Meet the Gallerists

Art Basel introduces a selection of first-time participants in its Hong Kong show: JTT (New York), Don Gallery (Shanghai), Miguel Abreu Gallery (New York), Tarq (Mumbai), and Dastan's Basement (Tehran). This week, director and founder Hormoz Hematian presents Dastan’s Basement, his gallery in Tehran.

Dastan's Basement

‘The willingness of the community is what has made all this possible. It couldn't have happened without the help of others.’—Hormoz Hematian, Founder and Director of Dastan’s Basement

Hormoz Hematian has a mission: nurture the Tehran art scene and its burgeoning audiences. The young gallerist has embraced the full range of opportunities afforded by the Iranian capital, often curating shows in unusual locations including car parks and shopping malls. His gallery, Dastan’s Basement, currently operates out of four locations, each with a different focus: ranging from digital art at V-Gallery to small-scale experimental projects at Electric Room.

For the Insights sector of Art Basel in Hong Kong, Dastan’s Basement will present an immersive installation of paintings and sculptures by the Tehran and Amsterdam-based artist Sam Samiee. In this exclusive interview, Hematian discusses what he calls cultural life ‘the Iranian way.’


‘The visual arts are a conversation.’ Hena Kapadia, owner and director of Tarq

In Sanskrit, ‘Tarq’ means ‘debate’ or ‘dialogue’. Its with this intention of sparking rich conversations that Hena Kapadia opened her gallery in 2014. Through Tarq, she offers emerging artists a platform to exhibit their work in Mumbai and beyond. The gallery has also become a meeting point for a new generation of collectors at the beginning of their journey.

Tarq will debut in the Discoveries sector of Art Basel’s show in Hong Kong with drawings by Vishwa Shroff that investigate the links between architecture and storytelling.

Miguel Abreu Gallery

‘I’ve used my filmmaking approach to design the gallery experience.’Miguel Abreu, founder of Miguel Abreu Gallery

Miguel Abreu was among the first to open a gallery in the Lower East Side, a Manhattan district which is today teeming with art spaces. Abreu’s vision has been shaped by cinema, and in particular by the work of experimental filmmakers Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. The gallerist has applied this passion to the gallery, curating his exhibitions as film sequences for over a decade.

In its debut presentation at Art Basel in Hong Kong, Miguel Abreu Gallery will show works by Pamela Rosenkranz, Yuji Agematsu, Jean-Luc Moulène, Liz Deschenes, Sam Lewitt, and Pieter Schoolwerth.

Don Gallery

“Contemporary art in China is brand new. It’s a baby. People need to discover more.”Chen Xixing, owner and director of Don Gallery

In 2006, Chen Xixing undertook a radical life change: she chose to pursue her love of art and opened a gallery. Today, Don Gallery is located in the West Bund area, Shanghai’s growing arts hub. It champions young Chinese artists working in a variety of media, as they build their careers and artistic practices.

For the Discoveries sector of Art Basel in Hong Kong, Don Gallery will present a solo presentation of works by Zhang Ruyi, a Chinese artist working across painting and installation.

JTT Gallery

'We are in a community where we love to share our passions, and that’s how we learn.'Jasmin Tsou, founder and owner of JTT

Jasmin Tsou was 27 years old when she opened her Lower East Side gallery in 2012. She initially exhibited her peers, but soon expanded her program to include emerging artists in a climate that she describes as ‘scary and intimidating.’ Tsou has a very collaborative approach: ongoing conversations with colleagues have shaped JTT’s program and remain at the heart of her activity as a gallerist.

For the Discoveries sector of Art Basel’s show in Hong Kong, JTT will present site-specific sculptures by Brooklyn-based artist Charles Harlan.