The highly anticipated seventh edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong closed on Sunday, March 31, 2019, having brought together collectors from over 70 countries and territories, notably from Hong Kong, Mainland China, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States, resulting in strong sales for galleries from all market sectors. The five days of the show saw in attendance private collectors as well as representatives from over 130 leading international museums and institutions attended the show, including: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; M+, Hong Kong; National Gallery of Zimbabwe; The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea; Pérez Art Museum Miami; Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Serpentine Galleries, London; Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate, London; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; and Vancouver Art Gallery. With numerous events taking place throughout the city, the Art Basel week once again directed an international spotlight onto Hong Kong’s ever-more vibrant art scene, including Tai Kwun, the new center for heritage and arts, designed by Herzog & de Meuron.
The 2019 edition featured 242 premier galleries from 35 countries and territories, with 21 galleries participating in the show for the first time – among them nine galleries in the main sector that have been highly influential in defining the art scenes in Europe and the United States, including: Galerie Greta Meert from Belgium; Galerie Bärbel Grässlin and Galerie Max Hetzler from Germany; Luhring Augustine, Matthew Marks Gallery, Paula Cooper Gallery, Regen Projects, and Andrew Kreps Gallery from the United States; and Richard Nagy Ltd. from the United Kingdom.
Eight galleries from Asia joined the fair for the first time, including Watanuki Ltd. / Toki-no-Wasuremono from Tokyo; Beyond Gallery from Taipei; Empty Gallery from Hong Kong; Hunsand Space, Pifo Gallery, and Tabula Rasa Gallery from Beijing; Richard Koh Fine Art with spaces in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and Singapore; and Nova Contemporary from Bangkok. The graduation of five galleries from the Asia-Pacific region into the main sector reinforced the fair’s commitment to the strengthening of the region’s art scene. These galleries included Beijing Art Now Gallery from Beijing, Galerie du Monde from Hong Kong, GowLangsford Gallery from Auckland, ROH Projects from Jakarta, and Tang Contemporary Art with spaces in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Bangkok. Many observers commented on the outstanding quality of art on display and the ambitious presentations by galleries from the East and the West alike.
Adeline Ooi, Director Asia, Art Basel, commented: ‘Art Basel Hong Kong is a truly global platform in Asia for galleries and their artists. The show creates a bridge between Asia and the West, as evident in the impressive line-up of galleries from Europe and the United States. Moreover, I was struck by the focused engagement of our Asian galleries, who through their programs offered compelling insights into the region’s rich histories. With presentations by influential figures from across many local art scenes, this show provides a unique opportunity for many discoveries.’