Art Basel Hong Kong 2018

Art Basel Hong Kong 2018
From an exceptionally beautiful Warhol Mao to an enchanting rodent marching trip from Taiwan, quality and novelty are at an equally high level - exactly what you want from a trade fair.

If you have two criteria for a successful art fair, the quality of the offered work and the novelty of its content, there is perhaps no better fair in the world today than Art Basel Hong Kong. Here are some of the most remarkable pieces you can encounter in this buzzing sixth edition of the event, which takes place at the exact moment when the long-division components of the Eastern and Western art markets have finally been emulsified.

Yu Hong
A New Century (2017)
Long March Space - Beijing
In the range of $ 800,000
A stunning wall-swallower by the sensationally talented painter Yu Hong, the canvas that steals the show in the artist's solo stand for Long March Space, ......

is an 18-foot triptych with a nightmarish scene. In the far left corner a city (recognizable New York) is burning, sending a harmful cloud of smoke into the air, where a colorful group of refugees cling to a long bamboo pole, 

some swaddled in reflective emergency blankets, some floundering with naked mannequins, others wearing animal skulls and hanging on the pole next to the drying of meat; a monkey in a baby mask stares at two flying flamingos, while three frogs cross under the foot; on the right, a man carrying a plastic water bottle as a mask recreates the pose of Michelangelo's creation of Adam while an Asian deity manifests from a cloud of sonic trees to touch his hand, the synapse of their fingers causing an explosion.

Like much of her work, the painting is a commentary on the ills the artist sees in the mental and ecological state of the modern world, and it is equally as depressing as delightful, impressively painted in the cool jewel-like tones of Tiepolo. Not even the largest painting that Yu has made - it excels in cinematographic scale, a feature that she shares with her husband, the equally extraordinary painter Liu Xiaodong - this masterpiece will be exhibited next year in the retrospective of the artist in Shanghai Shanghai. Long Museum. Something like this makes the medium of painting come alive, but Yu barely stops: around the corner of the canvas you can put on headphones and view the latest VR work of the artist, also beautiful.

Alice Neel
Robyn Evans (1968)
Xavier Hufkens - Brussels
Almost $ 1 million
At a time when Western art has found an unprecedentedly receptive Asian audience, it is imagined that dealers are making a lot of effort to think about the kind of work they bring to a fair like Art Basel Hong Kong. Do you select a grand art-historical work with the aim to make an impression, or to bring something to the edge of the cut to broaden horizons and cultivate taste?

Asked why he decided to bring this 1968 Alice Neel portrait of Robyn Evans, Xavier Hufkens had a well thought-out answer. "I visited a lot of studios in China and there was something unconscious that linked this picture to a number of artists in Asia," he said, noting that it had different elements that he expected to appeal to an Asian buyer. The red pattern around the sleeves and hem looks classic classic, for example; even the artist's signature, scribbled sideways at the bottom right, quickly turns Chinese, he said.

These sympathetic details may have been enough to convince the Chinese collector who picked up the painting at the fair and, according to the gallery, paid just under $ 1 million. Of course context is everything when it comes to art, just like the stories woven in the mind of the spectator. One suspects that the mysterious, unspeakable Chineseness of the portrait was less obvious when the gallery exhibited the same painting by Neel a few months ago at Art Basel in Miami Beach.

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