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Art Basel Hong Kong Launches Its Online Viewing Rooms

Art Basel launched today the inaugural edition of its Online Viewing Rooms, which features more than two thousand artworks presented by 231 galleries from thirty-one countries and territories. Many of the works are what visitors to Art Basel Hong Kong would have seen in person had the fair not been canceled because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. This first iteration of the new digital initiative will hold preview days on Wednesday and Thursday and will run from March 20 to March 25.

“I am so pleased that we are able to provide our exhibitors with an alternative platform to show the wonderful work that they had been working so hard to bring to Hong Kong this spring,” said Adeline Ooi, director of Asia, Art Basel. “The work on display is stunning. While nothing can replace the experience of seeing art in person, we hope that this initiative can bring some support and visibility to all the galleries and their artists affected by the cancellation of our March show.”

Over 90 percent of the fair’s exhibitors are participating, including 303 Gallery (New York), Antenna Space (Shanghai), Blindspot Gallery (Hong Kong), Gavin Brown’s Enterprise (New York and Rome), Experimenter (Kolkata), Stephen Friedman Gallery (London), Greene Naftali (New York), Xavier Hufkens (Brussels), Karma International (Zurich and Los Angeles), Mind Set Art Center (Taipei), Francesca Minini (Milan), Galerie Nagel Draxler (Berlin, Cologne, and Munich), Pi Artworks (Istanbul and London), and Tang Contemporary Art (Beijing, Hong Kong, and Bangkok). All works will be listed with an exact price or a price range. The fair estimates that the value of the works being shown on the platform is around $250 million.

Commenting on the initiative, Marc Spiegler, global director of Art Basel, said: “It’s truly exciting to see the wide range of approaches galleries have taken in their Online Viewing Room from solo booths for emerging artists to viewing rooms dedicated to significant work by iconic historical artists. It is encouraging in such tumultuous times to see so many galleries committed to displaying work of premier quality.”

Coinciding with the fair’s programming, Lisson Gallery has teamed up with several Asian galleries to create a virtual walk-through of their spaces to help make the online experience more interactive for visitors. Collectors will be able to engage with artworks from Antenna Space (Shanghai), Boers-Li Gallery (Beijing), STPI (Singapore), Tina Keng Gallery (Taipei), and TKG+ (Taipei) in this way. In addition, the website for Art Power Hong Kong also went live. The collaborative site, which is being hosted by the nonprofit Asia Society Hong Kong Center, is livestreaming talks, highlighting exhibitions and related digital content, and promoting the arts in Hong Kong. It is also accepting donations for a crowdfunding campaign that was set up to support galleries amid the coronavirus pandemic.