Meet the Gallerists

Art Basel introduces a selection of participants in its Hong Kong show. They are Hanart TZ, from Hong Kong; Galeria Plan B, from Cluj and Berlin; Chemould Prescott Road, from Mumbai; and Chi Wen Gallery, from Taipei. 

Chi-Wen Gallery

Art Basel Hong Kong 2019

Chi-Wen Huang is a woman on a mission: supporting the most experimental art coming out from Asia. For the last 14 years, the Taipei-based gallerist has focused on video and new media, championing art forms that, too often, remain considered challenging to collect. Artists dealing with such loaded subjects as politics, religion, and gender identity abound in the program she runs from her gallery in the heart of the Taiwanese capital. ‘The underground movements are what attracts me,’ she says. ‘The new generations have a new energy. We need to bring it up.’

The gallerist has recently moved to a space suited to her ambitions. Chi-Wen Gallery is not just a white cube. A fully functioning house – where she also resides – it has been conceived as a multi-purpose space where artists and gallery guests are invited to spend time, and collectors encouraged to discover innovative ways of displaying new media in a domestic setting. Chi-Wen Gallery also features a Zen garden, which regularly hosts performances. In this new episode of Meet the Gallerists, Huang takes Art Basel on a tour of her unique setting and explains why video art is the medium for our time.

Chemould Prescott Road

Art Basel Hong Kong 2019

Art is a family affair for the Gandhys. In 1940s Bombay, when art spaces were scarce on the ground, Kekoo and Korshed Gandhy’s framing shop quickly became a salon for some of the most daring Modernist artists in India, including such luminaries as M. F. Husain and S. H. Raza. In 1963, the couple opened a fully-fledged gallery, which has since then gone from strength to strength. Their daughter, Shireen Gandhy, grew up in this environment, joining her parents in 1988. She gradually opened up the program to more emerging, experimental practices, notably introducing the works of Jitish Kallat and Shilpa Gupta.

A self-described tastemaker, Gandhy has been a key player in the Indian art scene for over 30 years. Her roster unites different generations of artists: building on the past while remaining attentive to new voices. In this new episode of Meet the Gallerists, Gandhy discusses Chemould Prescott Road’s legacy, the joys and challenges of working with artists, and the role they play in shaping our understanding of history.

Plan B

Art Basel Hong Kong 2019

Founded by a group of artists including Mihai Pop and Adrian Ghenie, Plan B started in 2005 as a project space in Cluj, Romania. The gallery's unique roster of conceptualists and neo-figurative painters quickly secured it a place on the international circuit; the opening of a second space in Berlin was also decisive. ‘It was very important to be permanently located in a functional art scene,’ recalls Pop.

Within the next two years, Plan B will open a new, ambitious space in Cluj. Located in a former mansion in the center of town, it will allow not only for the presentation of major exhibitions by gallery artists but also function as a research platform and archive for Romania’s recent cultural past. ‘It’s the opposite of a white cube,’ explains Pop. ‘You have to go deep into the belly of history and into the belly of the house. So it’s the perfect space for the turn we want to give to Plan B in Cluj.’

Hanart TZ

Art Basel Hong Kong 2019

Few have done more for the critical appreciation of Chinese contemporary art than Chang Tsong Zung (Johnson Chang). Hanart TZ’s charismatic founding director opened his first space in Hong Kong over 40 years ago, in 1977. But in many ways, ‘gallerist’ is too narrow a description for Chang’s long-standing commitment to the visual arts. An academic as well as an independent curator, Chang is behind a slew of exhibitions which are widely considered as turning points in the West’s awareness and interest in art from the region. Together with Claire Hsu, Chang also founded Hong Kong’s influential institution, Asia Art Archive.

In this video, Chang recalls creating a stage for artists at a time when few spaces were available to them – and discusses how his mission has evolved to this day. He says of Hanart TZ: ‘I want to use this platform to promote aspects of contemporary art that are the future, and artists who give us a sense of the cultural direction of China and Hong Kong.’

Tarq

Art Basel Hong Kong 2018

‘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

Art Basel Hong Kong 2018

‘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

Art Basel Hong Kong 2018

“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

“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.