Art Basel in Hong Kong Takes Global Approach to Salon Programming

Cao Fei, RMB City.

With Art Basel in Hong Kong just around the corner (March 15–17), the fair has finally announced its event programming of Salons and Conversations, featuring an international slate of artists, dealers, collectors, museum professionals, and art critics.

Chinese artist Cao Fei will headline the fair’s Premiere Artist Talk, the first of three “Conversation” programs. She will speak with Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director of London’s Serpentine Gallery, about her multimedia practice. Using the popular online game Second Life as a platform, Cao’s RMB City, a virtual 21st-century Chinese city, provides a space that blurs virtual and physical reality, allowing artists and other creatives to develop innovative projects.

The “Conversations” series continues with “Trans-Pacific Collecting,” which explores the international character of the Asian art market. The final program, “Moving Without Moving: How Global Institutions Travel,” is concerned with how local institutions are adapting to the art world’s ever-expanding reach, and will feature Philip Tinari, director of Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art and Ute Meta Bauer, founding director of the Nanyang Technological University Centre for Contemporary Art in Singapore.

The fair will also offer a series of more informal presentations at Salons held each afternoon. Topics will range from the joint India/Pakistan exhibition at the upcoming Venice Biennale (see Venice Biennale 2015 Will Unite Pakistan and India) to explorations about socially engaged Southeast Asian art. Conversations, scheduled for 10:00 a.m. each day of the fair, are free and open to the public, while the Salons are open to all Art Basel in Hong Kong ticket holders. All talks will be presented in English as well as Cantonese and Mandarin.

Now in its third edition, the fair will feature galleries from 37 different countries as well as 20 projects and installations scattered about the exhibition hall comprising the Encounters sector, curated by Alexie Glass-Kantor (see Art Basel in Hong Kong Has 231 Galleries on Deck for 2015 and Art Basel in Hong Kong 2015 “Encounters” Artists Announced).

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