There was a time when hotel bars were lonesome little spots, with
Art Basel Hong KongArt Buzz: Hong Kong
If you see a building pulsating over the Hong Kong harbor, it’s not because you had too many Red Bull-vodkas last night. It’s because Art Basel is in town. And, this year’s special installation is α (alpha) pulse. Berlin artist Carsten Nicolai is transforming Hong Kong’s looming International Commerce Centre (ICC) into a glowing lighthouse that will “pulsate in a synchronized frequency.” Even better: Nicolai has also created a mobile phone app with audio that accompanies the light display. Yes, this is officially the future.
After its splashy – and hugely successful – Hong Kong debut in 2013, the world’s largest contemporary art fair is poised for a second strong year (May 15–18), with 245 galleries and 3,000 artists from 39 countries, covering Asia, Europe, the Americas and beyond. Among the works is Doug Aitken’s mirrored text sculpture You/You and Japanese artist Aiko Miyanaga’s Letter, featuring suitcases cast in naphthalene (the active ingredient in mothballs). The transparent pieces have a lifespan of just a few weeks, as they evaporate into the air. And that, says the artist, is entirely the point – her ephemeral works are about the transience of the moment, positing that perhaps the memory is more important than the real thing.
Sleep in Style
The Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is once again the Official Hotel for Art Basel in Hong Kong. The offers include the Art Stay package, with access for two to Art Basel, entry to the Collectors Lounge and other special events, complimentary breakfast and a welcome bottle of R de Ruinart champagne.
The Mandarin Oriental is also serving an Art Menu at the Michelin-starred Mandarin Grill & Bar, which includes dishes like Apple & Man and Create Your Own Jackson Pollock. The handsome Clipper Lounge will showcase 15 works of art by Hong Kong’s emerging artists to benefit the Operation Smile China Medical Mission. And, toast the Hong Kong skyline at the 25th-floor M Bar, with cocktails inspired by Art Basel’s themes, including Insights, Film, and, appropriate for a late-night drink, Encounters.
(Photos courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, Art Basel, Carsten Nicolai and Aiko Miyanaga)