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 the next level and go gallery-hopping at some of Hong Kong’s best art galleries, whether it be in Central, Sheung Wan, Wong Chuk Hang or even in Kowloon.
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.
RECOMMENDED: Don’t just stop at Art Basel. Embrace being basic at all the other fantastic art exhibitions taking place all over town.
Things we’re all guilty of doing during Art Basel
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.
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.
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?”
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?
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.
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.
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.