Things we’re all guilty of doing during Art Basel

Don’t lie. You definitely did all this.

It’s that time of year in Hong Kong where everyone is suddenly an art lover. You know the drill by now, the obligatory visit to Art Basel or perhaps, if you’re edgier, Art Central. Maybe you’ll even take it to next level and go gallery-hopping at some of Hong Kong’s best art galleries.

Whether it’s your first time making a trip the annual art fairs or you’re a veteran culture vulture, we’re all guilty of being basic or getting a little pretentious in these environments. Scroll down and share in the shame.

Things we’re all guilty of doing during Art Basel

Pretending we know what we’re talking about

Pretending we know what we’re talking about

Art fairs like Art Basel and Art Central are the perfect opportunity to call up your friends and to change things up with a more cultured night out. Suddenly it happens: you find yourself pontificating on a certain artist or artwork even though you’re not really sure you can remember what you read in The New Yorker that one time. Or, if you’re on the receiving end of this treatment, you find yourself nodding along, pretending you totally know what the others are talking about instead just admitting you have no idea about the difference between modern and postmodern art.

Asking a friend to get a candid shot of us appreciating art

Asking a friend to get a candid shot of us appreciating art

Admit it. We’re all guilty of scouting the best artwork for the perfect IG backdrop. You know – the one where we pretend it’s definitely not stylised and that someone just happens to snap a photo of us looking pensive and admiring a beautiful painting. Maybe we’ll even throw in an inspiring quote – “When you think about it, isn’t everything art?” – as a caption. Yeah, it’s not fooling anyone. But we still love to do it.

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Gawking at the price tag and thinking, “What the fuck? Seriously, is it worth that much?”

Gawking at the price tag and thinking, “What the fuck? Seriously, is it worth that much?”

Art can be weird but the art market is even more baffling. A painting with just some blobs of colour or an installation with random bits of bamboo stuck together could be worth millions of dollars. And all you can think is, “Who’s making up these prices and who’s going to want to spend that much on this crap?” 

Looking at an artwork and think, “I can totally do that”

Looking at an artwork and think, “I can totally do that”

While we’re at it, we’ve definitely all looked at certain art and thought we could do something just as good, if not better. Geometric lines? Easy. Photos of some rundown back alley? That’s just the entrance to our flat. We could totally make a career of this, couldn’t we?

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Going to an art fair just to tell others that you went

Going to an art fair just to tell others that you went

A trip to an art event comes with all sorts of positive connotations about being smart and cultured. So what happens when we do visit an event is we nip round quickly, take a couple snaps of some of the more outrageous pieces – pics or it didn’t happen – then go straight for the food stalls to rest our weary feet. Food. Now there’s something we can all appreciate, for real.

Keeping an eye out for the A-List celebrity

Keeping an eye out for the A-List celebrity

We’ve had Leonardo DiCaprio and David Beckham visit Art Basel before. There’s no guessing who will show up next. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, maybe? Regardless, there’s nothing wrong with keeping a lookout and being ready at any moment for a celebrity selfie.

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Only liking the aesthetically pleasing artworks

Only liking the aesthetically pleasing artworks

Whether you’re an art fair neophyte or a veteran, art is entirely subjective to the viewer. Sometimes, that weird looking sculpture is just weird. There’s nothing to really ‘get’. And sometimes, your favourite piece is simply that cool photo of the Hong Kong skyline. We’ve all been there. You’re just a snob for claiming otherwise. 

Embrace being basic at all these art events

Hong Kong art exhibitions you can't miss this month

Hong Kong Art Month is finally here and world-class artists and galleries descend into town bringing exceptional and innovative exhibitions and artworks to Hongkongers to discover and admire. Here’s our pick of the best of the bunch. 

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By: Olivia Lai

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