Cover Double Fly Art Center's "Double Fly Klein Blue 10" (Photo: Courtesy of the artist and De Sarthe Gallery)

Art Basel in Hong Kong—Asia's leading art fair—is returning to the city from May 19 to 23. Here, we list 10 local galleries not to miss

Good news for art lovers in Hong Kong: Art Basel—Asia's leading art fair—is returning to the city after cancelling its three annual events in Hong Kong, Basel and Miami Beach last year due to the pandemic, though the organisation did manage to host Hong Kong Spotlight by Art Basel last November. 

This year, 104 galleries from around the world are participating in the event, which runs from May 19 to 23 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. 

Here, we introduce the Hong Kong galleries you shouldn't miss.

See also: Everything You Need To Know About Art Basel Live: Hong Kong

1. 10 Chancery Lane Gallery

New mixed-media paintings by the eccentric Frog King (Kwok Man Ho) are the highlight of 10 Chancery Lane Gallery's booth. Frog King is one of the most important artists working in Hong Kong today and was a pioneer of performance and conceptual art in the city.

For Art Basel, he has made a series of new ink and mixed-media on canvas works. He will also make an appearance at the event, decked out in his unmistakable black, white and red outfit and signature "froggy" sunglasses.

Bamboo sculptures by Laurent Martin "Lo", which are new to the gallery, are also worth seeing.

See also: The Man Behind The Mask: A Look Inside The Life Of Performance Artist Frog King

2. Blindspot

Blindspot was founded in 2010 with a focus on contemporary photography and lens-based art, but has since expanded to work with artists working in many different media. For Art Basel, the gallery is showcasing works by various artists including Un Cheng, Jiang Pengyi, Sin Wai Kin and Trevor Young.

Hong Kong artist Un Cheng creates large-scale paintings that combine careful observation of urban life and intense, childish imagination. Jiang Pengyi, on the other hand, constantly innovates with photography. 

Sin Wai Kin, also known as Victoria Sin, uses speculative fiction within performance, moving images, writing and print to explore themes of desire, identification and objectification. And multimedia artist Trevor Yeung uses plants and animals as metaphors for human relationships in his photography and installations.

See also: 10 Must-See Art Exhibitions In Hong Kong In May 2021

3. Gallery Exit

Stephen Wong Chun-hei made quite an impact during Spotlight by Art Basel and, now, Gallery Exit is showcasing one of his latest works. Titled Grand Tour in Google Earth: Machu Picchu, the 180 x 220 cm acrylic-on-canvas piece is a breathtaking painting of the ancient Incan citadel in Peru. Other highlights of Gallery Exit's booth include three oil paintings by Zhang Jian and a painting of Hong Kong's two tallest buildings—the IFC and ICC—by local artist Wilson Shieh.

See also: Spotlight By Art Basel 2020 Showcases Art During The Pandemic

4. Rossi & Rossi

Rossi & Rossi is showcasing pieces by celebrated talents from around Asia, including Iranian sculptor Siah Amajani, Pakistani artist Naiza Khan and Tibetan artist Nortse.

Nortse's work The Mask Face (2014) looks like it could have been made as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, but was actually made seven years ago after a period of personal loss for the artist. 

In addition to paintings and prints, Rossi & Rossi is also exhibiting installations and sculptures by Naiza Khan and Thai artist Mit Jai Inn.

See also: Anna Maria Rossi And Fabio Rossi On Their Wild Road Trips Through Asia—And Opening Their Second Gallery In Hong Kong

5. Alisan Fine Arts

Franco-Chinese artist Chu Teh-Chun is in the spotlight at Alisan Fine Arts. In addition to his lyrical abstract works, a documentary about his art and life will also be screened in the film sector of Art Basel Hong Kong and at Le French May arts festival.

Chu Ten-Chun's 135 x 69 cm Chinese ink on rice paper piece, Untitled, is not to be missed.

Also on show are vibrant, vivid paintings by the late Chinese-American artist Walasse Ting. 

6. De Sarthe Gallery

Hongkonger Andrew Luk's large-scale installation Haunted, Salvaged is not easy to miss—it's featured prominently at the centre of the fair. 

Another work from Luk's new series, Deep Earth Event Horizon, will be shown at De Sarthe's booth. These new works consist of large reliefs formed from resin and silicon carbide.

The series derives its aesthetics from archeology and the study of deep history, but combines elements from natural history with contemporary materials.

Besides Luk's pieces, Double Fly Art Center's Double Fly Klein Blue series is also on display, as are works from Mak Ting Tung 2's computer game-inspired Home Sweet Home series.

7. Galerie du Monde

While Galerie du Monde specialises in modern and contemporary works by Chinese artists, its group presentation at Art Basel Hong Kong presents the work of seven artists from both East and West.

They are Fong Chung-Ray, Michael Müller, Wesley Tongson, Juan Uslé, Wang Gongyi, Wesley Tongson, Stella Zhang and Wu Chi-Tsung.

One standout work is Fong Chung-Ray's painting, which features a mixture of bright oranges and pale beiges. Fong is often described as one of the pioneers of abstraction in Chinese painting.

See also: A Retrospective Of Fong Chung-Ray At Galerie du Monde

8. Hanart TZ Gallery

Hanart TZ Gallery is bringing together contemporary artists whose work explores the subject of shanshui (traditional Chinese landscape paintings that feature mountains and waterfalls) from diverse angles. Hanart TZ Gallery's selection for Art Basel Hong Kong traces the development of shanshui in both modern and contemporary art history with the works of both emerging and well-known artists.

Two new media artists, Tobias Klein and h0nh1m (Chris Cheung), are included, but the highlight is Wang Dongling's four-panelled work, The Peach Blossom Spring, Entangled Script. The piece breaks away completely from the implied grid of traditional calligraphy and weaves individual characters into an amorphous composition.

9. Kwai Fung Hin

Kwai Fung Hin is presenting works by Lalan, Myonghi Kang, Gerhard Richter and Sam Szafran. 

German artist Gerhard Richter is one of the most influential artists alive today. He is famous for his early photorealist canvasses and his bold, abstract squeegee paintings, which will be showcased at Kwai Fung Hin's booth.

South Korean artist Myonghi Kang's idyllic abstract landscape paintings are also a highlight.


10. Edouard Malingue

With artworks from France, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the US and China, Edouard Malingue certainly has a lot to present.

Taiwanese-American artist Brook Hsu is known for weaving the fantastical, the mythopoetic and the autobiographical through an array of mediums, creating haunting imagery and scenes.

And Chinese painter Zheng Zhou wistfully explores the blurry boundary between figurative and abstract art. His brushstrokes are an attempt to capture the cosmos and the thousands of elements—seen and unseen—that make up our universe. 

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