Hong Kong looked and felt a lot more like China and less like Singapore. Good or bad. Entertainment, restaurants and taxis are very affordable, but it’s no longer a shopping paradise (unless you are 145 cm tall, size XXXXXS and after extremely bright colors). It was amazing that the conflict between Hong Kong and China is described by the officials involved exactly as if it were a conflict over Ukraine, same words, same country to blame (“it’s been our territory for centuries”, “CIA funded uprising”, “evil Americans don’t want any other country to be strong”).
I really enjoyed open and almost childish curiosity of the Chinese visitors at Art Basel Hong Kong, constantly asking questions, talking to the gallerists and dutifully recording all the answers on their phones. As soon as someone pauses asks a question at the booth, a little circle of 20-30 sightseers is instantly formed, all hands up and cameras on.
My favorite piece is called “Consume” – a golden shipping container curved as a bridge. Many interpretations were offered: the dominance of the made is China export economy, Chinese obsession with luxury from the West, consumption as a bridge to a better life, consumption as a luxury prison… among others.
An interesting installation (Called Intifada, which means “uprising” in Arabic) is a set of uprooted olive trees – shaking, vibrating and loosing leaves (there is a hidden motor involved). An olive branch has been a symbol of piece, victory, power and glory, but here it’s trapped, fragile and mortal.
Another political context is found at the refugee camp (actually, the official name is Square Cloud Compound). Funnily enough, it was interesting how the visitors almost ignored this camp, like it’s some inconvenient placeholder, temporary and not worth their attention. People were passing by, anticipating something shinier and more glamorous somewhere around the corner.
This woman is not alive, but unbelievably real.
A lot of cross-references to our living conditions and interior decorations. It seams like we, as a society, are constantly torn between minimalism and abundance.
It goes without saying that people watching is as entertaining as art watching.
This paining was sold within hours from the opening
Two sides of the same shoe