• News
  • Oct 09, 2023

Art Basel Asia Director Adeline Ooi Departs

*updated October 10, 2023.

Portrait of ADELINE OOI. Courtesy of Art Basel.

On October 5, Adeline Ooi announced internally that she will step down from her position as Art Basel’s Asia director to focus on “personal matters,” according to Artnet News. Ooi, who will reportedly leave Art Basel at the end of November, has served as director since 2014. 

During her nearly decade-long tenure, Ooi spearheaded Art Basel’s Asian initiatives and is often credited with cementing Hong Kong’s regional authority in the art world. Demonstrating her contributions, in the past two years Ooi led Art Basel’s partnership with Art Week Tokyo and Singapore’s S.E.A Focus, expanding the fair’s presence throughout Asia. Prior to becoming its Asia director, she also previously served as Art Basel’s VIP representative for Southeast Asia.

Ooi is not the first veteran director to have left Art Basel. Global director Marc Spiegler resigned in 2022 and was replaced by former Americas director Noah Horowitz, who took on the newly created role of CEO. With regional directors such as Horowitz and Ooi resigning or assuming new positions, fair-specific directors now report directly to Vincenzo de Bellis, the director of fairs and exhibition platforms. Additionally, Art Basel hired the former publisher of The Atlantic magazine, Hayley Romer, as its chief growth officer—a role that had also not previously existed—illustrating how the fair’s leadership appears to be undergoing structural changes.

Art Basel thanked Ooi for her “unwavering commitment to supporting our communities of artists, galleries, institutions, and patrons in Asia and beyond.” In a statement, the company said: “Her vision, passion and wide-ranging network across Asia have been instrumental in anchoring Art Basel within Hong Kong’s vibrant arts community as well as strengthening our resonance across the region.” 

Anna Lentchner is ArtAsiaPacific’s assistant editor. 

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