Visit us at the Shop Latitude x Condé Nast Traveler Imports Holiday Pop-Up Shop in NYC! Click here for details.

Art Basel Hong Kong

Danielle Huthart is the founder of design and branding agency Whitespace, she is considered one of the leading design forces in the Hong Kong creative scene. We asked Danielle to attend the first annual Art Basel Hong Kong art fair and report back on everything she found inspiring.

 

Danielle Huthart is the founder of design and branding agency Whitespace, she is considered one of the leading design forces in the Hong Kong creative scene. We asked Danielle to attend the first annual Art Basel Hong Kong art fair and report back on everything she found inspiring.
 

Art Basel Hong Kong 2013, one of the most acclaimed and prestigious art fairs nowadays. It?s a platform for well stablished galleries, but also for some new comers with refreshing concepts from Asia, Europe and America- which artists were you looking forward to seeing this year? 

It was the first year for Art Basel | Hong Kong, and everyone was looking forward to seeing what changes there would be, and how it would differ from the previous art fair incarnation, Art HK. Overall the fair was bigger, brighter and in many ways much better. With over 2,000 artists work present, there was a lot to cover in just a few days.
 
 
The Writer, Danielle Huthart
 
On the whole, there were more galleries, more space, and a diverse mix of artists from all over the world. I really enjoyed seeing the dot-obsessed Yayoi Kusama, whose work I first became familiar with through a retrospective I caught at the Tate Modern last year, as well as Haegue Yang, a Korean visual artist whom creates these beautiful mixed media pieces out of ordinary utilitarian objects that was represented by Galerie Chantal Crousel. 
 
Haegue Yang, Feature Dew Point - Blue Orbit, Mixed Media
Galerie Chantal Crousel
 
Other established artists like Ai Weiwei, Damien Hirst, Yoshitomo Nara and Tracey Emin also made an expected appearance alongside emerging artists like Indonesian artist Nyoman Masriadi showing his fiery superhuman paintings, and Heman Chong, whose red neon work, "The Part of the Story Where We Witness The Beginning Of An End" caught my eye high above the fair.
 
 
Yoshitomo Nara 
  
Some of the most anticipated artists showed at various galleries around Hong Kong, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat at Gagosian, Takashi Murakami at Galerie Perrotin and Dino & Jake Chapman at White Cube. Lane Crawford also held a wonderful in-store exhibition called Fashion Meets Art with drawings from Brooklyn-based Shantell Martin and Shanghainese multi-media artist Jacky Tsai. Hong Kong-based artist Adrian Wong also created "Wun Dun Bar" ? a one-week pop-up bar in the basement of the Fringe Club in a collaboration with Absolut Art Bureau, which was incredibly cool.
 
The Part in The Story Where We Witness The Beginning Of An End
Heman Chong
 
What were the 5 most memorable pieces you saw at Art Basel?
 
The most memorable pieces I saw were the ones from the artists I had discovered and whose work I was unfamiliar with. In particular, Nuri Kuzucan, a Turkish artist whose large paintings draw you in for it's flatness, perspective and colors, and also the beautiful small and intimate landscape paintings of Sam Dargan, represented by Rokeby Gallery. 
 
 
Nuri Kuzucan, Plan II, 2012
 
 
Sam Dargan, Discoveries 
Rokeby, London
 
I also really liked the large scroll works by Qin Chong that seemed to reach to the exhibition center's ceilings, and the series by Indian artist Jitish Kallat that looked like x-rays from afar but were in fact pigment prints on photographic paper. Apart from the discovery of new artists, it was nice to see familiar ones like Ryan McGuinness and Gary Hume, both of whom I have always followed due to my graphic design sensibilities, and have always coveted their silkscreens and paintings.
 
Jitish Kallat, Eclipse,
Pigment on archival paper, 2007
Chemould Prescott Road
 
 
Ryan McGuinness
Women: The Poligrafa Portfolio, 2012
Poligrafa, Barcelona
 
 
 
Gary Hume, Paradise Four, 2012
Gary Hume, Magda, 2012
From Paragon Gallery
 
Overall the fair was an intense, art and fashion-filled week. In-between there were Fall 2013 collection previews held by Stella McCartney and cocktails with Net-a-Porter, as well as parties hosted by Givenchy, Christian Louboutin, Audemars Piguet and numerous others. Everyone was on their hands and knees after Art Basel, begging for a night-in in with a good movie, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time before energy is restored and we're ready for another art fair.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top-BottomNet-a-Porter Cocktail at Upper House & Stella McCartney at Helena May