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Nov 09 2018

Roundup from West Bund Art and Design 2018

by Ophelia Lai

The exterior of Hall A at the West Bund Art Center, the venue of the 2018 West Bund Art & Design fair, with LAWRENCE WEINER’s At a Distance to the Foreground (2018). All photos by Ophelia Lai for ArtAsiaPacific.

The fifth edition of Shanghai’s West Bund Art & Design fair opened to the public on November 8. Gray drizzle, the coinciding VIP preview of concurrent fair Art021, and the excesses of preceding nights’ art week parties brought a sluggish start. It was only in the afternoon that the pace picked up as visitors streamed in to the sprawling West Bund Art Center. In addition to Hall A, this year’s fair extended to the newly constructed, adjacent Hall N, which was split into three smaller sections, bringing the event’s total floor space to more than 20,000 square meters—sufficient room for the booths of the 110 galleries from China and abroad.

At Galleria Continua, CARSTEN HÖLLER’s Giant Triple Mushroom (2017, foreground).
At Galleria Continua, CARSTEN HÖLLER’s Giant Triple Mushroom (2017, foreground).
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Artwork selections seemed to cater to those looking to be “wowed” by bright palettes and eye-catching, large-scale installations. One gallery noted the popularity of sculptural pieces that play with surface and texture over flat, two-dimensional paintings or drawings. There was also an abundance of “fun” works, such as Choi Jeong-Hwa’s outdoor installation, Fruit Tree (2014–18), presented by P21, Carsten Höller’s sculpture Giant Triple Mushroom (2017) at Galleria Continua, and Michael Dean’s LoLLoL (Working Title) (2018), a mound of concrete, steel and other materials wrapped in tape that says “HAHAHA,” displayed at ShanghArt’s booth. Fish made surprising, recurring appearances, first as cast-bronze forms suspended from the ceiling in Ugo Rondinone’s Primordial (2016), presented at Galerie Eva Presenhuber, and as large helium balloons in Philippe Parreno’s My Room Is Another Fish Bowl (2016) at Gladstone Gallery.

Among the copious Pop-inspired color palettes and irreverent slogans in bold fonts, Hanart TZ’s solo presentation of Xu Longsen’s works—including two rows of the artist’s ink landscapes on wooden columns, and walls lined with ink paintings of mountain scenery and elegant florals—was quietly imposing. Manila’s Silverlens Gallery also had an outstanding solo booth of Patricia Perez Eustaquio’s recent drawings, fabric works and mixed-media sculptures, including the centrepiece, History is a Jungle (2018)—an installation with 72 tiles and a piece of fabric bearing a print developed by digitally manipulating sections of Juan Luna’s 1881 painting Cleopatra (or The Death of Cleopatra).

The fair introduced a new section this year, Dream Video 100, hosted by Shanghai’s Dream Center, where a program of more than 100 video works (some excerpted) by artists such as Zhang Peili, Cao Yu, Luke Ching, Ma Qiusha, and many more, were played on a row of less than a dozen screens.

PATRICIA PEREZ EUSTAQUIO’s works at Silverlens.
PATRICIA PEREZ EUSTAQUIO’s works at Silverlens.
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MIT JAI INN’s painted patchworks of color were offered at TKG+.
MIT JAI INN’s painted patchworks of color were offered at TKG+.
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Ophelia Lai is the reviews editor of ArtAsiaPacific.

West Bund Art & Design 2018 runs until November 11, 2018, at Shanghai’s West Bund Art Center.

To read more of ArtAsiaPacific’s articles, visit our Digital Library.

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