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Hong Kong Live

Art-off: Art Central or Basel?

March 21, 2017

Two major art shows are in town this week, showcasing millions of dollars of art work to international gallerists and art fans but if you want to see some serious art, which one should you go for? We’ve comprised a simple comparison for you to make sure you can witness the type of art you like.

So, what’s Art Basel?

Art Basel started in the Swiss town but this is its fifth year in Hong Kong. Taking place at the Convention Centre in Wan Chai, this year it will feature an astonishing 242 premier galleries from more than 30 countries, including more than 40 new up and coming galleries from around the globe.

Okay, sounds good, and how about Art Central?

Art Central is the place to discover Asia’s next generation of talent, along with works from across the globe. Housed in a bespoke temporary structure in Central Harbourfront it is timed to coincide with Art Basel, it is recognised as a place of discovery for museum quality art works from both emerging and established artists. 

So, if I want to see some big-name art…

Then Basel’s your best bet. Among the thousands of pieces on display this year you’ll find names such as Anish Kapoor, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Antony Gormley and Ai WeiWei.

And if I want something more modern, Art Central is the place, right?

Art Central includes many of the more contemporary galleries from across Asia and beyond, and it also has Rise, a part of the show dedicated to art spaces and galleries launched in the last six years, as well as artists still in their early career.

Is it all paintings?

Not at all, both shows feature a range of mediums, from sculptures to photography, video to live performance.  Art Basel even has a virtual reality works in conjunction with Google Arts and Culture, where you can see four pieces created using Google’s Tilt Brush.

Can I buy any of it?

Don’t expect to see price tags next to the items (if you have to ask you probably can’t afford it), but a lot of business is done at the shows. Many of the items are available to ‘be acquired’, though artists and galleries can be pick who they sell to – it might be available, just not for you. If you’re serious about investing, get in early and pick something you like, not what you think you should like.

How about food? Which has the best edible creations?

Art Basel has set up multiple food and beverage concessions for the event – so you’ll be able to sink your teeth into some Asian, Mediterranean, Cantonese or international cuisine. However, Art Central is hosting some of the city’s hottest restaurants in Street Food Central, including Mrs Pound, Little Bao, Teakha and Beef and Liberty.

Is wearing a beret optional?

Who are we to cramp your artist style – rock that Parisian painter look.


Art Basel
Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, (HKCEC) 
1 Harbour Road 
Wan Chai, Hong Kong. 

Public access
Thursday, March 23, 2017 – 1pm-8pm
Friday March 24, 2017 – 1pm-9pm 
Saturday, March 25, 2017 – 11am-6pm 

Art Central
Central Harbourfront,

Public access
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 12-5pm
Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 12-5pm
Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 12-9pm
Friday, March 24, 2017 - 12-7pm
Saturday, March 25 - 11-7pm.


By: Noelle Walker and Mat Gallagher



by The Angloinfo Hong Kong team. Find out more about The Angloinfo Hong Kong team here.

Categories: art