Art Basel looks to a hybrid format for its next edition in Hong Kong

·2-min read
The 2021 edition of Art Basel Hong Kong will also be broadcast online for the first time.

After moving online last year, Art Basel Hong Kong will make its grand return to the Asian archipelago from May 19 to 23. The fair's organizers also plan to launch several digital initiatives simultaneously. Mark your calendars!

Last year, Art Basel Hong Kong was one of the first art events to be cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic. While the fair's organizers responded by setting up "online viewing rooms," they are now banking on a hybrid format for the next edition of the Hong Kong fair.

More than 100 galleries will gather in mid-May at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) to participate in the ninth edition of the art fair, including PKM Gallery, Gagosian and Pilar Corrias. While the event will be considerably smaller than in previous years due to travel restrictions related to the health crisis, Art Basel Hong Kong organizers are offering an alternative solution to some 50 international galleries: "satellite stands."

This new concept offers exhibitors who cannot travel to the Asian territory the opportunity to present their own exhibitions at HKCEC with the help of a local representative appointed by Art Basel. Other arrangements have also been made to allow some of the participating galleries to share stands, such as Silverlens and Rossi & Rossi, Meyer Riegger and Sies + Höke, as well as Antenna Space and Balice Hertling.

Adapting to current circumstances

"It has been truly inspiring to witness the ways in which the art world has been adapting to the current circumstances," said Adeline Ooi, Asia director of Art Basel Hong Kong. "We are delighted that we are able to introduce new models that support our galleries, from the satellite booths to the expansion of our digital offerings as a way to amplify the international reach of our galleries with ‘Art Basel Live: Hong Kong'."

While it is highly unlikely that the ninth edition of the Hong Kong fair will attract 90,000 visitors as it did in 2019, it will be broadcast online as part of "Art Basel Live: Hong Kong." An "online viewing room," special events and virtual tours for HKCEC and Hong Kong VIPs will also be offered to art lovers. More information about this digital event will be announced in the coming weeks.

Caroline Drzewinski