Facing The Fundamentals – Highlights & Trends From Art Basel Hong Kong – 2018


Walking through the two large halls that encompass Art Basel Hong Kong 2018, we were struck by two thoughts.

The first thought: there’s a nice variety of works and genres on display.  From digital art to virtual reality pieces,  from video installations to black-and-white photography, from metallic sculptures to pop, the participating galleries have something for every collector.

The second thought: the stand-out pieces at this year’s event used bright colors, simple shapes, words, natural materials, and existential themes to convey hope, communicate feeling, celebrate life, and mock death and despair.

Here are some pieces from the event, which highlight ONE or MORE of those trends or ideas.



There’s plenty of pigment at this Art Basel – even many darker paintings and works contain streaks and splashes of color. Also, a number of artists are showing their strengths by hanging several of their vivid works or panels on a single wall. Interestingly, the viewer is faced with art as federation, consuming art as a stacked smorgasbord for the senses.

friedrich kunath yoshitomo nara lynda benglis art basel hk 2018

From left to right: Friedrich Kunath, We are Due for a Transcendent Moment (Cosmic Cowboy), 2016, Acrylic and ink on canvas. Booth: Blum & Poe; Yoshitomo Nara, Your Puppy, 2016, FRP, Edition 2 of 3, 2AP. Booth: Blum & Poe; Lynda Benglis, THETIS, 2017, Cast pigmented polyurethane, Edition 2 of 2. Booth: Blum & Poe.

mark ryden art basel hk 2018

Mark Ryden, The Veil Of Bees, 2018, oil on canvas. Booth: Paul Kasmin Gallery.

keiichi tanaami ast basel hk 2018

Keiichi Tanaami, The Laughing Spider A, 2017, pigmented ink, acrylic silkscreen medium, crashed glass, glitter acrylic paint, acrylic paint on canvas. Booth: Nanzuka.

stanley whitney art basel hk 2018 copy

Stanley Whitney, Untitled, 2017, monotype in watercolor on Lanaquarelle paper. Booth: Two Palms.

gilbert & george art basel hong kong 2018

Gilbert & George, Beard digest, 2016, photography. Booth: Alfonso Artiaco.



Geometry is taking a front seat at this year’s Art Basel. This year’s top shape is most definitely the circle.

DeWain Valentine Art Basel HK 2018

DeWain Valentine, Circle Rose, Cast Polyester Resin. Booth: Almine Rech Gallery.

fabienne verdier art basel hk 2018 a

Fabienne Verdier, Polyphonie – Palimpseste 1, 2 & 3, 2017, acrylic and mixed media on canvas. Booth: Waddington Custot.

chao chung-hsiang art basel hk 2018

Chao Chung-Hsiang, Lustrous Bamboo, ink and acrylic on paper mounted on canvas. Booth: Liang Gallery.

alicja kwade art basel hk 2018

Alicja Kwade, Revolution (Gravitas), 2018, stainless steel, stone. Booth: König Galerie.



There’s still some chrome sheen and reflective sparkle hanging around the galleries, but wood, stone, and woodland scenes are taking an axe to glitz, conglomeration, and the plugged-in metro life. Even pieces featuring exposed wiring and electrical current are challenging viewers to think about technology and the role it can sometimes overplay.

matthew palladino art basel hk 2018

Matthew Palladino, The Shell, 2018, enamel on wood, plastic, and resin. Booth: Nanzuka.

masayuki kawai art basel hk 2018

Masayuki Kawai, Video Feedback Configuration, Installation, 2018, variable dimension, video processors, video monitor, cables, iron frames. Booth: Mori Yu Gallery.

ivan navarro art basel hk 2018

Iván Navarro, Compression, 2018, a two-piece installation featuring “Flatlands” (above, hanging) and “Tuning” (inset, placed on the ground to the left of Flatlands), 2018, LED lights, drums, mirrors, one-way mirrors, electric energy, wood. Booth: Paul Kasmin Gallery.

liao guohe art basel hk 2018

Liao Guohe, Hoer Building, 2017, acrylic on canvas. Booth: Boers-Li Gallery.

david hockney art basel hk 2018

David Hockney, The Yosemite Suite n°14, 2010, Prints & Multiples, iPad Drawing printed on paper. Booth: Galerie Lelong & Co.

los carpinteros art basel hk 2018

Los Carpinteros, Domo Hexagonal, 2016, Plywood. Booth: Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel.

chant avedissian art basel hk 2018

Chant Avedissian, Formation of Squares, 2016, wood, acrylic paint. Booth: Sabrina Amrani.



A number of pieces benefited from the use of letters, words, numbers, or symbols. Here are some words that caught our eye.

doug aitken art basel hk 2018

Doug Aitken, Edge, 2016, Installation. Booth: Massimo De Carlo.

mel bochner art basel hk 2018 copy

Mel Bochner, Money, 2015, Oil on velvet in two parts. Booth: Simon Lee.

Jim Dine Art Basel HK 2018

Jim Dine, Seeing thru the Stardust, The heat on the lawn (Claude), 2017, Earthenware and bronze, 10 forms of varying dimensions. Booth: Richard Gray Gallery.



Searching for art with humor, thrill or purpose? Below are pieces that we found exciting, funny, spooky, or provocative.

konstantin bessmertny art basel hk 2018 a

Our good friend Konstantin Bessmertny, Aedificium Strict Father, 2018, oil on canvas. Booth: Rossi & Rossi.

pablo picasso art basel hk 2018

Pablo Picasso, Homme à l’épée, July 25, 1969, Oil on board. Booth: Acquavella Galleries.

je yeoran art basel hk 2018

Je Yeoran, Usquam Musquam (HK – 7, 8, 9), 2018, oil on canvas. Booth: 313 Art Project. 

masaru shichinohe art basel hk 2018

Masaru Shichinohe, Recording Girl II, 2011, oil on canvas. Booth: Hive.

willem de kooning art basel hk 2018

Willem de Kooning, Untitled XII, 1975, oil on canvas. Booth: Lévy Gorvy. Formerly owned by Microsoft’s Paul Allen. The piece reportedly sold here for US$35 million.


Art Basel Hong Kong 2018 is taking place at the Wan Chai Convention Centre in Hong Kong from March 29 to March 31.


All photos by NewsWhistle


mark manders nicola tyson sarah sze art basel hk 2018From left to right: Nicola Tyson, Figure with Sphinx, 2011, oil on canvas. Booth: Petzel; Mark Manders, Two Immovable Heads, 2015-16, patinated bronze, Edition of 3, 1 AP. Booth: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery; Sarah Sze, Eight Foot Fade (Cadmium Yellow), 2018, stones, level, acrylic paint. Booth: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.