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Seven Artists To See During Hong Kong Art Week

As Art Basel returns to Hong Kong in May, we look at some of the stand-out artists on show. 

A pair of Moon drawings from The Moon is Leaving Us (2021), commissioned by Audemars Piguet Contemporary Hong Kong 2021, by Phoebe Hui, curated by Ying Kwok Courtesy of Audemars Piguet

Taking place from 21st-23rd May at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Art Basel’s Hong Kong will showcase 104 galleries from all over the world. Last year had to be cancelled, and with the pandemic still impacting travel, this year will combine the fair's digital and physical platforms with 56 satellite booths by galleries who could not physically attend and the new ‘Art Basel Live: Hong Kong' initiative to broadcast the show to a global audience.

Here we look at some of the artists to watch for at during Hong Kong's long-awaited art week. 

Harold Ancart, Seascapes

Harold Ancart at Traveling Light, David Zwirner, New York, 2020 (c) David Zwirner

Belgian-born, New York–based artist Harold Ancart works in painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, and sculpture. Ancart depicts subjects that naturally invite contemplation, such as the horizon, clouds, flowers, flames, and architectural forms.

At Art Basel Hong Kong this year, the artist will present a group of works that depict seascapes. Historically, the sea has served as an emotionally charged, yet elusive metaphor for ideas of life and loss, threat and salvation, while also evoking meditative reflection and the romantic sublime. At the beginning of 2020, Ancart began working on a series of seascape paintings, reducing the subject to its most simple figurative form. He segments the composition with a stark horizon line, dividing sky and ocean. This formal contrast dissects the painting from a figurative whole into abstract parts, turning the tranquil seascape into a meditation on painting itself.

See it at David Zwirner's booth 1C 19, Art Basel Hong Kong. David Zwirner’s Art Basel Hong Kong presentation will also be available for viewing on  

Myonghi Kang, solo show

Myonghi Kang in her atelier in Jeju, Korea, 2021. Courtesy of Villepin

Myonghi Kang’s idyllic canvases offer an intimate view into the elusive heart of her artistic pursuit: a faith in painting and drawing as a medium capable of profoundly reinforcing our relationship with the natural world. Moving with ease between abstraction and figuration, the artist reflects on questions of perception, embodiment and understanding, while offering viewers a new experience of time, space, and color. The works on view in the exhibition vary dramatically in scale yet they share an immediacy that results from the artist’s familiar and fluent engagement with oils and pastels. The gallery will be transformed into a meditative sanctuary to complement the artist’s work, providing a hideaway from the hustle and bustle of city life, and allowing visitors to become immersed in her visual language.

See it at Villepin Gallery, 53-55 Hollywood Road, from 17 May until October. 

Chu Teh-Chun, Documentary Film Premiere

To celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the birth of Chu Teh-Chun, renowned Franco-Chinese painter and major figure of the lyrical abstraction movement, his foundation has collaborated on a new documentary film about the artist, from his birth in China to his rise and recognition in France. The documentary will premiere at the film sector of Le French May and coincides with an exhibition of the artist’s work at Alisan Fine Arts (12 May – 10 July 2021).

A screening will also take place as part of Art Basel Hong Kong’s Film Sector between May 21-23 at Louis Koo Cinema, Hong Kong Arts Centre.

Christine Ay Tjoe, a new series of paintings

One of Indonesia’s most prominent female contemporary artists, Christine Ay Tjoe’s work focuses on the human condition and addresses themes of philosophy and spirituality. It is her first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, a new series of twelve paintings made in response to the pandemic and its impact on the artist’s everyday life.

See it at White Cube Hong Kong between 18 May – 21 August 2021 and at Art Basel Hong Kong, White Cube booth 1D27. 

Wu Chi-Tsung
Exposé, curated by Ying Kwok

Taiwanese contemporary artist Wu Chi-Tsung’s Cyano-Collage series combines cyanotype photography with traditional Chinese painting to create jaw-dropping mountain ranges. The series is a further development of the earlier Wrinkled Texture Series, reinterpreting the traditional Texturing method (Cun Fa) of Chinese landscape paintings (Shan Shui). Instead of using ink and brush, Wu soaks Xuan paper with a photosensitive solution, and then exposes them to the sunlight, while at the same time he crumbles and shapes the paper into various form and wrinkles. The paper then becomes a record of time, light, and human gestures that is marked with folds and different shades of blue.

See it at Art Basel Hong Kong at Galerie Du Monde's booth 1D31, and at the Galerie du Monde at 11 Duddell Street.  

Leelee Chan, Tokens From Time

Last year’s winner of the BMW Art Journey prize, Hong Kong artist Leelee Chan, embarked on her project ‘Tokens From Time’, tracing material culture from the past, present and future touching on contemporary debates surrounding ecological and cultural sustainability. A new artwork by Chan, an outcome of the first part of her journey through Europe last year, will be on display from 19-23rd May at the BMW Showroom in Wanchai, Hong Kong. 

Phoebe Hui, The Moon is Leaving Us

Detail of Selenite with viewer from The Moon is Leaving Us (2021), commissioned by Audemars Piguet, Hong Kong 2021, by Phoebe Hui, curated by Ying Kwok. Courtesy of Audemars Piguet

Hong Kong-based multidisciplinary artist Phoebe Hui’s installation The Moon is Leaving Us, won the Audemars Piguet Art Commission. Developed in collaboration with Ying Kwok, who notably curated the Hong Kong Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017, Hui’s large-scale installation is derived from historical and contemporary observations of the moon and highlights the critical role that visual representation plays in science and our understanding of the Universe. It marks the first Audemars Piguet Commission to be shown in Asia.

See it at Tai Kwun, Central Hong Kong, from 23rd April-23rd May 2021.