This year’s edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, one of Asia’s largest contemporary art fair, has been cancelled due to the “sudden and widespread outbreak” of COVID-19.
Art Basel is the leading global platform connecting collectors, galleries, and artists. It aims at creating unique artist-led experiences and reinforcing local art scenes. Galleries play a significant role in the development and promotion of visual arts in Art Basel. Art Basel gallery exhibition presents the most modern and contemporary artwork of the highest standard.
There are concerns that the calling off the fair would lead to a significant decrease in profit for the business of the galleries who were set to participate. Art Basel came up with a solution that would give those galleries an opportunity to sell their work via online viewing rooms. Marc Spiegler, the global director of Art Basel, said the online viewing rooms will “provide galleries with a further possibility for engaging with our global audiences, complementing the essential personal interactions that continue to underlie the art market”.
The exhibition will be showcasing works from 242 galleries, with a good geographic balance of art from both the East and West. Art Basel prides itself not only on its ability to attract well-known artists but also on its commitment to providing a platform that connects Asian artists with the rest of the world. There are a total of seven sectors to explore now online:
Galleries: A mix of both modern and contemporary art, including paintings, drawings, photography, sculptures, and digital artworks, presenting digital artwork from the 20th to 21 centuries.
Insights: Unique curated projects from Asia, the Middle East, and India, allowing insights into artists’ careers, particular themes, and art periods from 1900 through to the present day.
Discoveries: New artists get their opportunity to premiere contemporary art created especially for Art Basel, showcasing their talents in an early stage of their career.
Kabinett: Booths that display thematically-focused projects.
Encounters: A great opportunity to see large-scale sculptures and installations, presented in prominent locations throughout the exhibition halls.
Film: Showing short films and special screenings
Magazines: An exhibit of art publications from around the world, recording down a series of lectures and discussions by prominent members of the art world.
The new digital initiative will provide an additional platform for exhibitors to showcase artworks to Art Basel’s global patronage network, as well as new collectors and buyers, providing strong support to all the galleries who were affected by the cancellation of the 2020 Art Basel.
The online viewing room will be available via the Art Basel website and app on March 18 to March 20 for VIP Preview and March 20 to March 25 for public. Go check it out if you want more details on all galleries and presentations!