Art Fair

Art Basel Hong Kong 2024


    March 28, 2024 – March 30, 2024

    Booth 1B43, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
    Hong Kong SAR China

    For this year’s edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, Gajah Gallery presents a roster of critically acclaimed artists from the United States, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines. The gallery’s curation showcases a selection of artworks that highlight distinct ways the Southeast Asian region has contributed to contemporary art globally. Through themes ranging from female sexuality and desire, ingenious use of medium, and subversive merging of two- and three-dimensional art practice, these artists manage to convey regional narratives in ways that resonate with the global perspective. The gallery is also pleased to present a dedicated Kabinett sector for acclaimed Indonesian contemporary artist Yunizar and a Film by renowned Singaporean filmmaker and screenwriter Yeo Siew Hua at the fair’s Film Sector.

    Ashley Bickerton’s (b.1959, Barbados – d.2022, Indonesia) bronze sculptures and hyperrealistic paintings reveal his scathing critiques of capitalism’s effects on his environment—a persistent theme throughout his four-decade-long career. After establishing a thriving career in New York, Bickerton moved to Indonesia, where he observed the transformation of a remote island to an international tourist destination. His works thus challenged the insidious effects of the ‘island utopia’ and its reality as a de-cultured touristic locale. His iconic shark sculpture that Gajah Gallery presents in Art Basel Hong Kong 2024 evokes the power inherent in natural creatures. Sharks, an animal often misrepresented in popular natural horror media, are instead presented as a totemic object of ritual in harmonious balance together with other animals rather than a creature to be commodified or feared.

    With continuously growing acclaim in the international realm, the surreal paintings of I Gusti Ayu Kadek Murniasih (Murni) (b.1966, Indonesia) bring power to female body politics interpreted through the lens of her biography. With a life fraught with poverty, sexual violence, and illness, Murni’s work reveals an artist who, instead, refused to be defined solely by her suffering. Through her paintings, she subverted taboos surrounding females’ self-pleasure, and visually articulated the healing power of dreams. After a successful solo feature at Art Basel in Basel in 2023, this presentation will bring forth a selection of works unveiling a new depth of understanding to the artist’s multifaceted oeuvre.

    Jane Lee (b.1963, Singapore) is recognised for her wall-based works that blur the lines between two-dimensional and three-dimensional, with the core of her practice challenging the boundaries of painting. In Art Basel Hong Kong 2024, she will unveil two new pieces from her most recent series. Still under the grand theme of questioning the practice of painting and its boundaries, she adopts the form of a traditional plein air artist’s palette and transforms it into a sculptural and monumental form, replacing what would be the paint mixing area with a mirrored surface, reflecting both the paint and the audience themselves. The other half of the ‘palette’ is bustling with squeezed dollops of paint, harking back to her earlier series of tactile wall pieces. 

    For Yunizar (b.1971, Indonesia), the gallery will present a dedicated Kabinett sector showing a retrospective presentation, which also aims to highlight his recent publication titled ‘Yunizar: New Perspectives’, which now has been published in two languages. Yunizar is renowned for his raw paintings that capture the psyche of ordinary, alienated people and the emotional force of vernacular language. The publication and retrospective presentation provide in-depth academic research of the artist’s oeuvre, demonstrated across two decades of his artistic career. Prominently displayed in this presentation are his bronze sculptures, which have also attracted critical recognition. Signature subjects among these sculptures are surreal, primordial creatures which provoke both fear and awe—blurring the line between the earthly and ethereal. Having featured Yunizar at Frieze Sculpture 2021, curator Clare Lilley best described this paradox in his oeuvre, “His work brings to mind images of childhood but with dark hints of mystery or estrangement”. 

    Gajah Gallery is also pleased to present a film by Singaporean filmmaker and screenwriter Yeo Siew Hua (b.1985, Singapore) at the fair’s Film sector. The film An Invocation to The Earth was created amidst the Hungry Ghost Festival of 2019, coinciding with extensive forest fires in Indonesia. The work addresses the looming climate crisis through the prism of ancestral tales and animistic customs predating colonial influence. Through spoken incantations and intricate physical interplay, the video conjures the spirits of fallen environmental guardians from a region besieged by ecological perils, with the aspiration of their eventual rejuvenation. Yeo Siew Hua is recognised for his role as the writer-director of A Land Imagined. The movie secured the prestigious Golden Leopard award at the Locarno Film Festival in 2018, where it was showcased in competition. His cinematic works delve into the shadows of modern society, crafting intricate stories woven with enigmatic ambiences, enigmatic personas, and elements of mythology, all enveloped in captivating visuals and soundscapes.

    Other artists that will be included in the gallery’s presentation are Erizal As, Leslie De Chavez, Mark Justiniani, Rudi Mantofani and Uji ‘Hahan’ Handoko Eko Saputro. 

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