Cir­ca­dian Rhythm by Cheng Ran (Aude­mars Piguet, Col­lec­tor’s Lounge)

Robb Report (Malaysia) - - Wheels - Cir­ca­dian Rhythm, un­ti­tled 2017 pho­tos AUDE­MARS PIGUET, XAUME OLLEROS

A com­mis­sion by Aude­mars Piguet pre­sented at the VIP- only Col­lec­tor’s Lounge, Cheng Ran’s short film presents the lush for­est of Vallee de Joux in the Jura Moun­tains as an ex­am­ple of hyp­notic mul­ti­me­dia art, scored with a sound­track that is both ethe­real and pul­sat­ing. One of the most pop­u­lar in­stal­la­tions, this work cre­ates a mau­soleum of five sig­nif­i­cant Com­mu­nist lead­ers – Lenin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il Sung and Cas­tro – ly­ing de­ceased. Cas­tro’s body has not been up­dated to re­flect his death but that didn’t stop the thou­sands of self­ies with the lead­ers. Navarro’s sig­na­ture tech­nique of com­bin­ing neon lights and a one-way mir­ror back­ing to cre­ate an in­fi­nite tun­nel was a huge draw. Duct sim­u­lates a ver­ti­cal tun­nel de­scend­ing into the un­known with the lights invit­ing use as a lad­der, de­spite only be­ing 30cm high.

pho­tog­ra­phy of Juana Gomez all the way from Chile agrees. “Hong Kong is the gate­way to Asia,” she says. “Asia is a new mar­ket so I have to start some­where, and that place is Hong Kong.”

Just like the gal­leries, the art is fit­tingly di­verse. “There was a time when Chi­nese art and Asian art was seen as de­riv­a­tive,” says Ethan Co­hen, from Ethan Co­hen Fine Arts in New York City. “We used to bring in art that was Asian in ori­gin, but that’s changed. Now I bring great art – some by artists who just hap­pen to be Chi­nese – and it sells.” He points to two large pieces he brought by Cote d’ivoire painter Aboudia. It bris­tles with Basquiat-like en­ergy and, as Co­hen points out, “al­ways sells out”.

The di­ver­sity makes de­tect­ing trends chal­leng­ing. This year, there were a lot of Jaume Plensa sculp­tures, while Yayoi Kusama and Damien Hirst ap­peared sev­eral times. That grabs head­lines, but sup­port­ing that is a wealth of di­ver­sity. Tokyo’s Mizuma Art Gallery, for ex­am­ple, pre­sented a tech­ni­colour side of Ja­panese art in an eye-pop­ping dou­blepan­elled Yoshi­taka Amano piece and El­lie Okamoto’s colour­ful The Stone Bridge with its ref­er­ences to Ja­panese Edo­era art. Lan Zhenghui’s pow­er­ful cal­lig­ra­phy strokes were seen at Ethan Co­hen Fine Art, while In­dra Dodi’s won­der­fully naive La Grande Fete was a t Malaysia’s Artemis Art.

Sales were brisk. The high­est re­ported price at Art Basel Hong Kong was US$1.5 mil­lion each for two Luc Tuy­mans paint­ings cre­ated for David Zwirner Gallery, paid within the first hour of the VIP pre­view. Chat­ter on the floor sug­gests that al­most half of the ex­hibits sold within the first day. In­ter­est came not just from in­di­vid­ual col­lec­tors, but also the grow­ing num­ber of pri­vate museums in China.

And it isn’t just head­lin­ing pieces trad­ing hands. Var­i­ous Small Fires, a Los An­ge­les gallery, brought Joshua Nathanson and his graf­fiti-in­spired pieces to Art Basel Hong Kong. “We sold out on the first pre­view day,” says Sara Hant­man, di­rec­tor of the gallery.

Just like the gal­leries, the art is fit­tingly di­verse.

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