Looking back at Art Basel Hong Kong

 Jitish Kallat  Rain Study (the hour of the day of the month of the season), 2017. Courtesy Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai  Daido Moriyama, Light and Shadow 3: (Bucket), 1982. Courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo Kwon Young-Woo, Untitled, c. 1980. Courtesy Kukje Gallery, Seoul Do Ho Suh, Passage/s, 2017. Courtesy STPI, Singapore Gauri Gill. Untitled from the series Acts of Appearance. 2015–. Courtesy the artist and Nature Morte, New Delhi Ali Kazim at Jhaveri Contemporary's stand. Photo: ArtReview Asia

Having limbered up at Yoga BamBam and donned sneakers box fresh from Fa Yuen Street, ArtReview Asia hit the opening of the Art Basel Hong Kong hard. Here’s what caught it’s eye


Jitish Kallat, Rain Study (the hour of the day of the month of the season), 2017 

Each in this series of diagrammatic pencil drawings, hung at the stand Chemould Prescott Road, is transformed into a unique piece of cartography using falling rainwater as a vehicle for its formation. Kallat lays his drawings outside during rainshowers, letting the water droplets soak through the paper and dilute the pencil marks. The amount of time Kallat holds his drawings under the rain is measured by the amount of breaths he takes, which is then written on the drawing as a year BC.

Tokyo Story (by various photographers)

In a small room towards the back of Taka Ishii Gallery’s stand is a presentation of photos titled Tokyo Story. Including works by artists such as Nobuyoshi Araki, Ed van der Elsken, Hiroshi Hamaya, Hanayo, Eikoh Hosoe, Ryuji Miyamoto, Daido Moriyama, Yutaka Takanashi and Wim Wenders, the collection proffers a brief but seductive insight into the city’s urban life through black and white snapshots of the everyday.

Kwon Young-Woo, Untitled, c. 1980

Two small works on paper at Kukje Gallery by a true master that demonstrate how size isn’t everything and that delicacy can be tough as well as fragile.


Do Ho Suh, Passage/s, 2017

Colours literally thread their way through Do Ho Suh’s wall-mounted works on paper on STPI's stand. Tracing the outlines of architectural forms, from afar the threads mass together to create sharp lines, yet on closer inspection individual stitches are messy and others clump together in tangled knots. This and other works in the colourful series possess a tactility, celebrating the very materials with which they are made.

Gauri Gill, Acts of Appearance, 2015–

For this ongoing series of colour photographs, shown by Nature Morte, Chandigarh-born photographer Gauri Gill has been working and collaborating with an Adivasi community based in the Jawhar district of Maharashtra, India, documenting them as they engage in everyday activities – with a twist. Asking members of the community to make papier-mâché masks, Gill photographs her subjects wearing their own creations and thus transforming scenarios from quotidian life into something altogether more surreal. An enjoyable prologue then to her exhibition Acts of Appearance at MoMA PS1, New York, opening in April.


Ali Kazim’s solo project

Ali Kazim has the whole of Jhaveri Contemporary’s stand to himself in the Discoveries section of the fair. For his latest work, the Lahore-based artist has been inspired by the arid and rocky landscape on the periphery of his hometown. Three scrolls (for which Kazim employs the labour intensive painting methods of ‘Siyah Qalam’ and ‘Pardakht’) hang together to depict this terrain in watercolour while ceramic cast rocks collect together beneath. Also on display are five smaller works picturing delicate clouds painted on Mylar which draw their technique from traditional miniature painting.

Online exclusive published 28 March 2018