It's not every day that the Hong Kong Convention Center is populated by a deer sculpture with antlers diverging into a tree, a Turkish artist peppering her canvas with kisses, and an installation made entirely of pig skin, among other fantastical sights. But each spring, as the world's art elite converge onto Hong Kong for the annual Art Basel fair, the austere space of the convention center is transformed into something quite extraordinary.
This year's Art Basel Hong Kong saw work from 233 galleries from 37 countries across the globe. The sculptural work this year was particularly exceptional. Highlights included Korean artist MyeongBeom Kim's deer sculpture with wood branches as antlers, which toed the line between the real and surreal, as well as Australian artist Sam Jinks' hyperrealistic sculpture of a women in a fetal pose that hypnotized a crowd of viewers with its life-like quality.
I was privileged to attend the VIP opening of the fair this year, and was able to witness several artists in action, adding final touches to their work. Ultimately, I especially admired the metallic sculptures by British artist Antony Gormley, which explore the human form and the concept of space. I was also captivated by Jenny Holzer's collaboration with BMW, which resulted in a car encased in the artist's signature truisms. With a combination of traditional and innovative, the air at Art Basel was truly thick with creativity.