Move aside Pedder Building; Hong Kong’s shiny new gallery hub is H Queen’s, whose 24 storeys tower above Queen’s Road Central. Pace, Hauser & Wirth, Pearl Lam Galleries and Whitestone Gallery are all launching new spaces here ready for Art Basel in Hong Kong (ABHK), joining the recently opened David Zwirner, Galerie Ora-Ora, Tang Contemporary Art and Whitestone Gallery.
All will be competing for the attention of the ABHK crowd for simultaneous exhibitions—if the galleries have secured permits in time for the roof crane to install large works. When Tang Contemporary Art opened here in December, as the gallery did not have its permit in place, according to the South China Morning Post, metal works by Huang Yongping and Shen Yuan had to be sliced up and welded back together in order to fit in the narrow elevators.
Providing the works can get in, here is a roundup of exhibition highlights, from kinetic sculptures to a contemporary take on ink paintings.
Hauser & Wirth
27 March-12 May
The gallery launches its Hong Kong space with a show of new works by the American painter of the moment, Mark Bradford, following his US Pavilion presentation at last year’s Venice Biennale. Bradford was the first artist to see Hauser & Wirth’s new Hong Kong space, after which he “immediately and enthusiastically agreed to be the first show”, Iwan Wirth says.
26 March-12 May
Zwirner opened his Hong Kong gallery at the end of January with an exhibition of the Belgian painter Michaël Borremans. For ABHK week, he turns to photography with Wolfgang Tillmans’s first exhibition in the city. Tillmans has that gift of being able to capture the monumental and the intimate, and give both equal status. So here is a wall-sized aerial view of the Sahara Desert alongside a tender shot of a hand lightly resting on an ankle, alongside recent portraits and still lifes, some on show for the first time.
27 March-12 May
Pace has been in Hong Kong for a decade. But now, not to be left out, it opens a second space in H Queen’s with a show of two new paintings and five drawings by Yoshitomo Nara, the Japanese artist with a cult following for his stylised depictions of bug-eyed young girls. At the centre of the show are a dozen new ceramic sculptures. Nara started working with clay around 10 years ago.
26 March-9 May
Growing up in rural China, Xiao Xu would watch his grandfather making sacrificial houses out of rice paper and bamboo for the dead. The Chinese traditions of working in ink and on paper have remained central to Xiao’s practice ever since. On view at Ora-Ora are his new large-scale ink paintings on paper, titled Streams of Eventide, of brooding otherworldly landscapes in which a glacier or flower emerges from the velvety gloom.
Pearl Lam Galleries
27 March-8 May
Pearl Lam’s dual interest in art and design shows through in Warped Matter, Curved Time, the first solo exhibition in Asia by the Italian artist Arcangelo Sassolino. His often menacing, occasionally destructive kinetic sculptures, showing Sassolino’s interest in physics, dwell on the relationship between the machine world and industrialisation, and the environment it so often harms.