Art Basel Hong Kong 2021: What to expect at the upcoming art fair

Art Basel Hong Kong returns after a year off site. Given the on-going travel restrictions and social distancing measures, the city’s premier international art fair Art Basel Hong Kong is introducing a new hybrid format to the 2021 event. In a wholly new hybrid-format for the city’s biggest annual art fair, the programme will launch a combination its digital platform Art Basel Live: Hong Kong to complement its physical fair, presenting a unique overview of the diverse art scenes from around the world with a close focus on historical and experimental works of art in various mediums by both established and emerging artists and galleries. The art fair, which will run between 21 to 23 May will be the fair’s first major exhibition since the pandemic in 2019.

An impressive line up of galleries
Art Basel Hong Kong 2021 will feature 104 participating galleries from 23 countries from around the world. The main sector will present 86 galleries with a close focus on experimental works. For the 56 international galleries that could not attend the fair due to travel restrictions, satellite booths staffed with a local representative appointed by Art Basel have been set up to amplify the visibility of its partnering international exhibitors.

A new hybrid format
The hybrid format of Art Basel Hong Kong 2021 will include standalone as well as shared booths at its usual location at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, while its digital platform titled Art Basel Live: Hong Kong will give virtual viewers access to Online Viewing Rooms, a program of special events, live-streamed tours, broadcasts and virtual walkthroughs, bringing audiences from around the world together.

Exclusive online content
The specially launched Art Basel Live: Hong Kong will highlight exclusive content for its online viewers, from live broadcasts featuring Takashi Murakami, Su Xiaobai, Theaster Gates, and collector Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, as well as exciting programmes such as unveiling rare artworks being taken out of their crates, and live-streamed tours of other cultural and art events around Hong Kong. Among the list of online programmes to look out for is the ‘The Art Market 2021: China Focus’, which will cover the most recent developments in China, the world’s second-biggest art market.

Where to go
For the physical event, the Art Basel exhibition will be held in its usual location at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) from 21 to 23 May, while a daily broadcast shot at from the venue will be live-streamed on Art Basel’s website and Facebook page to its global audience every day at 8pm, as well as on Chinese platforms Yitiao and Zai Art. Ticketing price start from HK$200.

Social distancing measures
Visitors of the in-person of the Art Basel fair may have to wait in line for a given amount of time as the venue will be applying social distancing measures, limiting to a controlled number of visitors within the hall at any given time. Upon entering, the exhibition hall, all visitors are expected to scan the event’s QR code on the LeaveHomeSafe app or use an electronic registration form to record details of all visitors’ attendance.


All images courtesy of Art Basel.


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