Pictures of pictures at Art Basel in Hong Kong 2015

I went to Art Basel yesterday – and it was packed with people, galleries and artwork. Compared to Art Central, Art Basel included many more well-known artists and artworks from the greatest artists of the 20th and 21st century, such as Marc Chagall, Miro, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Fernando Botero and many more.

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There are several reviews online, including from my blogger friends over at The Fragrant Harbour, Webs of Significance and Hong Wrong so I don’t need to repeat what has been said there.

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Plus with two big halls and more than 3,000 artists I’m sure everyone has a different opinion about what is great and what is not. So instead… let me focus on what I found the most bizarre at the show: Taking pictures of pictures. Every one seemed to do this constantly.

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With cameras, phones, tablets … digital and anlog. All the time. Non-stoppable.

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It is insane… do people only see with their cameras today? Not with their eyes anymore?

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I spoke with one of the exhibitors about this – and she had been to Art Basel and Art Miami before and it was not that crazy when it came to taking pictures. I guess that’s what you can expect if you come to Asia, where everyone walks around with a smartphone and takes pictures of anything seen, done or eaten!

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I did not see any selfie sticks (maybe they were not allowed?!) but I saw several people asking others to take a picture of them, in front or next to an artwork … at least that I can understand, that’s a nice memory to take home.

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And finally… yes, I had to go with the flow. I also took pictures of myself taking pictures… so that’s my art work of Art Basel in Hong Kong 2015!

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9 responses to “Pictures of pictures at Art Basel in Hong Kong 2015

  1. This brings back so many memories! :) I went to Art Basel a few years ago and wrote a piece about it as well. Definitely not as many photo takers – some halls they wouldn’t even let you bring in “real” cameras unless you were media. Did you check out the installation art? That was my favorite part of Art Basel – it was like heaven for installation art fans. I couldn’t have even imagined so much in one place of I had tried. :)

    • There were several big installations – I’m currently contemplating whether or not to post about them tomorrow! And yes, some artwork is very creative – other is just plain bizarre!

  2. Hi there —

    Firstly, thanks for the shout out!

    Secondly, re the photo taking: I remember at Art Basel – Hong Kong two years ago, several international gallery folks, who probably were taking part in an art fair in Hong Kong for the first time, were shocked by the photo takers here. Also remember seeing lots of “no photo-taking allowed” signs inside the exhibition areas.

    However, this time, it seemed that the exhibitors were okay with people taking photos of the art work on display — or at least resigned to it happening! :)

    • Yes – it seems the no-photo mentality has changed. However, there were tons of do-not-touch signs and that did not seem to deter all visitors. The number of times I saw visitors touching an artwork intentionally was so high – really insane! At one point a visitor was leaning against a sculpture and an exhibitor had to pull him away. Crazy!

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