Arts & Culture

Art Basel in Hong Kong Will Highlight Filipino Art and More, Says the Fair's Director

Adeline Ooi shares her long-term plans for the large-scale international fair and how Filipino art fits into the equation.
IMAGE COURTESY JESPER JEST AND PERROTIN/ CHOU YU-CHENG AND EDOUARD MALINGUE GALLERY VIA ART BASEL
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On its sixth edition, Art Basel in Hong Kong will welcome 248 galleries from 38 countries to exhibit works by representing artists.

The number of galleries, while impressive as compared to the scale of other art fairs in the region, is a standard for the Hong Kong chapter of Art Basel.

Adeline Ooi, director of Asia of Art Basel, says “the number of galleries is pretty much the same, it’s just the lineup that changes every year.”


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Refresh, Sacrifice, New Hygiene, Infection, Clean, Robot, Air, Housekeeping, www.ayibang.com, Cigarette, Dyson, Modern People, 2017 by Chou Yu-Cheng

Despite this, the highly-anticipated art fair has become the biggest art event in the region. According to Ooi, “it’s the only international art fair of its scale in Asia,” which is why she believes in its role as a peddler of art on this side of the world.

Filipino art continues to wow on the platform. Regular participating Philippine galleries include Silverlens, The Drawing Room, ArtInformal, and 1335Mabini. “For someone in the Philippines, you should be so proud of the fact that your galleries have always been [in Hong Kong] and there’s always a place for the Filipino artist to be seen,” she says. Silverlens and The Drawing Room had forged a relationship with the city’s art pulse even before Art Basel began.

With only 11 days to go until Art Basel Hong Kong 2018, SILVERLENS is pleased to reveal its artist line-up with a curated presentation this year, “Even if you kill me”, portraits of power. SILVERLENS is exhibiting a selection of works by artists the gallery represents. ??????? Our final reveal: Chati Coronel, Gregory Halili, and Wawi Navarroza. Three artists whose light touch and practices are rooted in the lush tropical. We include Maria Taniguchi as Trinity Plus One. Her art practice alludes to "building skins," using the running bond pattern, the simplest pattern in masonry. ??????? IMAGES: CHATI CORONEL, Yesses Give Birth to Yesses, 2017; GREGORY HALILI, Pearl Divers II, 2018; WAWI NAVARROZA, Confabulation, 2017; MARIA TANIGUCHI, Untitled, 2017. ??????? For more information about SILVERLENS artists and exhibitions, visit www.silverlensgalleries.com ??????? #SilverlensGalleries #ContemporaryArt #ArtBaselHongKong #ABHK2018 #Art #ArtPH

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While many Filipino art collectors visit Art Basel to admire works from international galleries, they'll spot many familiar names on the roster. “This year will be another highlight for Filipinos,” says Ooi. “Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan’s work will be seen in Encounters, our large-scale sculpture,” she adds.

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Art collecting is becoming more and more common in Asia, says Ooi. “Economies are in different stages of development due to sociopolitical backgrounds and situations, but there’s a lot of emerging interest in collecting art,” she says. This could be the reason why Art Basel in Hong Kong has gained such a following, and that year after year, an evident growth in visitors is worth noting.


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Adeline Ooi, Director Asia of Art Basel

While each gallery has its own curators, it is Ooi’s job to curate the entire fair. When asked what keeps her busy in between the shows, she laughs and answers, “The show. I spend 365 days organizing the show so that’s what keeps me busy.”

More than exhibitions and talks, Art Basel has the daunting tasks of connecting Asia to the rest of the art world and connecting Asia to Asia. “Our art worlds are in different stages of development, so there’s much of each other that we don’t know about—each other’s art history and the rich Asian context we share,” she says.


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A Tale of Two Cities by Li Zhanyang

Long-term, Malaysian-born Ooi wishes to highlight both seasoned and upcoming talents in the regional art scene. “We tend to look to the west and we forget that we also have treasures at home, in our background, and in our neighboring countries,” she muses. “We have so much to learn from each other.”


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Servitudes by Jesper Jest

Visitors to Art Basel will have a lot to take in when they visit from March 29 to 31 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. Key events include talks by people in different positions of the art world, such as collectors and art market professionals; its film program which will consist of 59 film and video works; and visual performances around the city. For more information, visit the Art Basel website.

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About The Author
Hannah Lazatin
Senior Staff Writer
Hannah is a communications graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. She’s originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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