Art Basel Returned to Hong Kong In A Big Way

This year, Art Basel returned to Hong Kong and with it brought an inflatable Mickey Mouse. The 121-foot gray sculpture from Brooklyn-based artist, KAWS floated on Victoria Harbor during Art Basel Hong Kong, and unfortunately was decommissioned due to inclement weather, but thousands still had a chance to see the bizarre piece.

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Courtesy Art Basel Hong Kong

Now in its 7th edition, ABHK brought a record attendance of 88,000 and collectors from over 70 countries and territories resulting in 242 galleries on display. Moreover, 21 of those galleries participated in the event for the first time and nine premier galleries from the United States and Europe made their way into the main sector for the first time. Some notable mentions include exceptional works by Sigmar Polke, Yoo Youngkuk, Alice Neel, Xu Bing, Egon Schiele and Nan Goldin in the galleries sector, which featured 196 galleries. The discoveries and insights together included 46 galleries, which revealed some exciting new voices such as Zarina, Li Shan, Candice Lin, Shen Xin, and Jong Oh.

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Courtesy Art Basel Hong Kong

The event brought in strong sales and saw American contemporary art gallery owner David Zwirner selling out his entire booth on the first day. Other notable sales included a $19 million Picasso at the Luxembourg and Dayan booth and a $15 million David Hockney at Acquavella. Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Elvis sold for $2.5 million at the White Cuba Gallery and Mark Bradford’s Superman sold for $2 million at Hauser and Wirth.

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Courtesy Art Basel Hong Kong

Dedicated to presenting large-scale sculpture and installation works, visitors were stunned by giant floating torpedo’s, large scale kitchenware and upside down architecture in the encounters sector. Among the show, participatory artworks was an ethereal fleet of threadbare boats by artist Chiharu Shiota. The site-specific artwork showcased boats of all sizes, figuratively sailing across space. The way in which they were set up resembled a pencil drawing, and from some angles, boats can disappear easily as they appear, creating an otherworldly illusion. Arario Gallery presented a slow-moving sushi belt carrying tiffin boxes and pots to in an effort to provoke the thought of food travel and its evolution from push wheelbarrows to instant lunches.

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Courtesy Art Basel Hong Kong

 

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