Art Basel prepares for its biggest show in Hong Kong since the pandemic, but the number of exhibitors is still below 2019 levels


Art Basel is planning its biggest Hong Kong fair since the start of the pandemic as Covid-19 travel restrictions ease in the region. The fair, which is due to take place next March, will feature 171 galleries from 32 countries and territories and a new fair director. Although this is below the 242 exhibitors who participated in the 2019 edition of the show, it nevertheless marks a return, with a 30% increase compared to the 130 exhibitors in the 2022 edition.

The event will take place from March 21 to 25 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in Wan Chai, with the first two days reserved for the VIP preview.

The 2023 edition also inaugurates a structural change in the Asian section of the Swiss fair. This month, Angelle Siyang-Le was appointed to the newly created position of Director, Art Basel Hong Kong, to lead the development of the fair. Siyang-Le has been at the Hong Kong fair for a decade, previously serving as regional gallery relations manager in Asia and development manager in Greater China.

Adeline Ooi remains Art Basel’s Asia Director, focusing on the strategic development of the Swiss fair in the region. The company has experimented with new opportunities in Asia during the pandemic, playing an advisory role for local events such as Art Week Tokyo in Japan and SEA Focus in Singapore. In January, Art Basel’s parent company, MCH Group, also bought a 15% stake in the company that organizes ART SG, a new art fair in Singapore that will finally debut in January after multiple delays.

Art Basel is also undergoing a management shake-up at its highest level: global director Marc Spiegler, who launched the Hong Kong fair in 2013, is leaving after a decade, while Noah Horowitz returns to take over the newly created role. created from CEO of Art Basel this month. .

Thursday’s release of Art Basel Hong Kong’s 2023 exhibitor list coincides with Hong Kong officials announcing further easing of travel restrictions. Following the early end to mandatory hotel quarantine for travelers, starting Monday, those entering Hong Kong from overseas and Taiwan will no longer be required to take PCR tests on the fourth and sixth days after arrival. .

However, the mandatory PCR tests are still required upon landing at the airport and on the second day (day of arrival is considered day zero). Travelers will also be required to take rapid antigen tests (lateral flow tests) for seven consecutive days. Arrivals will have to follow the local digital health code system, which restricts access to certain places such as restaurants, gyms and temporary event venues for the first three days after landing in Hong Kong.

In March, 21 exhibitors from around the world will appear at the Hong Kong fair for the first time, including Galerie Christophe Gaillard and Loevenbruck from Paris, Jan Kaps from Cologne and Helly Nahmad Gallery from London. New York’s Venus Over Manhattan will feature a solo stand by Peter Saul for his debut at Art Basel Hong Kong.

Four Tokyo galleries – Kosaku Kanechika, Kotaro Nukaga, Takuro Someya Contemporary Art and Yutaka Kikutake – as well as YOD Gallery, which has spaces in Osaka and Tokyo, will join the fair. Other new exhibitors in the region include Yiri Arts from Taipei, Gallery2 from Jeju, Whistle from Seoul and Gallery Vacancy from Shanghai.

Some international exhibitors who skipped the Hong Kong fair due to the pandemic will also be returning, including Simon Lee, Xavier Hufkens, Victoria Miro, Waddington Custot, Thaddaeus Ropac, Timothy Taylor, Galerie Jocelyn Wolff and Zilberman Gallery.

The 2023 edition will see the return of the special sections Encounters – a large-scale presentation of works curated by Alexie Glass-Kantor – and Film, which is curated by Li Zhenhua.

“We are delighted to welcome our international exhibitors and patrons back to our show in March and shine the spotlight on the city,” Siyang-Le said in a statement.

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