Back for its third year, Art Basel Hong Kong returns to Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, right on Victoria Harbour. From March 15 through 17, 233 galleries from 37 countries will fill the Exhibition Centre’s halls, displaying the work of more than 3,000 artists. Here’s the only guide you’ll need for all of the visual stimulation.
What to Do
While Art Basel Hong Kong technically begins on March 15, there are public events starting the 12th. These exhibitions are divided into six sectors. Galleries showcase art — paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, photographs, film and more —from 170 collections. Insights features artwork created specifically for Art Basel and from only those galleries that are in the Asia-Pacific territory. See emerging contemporary artists from all over the globe in the Discoveries sector. Encounters, where you’ll find a slew of quirky large-scale and installation pieces, is the most fun for kids, and often the most packed space. The Film area doesn’t take place at the Convention and Exhibition Centre, but rather in the agnès b. cinema at the Hong Kong Arts Centre next door. This sector, which is run by director and founder of Beijing Art Lab, Li Zhenhua, screens movies both by and about artists. Bibliophiles will flock to the Magazines section, where gorgeous art publications from around the world are available for perusal. Beyond the exhibitions, Art Basel Hong Kong also hosts a roster of fun and engaging talks, such as one of this year’s “Setting up a System: Contemporary Art Ecologies in Dynamic Economies such as Brazil, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore” open-forum salon.
Where to Stay
The official hotel for Art Basel Hong Kong, Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star property Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong has put together an Art Stay package, available through March 20. In addition to a night in one of the hotel’s chic rooms, breakfast, and a bottle of champagne, the deal includes two passes to Art Basel, giving guests access to all events, plus the vernissage and the Collectors Lounge. The hotel’s Five-Star Mandarin Grill + Bar will be serving an art-inspired menu, and the same goes for its Five-Star French restaurant, Pierre.
Right between Admiralty and Wan Chai MTR stations and just a 15-minute walk from Art Basel is The Upper House. The Four-Star property — sister to Four-Star The Opposite House Beijing — is sleek and trendy, the perfect location to rub elbows with art-scene types. Grab a seat at 49th-floor Café Gray Deluxe and survey Victoria Harbour from your perch while sipping a Hong Kong Highball (raspberry vodka, ginger, honey, cassis, pomegranate and champagne).
Grand Hyatt Hong Kong is a Four-Star treat that couldn’t be closer to Art Basel Hong Kong; the hotel is actually connected to Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. That it’s a five-minute walk from Wan Chai MTR station means you can easily zip all over the city, too. When you need a break from hobnobbing at the show, swim a few laps in the 50-meter heated outdoor pool or pound the pavement on the hotel’s 1,300-foot jogging path.
Where to Eat
It’s not a trip to Hong Kong without dim sum so savor every bite of these tasty small plates at Four-Star restaurant Tin Lung Heen. On the 102nd floor of Five-Star The Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong, Tin Lung Heen has knockout views from every table. Don’t miss the sublime rice rolls with Wagyu beef, a luxurious twist on a classic dim sum dish.
For a bite right near Art Basel, book a table at Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Bo Innovation, just a 10-minute walk from the convention center. Engineer-turned-chef Alvin Leung Jr. serves what Leung calls “X-treme Chinese.” It’s experimental cuisine, yes, but the dishes taste as good as they look. Keen eaters of dumplings would be remiss not to order the molecular xiao long bao, Leung’s take on the beloved Shanghai soup dumpling.