Nov 08 2019

Roundup From West Bund Art and Design 2019

by Lauren Long

At Aike Gallery’s (Shanghai) booth at West Bund Art & Design, HU YUN’s watercolor Palm tree No.7, Self portrait (2019) was placed next to his mixed-media installation The Secret Garden: Reeve’s Pheasant (2012–15). The specially designed wallpaper in the background features a motif taken from the installation, which is based on the artist’s response to the study of natural history. All photos by Lauren Long for ArtAsiaPacific.  

The sixth edition of West Bund Art & Design returned to the West Bund Art Center situated within Shanghai’s designated “cultural corridor,” an arts cluster south of the city center and west of the Huangpu river. The city was abuzz with activities during Shanghai’s annual art week, including the much-anticipated opening of the Centre Pompidou × West Bund Museum—attended by French President Emmanuel Macron, no less—across the street from the fair.

The 2019 edition featured a total of 97 participants—28 of them first-timers—representing 18 countries. Considering current economic and political troubles, such as the protests and recession in Hong Kong, as well as the unpredictable Sino-US trade war, the fair’s atmosphere was notably tense during the first hour of the VIP preview, particularly in Hall A, filled mostly by international blue-chip galleries (some of which have bases in Hong Kong). As the day went on, however, many galleries reportedly enjoyed good sales. 

By the end of the preview, Perrotin (Shanghai/Hong Kong/Seoul/Tokyo/Paris/New York) had sold or placed on reserve more than 90 percent of Jens Fange’s surrealistic paintings at his solo booth. Arario Gallery (Cheonan/Shanghai/Seoul) brought a mix of works by East Asian artists, including video installations by Nam June Paik, a canvas by Dansaekhwa master Lee Ufan, a mixed-media installation by Gao Lei, and a large velvet work by Kohei Nawa. Several of these pieces were sold or on hold by the end of the day. Taipei’s TKG+ sold all of its works by Burmese artist Sawangwongse Yawnghwe, whom they brought for the first time to West Bund. Edouard Malingue (Hong Kong/Shanghai) sold several works by artists including Chou Yu-Cheng and Su-Mei Tse, among others. London- and New York-based dealer Timothy Taylor sold a sculpture by Eddie Martinez for upwards of USD 100,000, and Frank Auerbach’s painting Reclining Head of Julia (2006) for USD 700,000. Hauser & Wirth (London/Somerset/Hong Kong/New York/Los Angeles/Zurich/St. Moritz/Gstaad) noted interest from private and institutional buyers in paintings by Maria Lassnig, priced between USD 390,000 and USD 700,000. The gallery curated the solo booth to mark the centenary of Lassnig’s birth. White Cube (London/Hong Kong) moved an installation by Wang Gongxin, Al Held’s acrylic-on-paper G60.8 (1959), and Tracey Emin’s gouache-on-board More come (2013), among others. London’s Sadie Coles HQ made several sales by artists including Sarah Lucas. 

Here are some highlights from the fair:

Maciunas Painting #2 (1992), one of two video installations by NAM JUNE PAIK shown at Arario Gallery (Cheonan / Shanghai / Seoul).
Maciunas Painting #2 (1992), one of two video installations by NAM JUNE PAIK shown at Arario Gallery (Cheonan / Shanghai / Seoul).

Lauren Long is ArtAsiaPacific’s news and web editor.

West Bund Art & Design 2019 runs until November 10, 2019, at West Bund Art Center, Shanghai.

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