I travel to the land of shiny steel and glass and 0% tax. Instead I feel curiously melancholic about the inevitable globalization of the culture industry and finally encounter a real peasant within me. I can’t sleep and rediscover Jueju – the ancient agricultural poetry…
Hit the yellow oriole
Don’t let it sing on the branches
When it sings, it breaks into my dreams
And keeps me from Liaoxi!
I get off in Hong Kong Airport excited and tearful (Lufthansa lost my luggage) without the extensive wardrobe curated for the upcoming Art Basel Hong Kong extravaganza.
Swedish mafia boys Magnus Edensvard (art dealer) and Joen Bonnier (golden boy) rescue me from my misery and take me to the hottest event of the evening – the opening of the Collection Burger in a very unusual part of town. The show is exquisite and instantly changes my views and expectations about what contemporary Chinese art is.
We meet Magnus Renfrew, who has led the Hong Kong International Art Fair since its inception in 2007 and now faces new challenges and achievements as the director of the Asia Art Basel brand. He is a winner!
The hosts of this unforgettable event are the adorable Monique Burger and Stefan Rihs.
Tobias Berger, curator of Hong Kong’s M+ Museum, introduces me to the work of Cao Fai and gives me some humorous inspiration for a sculpture park at VIENNAFAIR 2013.
The owner of Gallery Exit, Aenon Loo, has something to smile about: His booth at the fair is constantly crowded by collectors and he hosts a parallel show in his gallery together with Magnus Edensvard about different cultural experiences.
I sip coffee with Austrian dealer Clemens Gunzer, who has a gallery in Zurich and is making plans how to bring some Asian Pacific vavavum to Vienna.
The Art Basel Director Marc Spiegler looks happy – this means business as usual or even more than more.
The fair is perfectly spaced out: There is no crazy rush and the collectors can seriously engage with the artworks. Pae White‘s tapestry work at Neugerriemschneider was already sold by the time I got there.
The legendary Austrian gallerist Ursula Krinzinger chats with the Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa, who co-curated the Istanbul Biennal in 2011, and welcomes me to her impressive booth.
“Muttermilch” by Angelika Krinzinger presented at Galerie Krinzinger Vienna
Sikkema Jenkins & Co director, Katie Rashid, explains me a very appropriate choice for the fair’s multi-aesthetic context – Auntie Walker’s installation
Auntie Walker’s Wall Sampler for Savages, 2013
Cut paper on wall
Installation variable, approximately 24 feet long on 11 foot high wall
Arianna Gellini of Gallery EXIT next to a work by Ivy Ma,
“Mother”, pastel and graphite on plywood, 2013. Courtesy of Gallery Exit, Hong Kong.
Aaron Curry – some West coast attitude gives me an energy boost.
Gyonata Bonvicini and Birte Kleeman, directors of Veneklasen/Werner Gallery next to the installation and sculptures by LA artist Aaron Curry.
Lovely Artemis Baltoyanni with her mother Magda Baltoyanni in New York’s 303 gallery’s booth.
Amsterdam’s Juliette Jongma presents a solo presentation by Donna Huddleston – this particular work on paper is called “Witch Dance”, 2013, and made the gallerist curiously happy.
Love is in the air when Alicja Kwade and Gregor Hildebrandt stand near.
Mihai Pop and Mihaela Lutea from Galeria Plan B smile after their artists Navid Nuur and Adrian Ghenie win the Discoveries Prize at Art Basel Hong Kong.
Navid Nuur from the Eyecodex of the Monochrome series, 1984–2013, ‘Study 55’ Ghenie, blue oil and acrylic mixed by Adrian Ghenie
Venus Hung at IBID booth next to a drawing by New York artist Louise Despont.
Guan Huaibin, ” Lethargic Aesthetics”, 12 Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong
The Breeder has great news – they are opening a second space in Monaco next week. Yo, Oligarchs! Pay attention! The address is 1, Rue des Lilas, MC 98000, Monaco
J. Swaminathan (1928-94) “Untitled” (Bird, Tree and Mountain series) 1972 at Delhi Art Gallery
CDA – Projects Gallery shows emerging artists from Turkey – Zeren Goktan’s interactive installation blends technology and tradition to confront viewers with uncomfortable realities of domestic violence.
Two of my favorite things – traffic and humidity.
Swiss Crew – Damian Grieder and Stefan Rihs hunt for a cab on the way to the opening at Gallery Exit.
I notice the light when the day melts into the evening.
Amy Wood, art consultant and Hong Kong local, in the cult China Club.
China Club oldtimer
As the jetlag was unbearable, I roamed the streets at night.
Patricia Pratas, director of Sprüth Magers, at Salon 10, a real hotspot.
Alex Ruthner and Stefan Rihs at Exit Gallery admiring the painterly sublime.
A detail from Alex Ruthner’s new painting “Mingus”, 2013.
In the gallery I was pleasantly shocked to meet the director of the prestigious curatorial program De Appel Ann Demeester from Amsterdam with her group of researchers. Last time we saw each other was during the Baltic Triennial in Vilnius!
The crowd at the Exit Gallery
It starts to rain and it is time to go home.
As usual I am running late for the airport, and then these two Jackie Chans try to steel my cab! Here I retaliate with some New York style attitude.
Next morning, like in a good Dracula story, I find myself in Oslo instead of Vienna as intended.
I take advantage of this magic misunderstanding in my travel plans and visit one of the best young galleries in Europe – – Standard in Oslo, run by Eivind Furnesvik.
I love the new works by Josh Smith.
Happy gallerists and gallerinas.
Eivind shows me some serious inventory. I can sense the skill and ambition of David Zwirner, Scandinavian style.
The man with the plan! And thumbs up for the super contemporary VIENNAFAIR VIP Program… 🙂