Even Simon Lee, who has a space in Hong Kong in addition to his London location and who partook in the 2019 edition, is not participating this year.
Yet fair organizers seem to be leaning into their situation, highlighting booths that foreground artists from the region. Among the highlights are a series of paintings by Rirkrit Tiravanija inspired by Philip Guston at Gladstone Gallery’s booth, a Danh Vō presentation at Take Ninagawa, and works by Lee Bul at PKM Gallery. Meanwhile, the Insights section of the fair will present 10 galleries, all from East Asia, that will show works by artists from the region.
Another bright spot is a handful of new participants this year, including Anat Ebgi from Los Angeles and Karma from New York.
Organizers will also host “Art Basel Live: Hong Kong,” which will include an online viewing room, events, live broadcasts, and virtual walkthroughs.
“It has been truly inspiring to witness the ways in which the art world has been adapting to the current circumstances,” Adeline Ooi, the Asia director of Art Basel, said in a statement. “We are deeply grateful to our participating galleries for their commitment to our show here in Hong Kong this year.”
See a full list of the exhibitors below.
Main section
10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong47 Canal, New YorkAlisan Fine Arts, Hong KongAntenna Space, ShanghaiArario Gallery, Shanghai, Cheonan, SeoulAlfonso Artiaco, NaplesBalice Hertling, ParisBeijing Commune, BeijingBlindspot Gallery, Hong KongBen Brown Fine Arts, Hong Kong, LondonCardi Gallery Milan, LondonCarlos/Ishikawa, LondonCeysson & Bénétière, Paris, Saint-Etienne, Koerich, New YorkYumiko Chiba Associates, TokyoClearing, Brussels, New YorkCommonwealth and Council, Los AngelesGalleria Continua, San Gimignano, Beijing, Les Moulins, HavanaPilar Corrias, LondonMassimo De Carlo, Hong Kong, Milan, Paris, Londonde Sarthe, Hong KongDirimart, IstanbulGalerie du Monde, Hong KongEmpty Gallery, Hong KongGallery Exit, Hong KongStephen Friedman Gallery, LondonGagosian, Hong Kong, Paris, New York, etc.Gajah Gallery, Yogyakarta, SingaporeFrançois Ghebaly, Los AngelesGladstone Gallery, New York, BrusselsGray, Chicago, New YorkGrotto Fine, Art Hong KongHanart TZ Gallery, Hong KongHauser & Wirth Hong Kong, Gstaad, Saint Moritz, etc.Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, ShenzhenInk Studio, Beijing, SeattleTaka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, Hong KongKaikai Kiki Gallery, TokyoKarma, New YorkTina Keng Gallery, Taipei, BeijingDavid Kordansky Gallery, Los AngelesKukje Gallery, Busan, SeoulKwai Fung Hin Art Gallery, Hong KongPearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, ShanghaiLehmann Maupin, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, New YorkLévy Gorvy, Paris, Hong Kong, Zurich, London, New YorkLiang Gallery, TaipeiLin & Lin Gallery, Taipei, BeijingEdouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong, ShanghaiGalleria d’Arte Maggiore G.A.M., Bologna, MilanMayoral, Paris, BarcelonaMazzoleni, Turin, LondonGalerie Urs Meile, Beijing, LucerneKamel Mennour, Paris, LondonMeyer Riegger, Berlin, KarlsruheMind Set Art Center, TaipeiNanzuka, TokyoTaro Nasu, Tokyoneugerriemschneider, BerlinAnna Ning Fine Art, Hong KongGalleria Franco Noero, TurinOne and J. Gallery, SeoulOra-Ora, Hong KongOta Fine Arts, Shanghai, Singapore, TokyoP.P.O.W., New YorkPace Gallery Hong Kong, Seoul, Geneva, London, etc.Perrotin Hong Kong, Shanghai, Paris, Tokyo, etc.Pi Artworks, Istanbul, LondonPKM Gallery, SeoulProyectos Monclova, Mexico CityAlmine Rech, Brussels, Shanghai, Paris, London, New YorkROH Projects, JakartaRossi & Rossi, Hong Kong, LondonEsther Schipper, BerlinSies + Höke, DüsseldorfSilverlens, ManilaSoka Art, Beijing, Tainan, TaipeiSTPI, SingaporeTake Ninagawa, TokyoTang Contemporary Art, Beijing, Hong Kong, BangkokTKG, TaipeiTokyo Gallery + BTAP, Beijing, TokyoVitamin Creative Space, Beijing, GuangzhouWhite Cube, Hong Kong, LondonYavuz Gallery, Singapore, SydneyDavid Zwirner, Paris, Hong Kong, London, New York
Insights section
Asia Art Center, Shanghai, Beijing, TaipeiGallery Baton, SeoulFlowers Gallery, London, Hong KongJohyun Gallery, Busan, SeoulGallery Kogure, TokyoLeo Gallery, ShanghaiNukaga Gallery, Tokyo, Osaka, LondonShibunkaku, KyotoAxel Vervoordt Gallery, Antwerp, Hong KongWooson, Daegu
Discoveries section
Bangkok City City Gallery, BangkokCapsule Shanghai, ShanghaiCLC Gallery Venture, BeijingDon Gallery, ShanghaiAnat Ebgi, Los AngelesHigh Art, ParisP21, SeoulVanguard Gallery, Shanghai
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