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Art Basel in Asia
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 26 - 03 - 2016

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Following a breakthrough 2015 edition – which placed the Hong Kong show squarely in the center of Asia's international art scene – the show offered a premier platform for showing works from across the globe, more than half from Asia and Asia Pacific. The show provided an in-depth overview of the region's diversity through both historical material and cutting-edge works by leading and emerging artists.
The show
With half of the participating galleries coming from Asia and Asia-Pacific, the show in Hong Kong served as a portal to the region's artists and also offered galleries from around the world a platform for bringing their highest quality work to Asia.
A 21st century metropolis, Hong Kong ranks among the world's most dynamic international capitals. During Art Basel, collaborations with local and international partners ensured a diverse range of arts programming, with hundreds of cultural events hosted across the city throughout the week. From emerging talents to the Modern masters of both Asia and the West, Art Basel in Hong Kong traces twelve decades of 20th and 21st century art. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, video and editioned works of the highest quality are exhibited, representing more than 3,000 artists from around the globe. Through a program of discussions and presentations, the show also offered a platform for cross-cultural exchanges among artists, gallerists, curators, collectors and visitors.
Insights
Insights presents projects by galleries based in the Asia and the Asia-Pacific region and representing artists from the region – from Turkey to New Zealand, including Asia, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. Booths include solo shows, exceptional art-historical material and thematic exhibitions.
Time Waterfall
Art Basel and the ICC presented a new large-scale public light installation by
Tatsuo Miyajima in Hong Kong. Internationally acclaimed Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima presented a new largescale public light installation during Art Basel's show in Hong Kong this March.
Each night from March 21 to 26 ‘Time Waterfall' was be shown across the entire
façade of Hong Kong's iconic 490 meter high International Commerce Centre (ICC) on the Kowloon harbor front.
‘Time Waterfall' is a new work by the artist, which aims to convey the eternal luminance of human life, expressing an ethos of ‘living in the present'. The work will comprise the natural numbers one to nine, which will cascade down the face of the ICC, while never reaching zero. The continuous counting down symbolizes life, while the zero implied by the extinction of light acts as a metaphor for death. Each digit will be of different sizes, and each will cascade at its own speed, creating a number of layers that each represents a trajectory of individual lives.
This work continues the artist's signature use of light-emitting diode (LED) counters to demonstrate his three fundamental concepts – ‘Keep Changing'; ‘Connect with Everything'; and ‘Continue Forever'. The absence of zero in his works refers to the Buddhist concept of ‘Sunya', which symbolizes the void or non-existence. The use of numbers, as abstract and conceptual symbols, becomes Miyajima's universal language, allowing his work to be appreciated and adapted internationally.
The work was visible from numerous locations across Hong Kong, including the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Tatsuo Miyajima born in 1957, lives and works in Ibaraki, Japan. He is known for his light works using LED counters that flash in incessant cycles between one and nine without ever reaching zero. He has also presented works in numerous international biennales including the 43rd Venice Biennale (1988) and 48th Venice Biennale (1999). His works are placed in the permanent collection of museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate Modern, London; the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Kunstmuseum Bern. In 2012, Miyajima was appointed Vice President of Kyoto University of Art and Design, and has been serving as Vice President of Tohoku University of Art and Design since 2006. The artist is represented by Lisson Gallery, Buchmann Galerie, and SCAI THE BATHHOUSE.
‘Time Waterfall' was co-commissioned by Art Basel and the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong.
Jellyfish Eyes by Takashi Murakami
Takashi Murakami's 2013 live action/animated film Jellyfish Eyes deals with the aftermath of Japan's devastating tsunami as experienced through the eyes of a child. The film previously headlined the film sector at last summer's Art Basel in Basel.
The ADA Project" by Conrad Shawcross
An ingenious dancing robot from British artist Conrad Shawcross "conducted" music by Mira Calix in the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel. The piece is inspired by 19th-century mathematician Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron.
"Afterwork"
Issues of class, race, labor, and migration in Hong Kong and the surrounding region came to the fore in this group show, which calls attention to the plight of the city's domestic workers, who are mostly women from Indonesia and the Philippines.
"Pacific Red" by Larry Bell
Light and Space artist Larry Bell debuted new work at "contemporary lifestyle destination" Pacific Place. Bell talked with architect Hugh Dutton, in a discussion moderated by Graham Steele of Hauser Wirth & Schimmel.
"I Cried Because I Love You" by Tracey Emin
The British artist presented deeply personal work at both White Cube andLehmann Maupin galleries, with plans to take a year-long sabbatical following the dual exhibition.
Robert Rauschenberg
The great, late, Robert Rauschenberg made his Hong Kong debut with this selection of works from his "Shiner," "Spread," and "Urban Bourbon" series.
Art Law 360 panel
Buying art at the blue chip level opens up a whole range of legal issues. Collectors and advisers hoping to better understand art as an asset/investment heard from such experts as Cynthia E. Sachs of Athena Art Finance and Christine Steiner and Diana Wierbicki, art lawyers from the firm Witherworldwide, on legal issues related to buying, financing, holding, lending, selling, and donating art collections.


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