Encounters: Presenting 12 ambitious projects by leading artists from across the globe
The 2019 edition of Encounters will consist of 12 institutional-scale installations, with eight works premiering at this year’s show in Hong Kong. Under the title 'Still We Rise', curator Alexie Glass-Kantor, Executive Director of Artspace in Sydney, brings together work by Tony Albert, Joël Andrianomearisoa, Jose Dávila, Latifa Echakhch, Elmgreen & Dragset, Gerasimos Floratos, Mit Jai Inn, Lee Bul, Pinaree Sanpitak, Chiharu Shiota, Simon Starling and Zhao Zhao. Supported by MGM Resorts Art & Culture, the works will once again be installed along the four meridians that run through the two exhibition halls of the show. Art Basel, whose Lead Partner is UBS, takes place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) from Friday, March 29 to Sunday, March 31, 2019.
This year's edition focuses on current issues of disorientation and uncertainty by looking back at the past and speculating about the future. The sector will bring together artists from different backgrounds and generations who are reconfiguring prosaic materials in an attempt to represent the complexity of today's world. Alexie Glass-Kantor, the sector’s curator, commented: ‘This year’s Encounters is both a call to action and a proposition to re-energize, re-incarnate, re-innovate and rise – in the extreme: to find hope even in hopelessness. The large-scale works presented create environments for visitors to explore and discover, and to contemplate ways of dealing with today's challenges.’
Referencing science fiction, modernist forms and dystopian narratives, the first meridian opens with Lee Bul's ‘Willing To Be Vulnerable – Metalized Balloon’, a ten-meter-long replica of a Zeppelin based on the footage of the 1937 Hindenburg disaster. Presented by Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Lehmann Maupin and PKM Gallery, the installation continues Lee Bul’s investigation into the impossibility of utopian ideas. Jose Dávila’s ‘Homage to The Square’ is part of an ongoing series that reflects on the legacy and influence of Josef Albers' theories on the perception and interaction of color through a mathematically determined format of squares. Presented by Sean Kelly, the installation consists of kinetic mobile sculptures that gently move and refract color as visitors move through them. Kukje Gallery, Massimo De Carlo and Perrotin will jointly premiere a new work by Elmgreen & Dragset, which reflects on the hyper-reality of cities such as Hong Kong. Having inverted the architecture of the city by installing it upside down, ‘City in the Sky’ asks visitors to consider their own ideal future cities.
The 2019 edition also features work by a number of artists, well known in their own contexts but less familiar to wider audiences, who are transforming everyday materials into tacitly and often highly charged propositions, including ‘Planes (Electric)’ by Thai artist Mit Jai Inn, presented by Silverlens and TKG⁺; ‘In Extremis’ by Chinese artist Zhao Zhao, presented by Tang Contemporary Art; and ‘Native Home’ by Australian artist Tony Albert, presented by Sullivan+Strumpf.
Full list of artists presented in Encounters:
Tony Albert, Sullivan+Strumpf
Joël Andrianomearisoa, Sabrina Amrani
Jose Dávila, Sean Kelly
Latifa Echakhch, kamel mennour
Elmgreen & Dragset, Kukje Gallery, Massimo De Carlo and Perrotin
Gerasimos Floratos, Pilar Corrias
Mit Jai Inn, Silverlens and TKG⁺
Lee Bul, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Lehmann Maupin and PKM Gallery
Pinaree Sanpitak, STPI
Chiharu Shiota, Templon
Simon Starling, neugerriemschneider
Zhao Zhao, Tang Contemporary Art