Skip to main content

Cover Story

Art Basel Hong Kong goes virtual with Online Viewing Rooms 

Kimsooja at Art Basel

The overall value of work presented in the Online Viewing Rooms being in excess of approximately USD 270 million

By Sukant Deepak

March 25, 2020 (IANSlifeArt Basel's Online Viewing Rooms (OVR) debuted an international lineup of 235 leading galleries from 31 countries and territories, presenting over 2,000 premier artworks intended to be showcased at Art Basel Hong Kong. 

The first iteration of the new digital initiative will run till March 25, 2020, with preview days from March 18 to March 20, 2020.

Galleries from across the globe and from all levels of the market participated in the inaugural edition of Art Basel's Online Viewing Rooms, providing a unique overview of the diverse art scenes and artistic practices from across the world. 

Over 90 percent of exhibitors from the cancelled Hong Kong fair decided to take part, with over half of the participants having exhibition spaces in Asia. 

In the digital inaugural presentation, India is represented by five Indian galleries who are showcasing their work, this includes Chemould Prescott Road, Gallery Espace, Experimenter, Jhaveri Contemporary and Vadehra Art Gallery. The presentations from these galleries are very well thought-out and reflect their programs and identities. There are works by leading names such as Atul and Anju Dodiya, Jagannath Panda, Shilpa Gupta, Ayesha Sultana and Praneet Soi.

Collectors discovered over 2,000 works from the Modern to Postwar and Contemporary, including painting, sculpture, drawings, installation, photography, as well as video and digital works. 

Highlights include Fergus McCaffrey’s ‘Japan Is America’, offering an extended exploration of the complex post-war relationship between Japan and America, including works by Miyako Ishiuchi, Jasper Johns, Nobuaki Kojima, Tomio Miki, Sadamasa Motonaga, Natsuyuki Nakanishi, Ken Price, Ed Ruscha, Robert Rauschenberg, and Toshio Yoshida.  

David Zwirner’s ‘On Painting: Art Basel Online’, which highlights artists who have helped define figurative painting today by exploring its historical implications, as well as its conceptual dimensions as a medium in the contemporary moment; and Jessica Silverman Gallery’s solo presentation of new works by Woody De Othello. 

Galerie du Monde from Hong Kong will look at the artistic dialogue between Euro-American abstraction and East Asian art and philosophy, as well as present a special feature of the late Hong Kong ink artist Wesley Tongson. Nanzuka from Tokyo will present ‘The Laughing Spider’, an animation work by Keiichi Tanaami, who depicts scenes from his own memories and dreams; while Silverlens from Manila will feature work by the late Filipino artist Santiago Bose among others. 

All works were displayed with either an exact price or a price range, with the overall value of work presented in the Online Viewing Rooms being in excess of approximately USD 270 million. Marc Spiegler, Global Director, 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.”

Adeline Ooi, Director Asia, Art Basel added, “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. 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.”


(This article is a website exclusive and cannot be reproduced without the permission of IANSlife)

Sukant Deepak can be contacted at