Director: Kendra Koh

Producer: Carmen Cheng

Director of Photography: Sam Chan

B Camera Operator: Samwill Yau

1st Assistant Camera: Samuel Ip

Editor: Samuel Chan, Chris Leung

Celebrated for his innovative use of materials, El Anatsui is among the most influential artists working today. The themes central to his work include waste, consumption, and recycling. At Art Basel Hong Kong, we captured the installation of A Desire to Get Away (2024). This installation, hanging like a three-dimensional tapestry, is crafted from aluminum bottle caps and liquor bottle labels, all intricately joined with copper wire. The process and form of his works hark back to his childhood, when he watched his father, a master weaver of Kente cloth, tie fish nets.

Each time one of his hanging sculptures is displayed, it is installed with unique folds and shapes. This idea of presenting the work a little differently each time, is an integral part of El Anatsui’s philosophy. He once told Art Basel, ‘If art is about life, then life is not a fixed thing. The artwork should be in a form that is capable of changing.’ 

Watch Art Basel’s Meet the artists with El Anatsui here.

El Anatsui, A Desire to Get Away (2024), at Art Basel Hong Kong is presented by Axel Vervoordt Gallery (Antwerp, Hong Kong).