Absolut Art Bureau at the Art Basel show in Hong Kong 2013.

Absolut Art Bureau is proud to be one of the Associate Partners of Art Basel at its events in Basel, Miami Beach and now for the first time in Hong Kong. From emerging talents to the Modern masters of both Asia and the West, the premiere edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong will trace twelve decades of art history across its four sectors: Galleries, Insights, Discoveries, and Encounters. On display will be the highest quality of paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, video and editioned works from the 20th and 21st centuries, by artists from Asia and around the globe. 

The show will also offer fascinating discussions and presentations, creating a platform of cross-cultural exchanges for artists, gallerists, collectors, and visitors.

Art Basel stages the world’s premier art shows for modern and contemporary works, sited in Basel, Hong Kong, and Miami Beach. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in its participating galleries, artworks presented, and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions. In addition to ambitious stands featuring leading galleries from around the globe, each show’s exhibition sectors spotlight the latest developments in the visual arts, offering visitors ideas, inspiration, and new contacts in the art world.


ABSOLUT is Associate Partner of Art Basel and Presenting Partner of Art Basel Conversations. Art Basel Conversations is a dynamic talks programme, bringing together leading experts in their field from across the visual arts including artists, museum directors, curators, collectors, gallery directors and critics to discuss some of today’s most important issues in the global art market and wider art community. In addition to championing a physical platform for debate during Art Basel in Hong Kong, creating discourse and stimulating creative ideas is central to Absolut Art Bureau’s values.  Absolut Art Bureau will make these world-class discussions accessible through an enhanced digital platform. High quality videos of Art Basel Conversations will be available to view here at www.absolutartbureau.com  and at www.artbasel.com

Top: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center 
© Art Basel 2012
Bottom: Art Basel Conversation 2012. Photo by Roberto Chamorro.
Wun Dun: An Art Bar Installation by Adrian Wong 
22 - 25 May, 2013. 

Absolut Art Bureau is delighted to announce a new collaboration with US-born, Hong Kong-based artist Adrian Wong for the first edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong. This new installation, entitled Wun Dun, will transform the basement of the Fringe Club in Central Hong Kong, into an art bar featuring nightly performances and serving a range of cocktails designed by the artist. The bar will be open for the duration of the fair.


“I am incredibly excited by the opportunity to work with the Absolut Art Bureau on this ambitious collaboration. The entire team, from the creative staff to the beverage designers, have supported my hare-brained ideas, and their assistance has been invaluable in creating such an immersive experience—from the robotic musicians to the roast duck-infused cocktails."
- Adrian Wong, Artist


Taking inspiration from Hong Kong's rich and unique history, Adrian Wong will create this latest art bar as a performative, participatory environment. This immersive work of art is inspired by the many different periods of Hong Kong's history. The artist makes use of multiple layers of traditional, often iconic imagery to evoke a multi-sensory impression of Hong Kong’s past. Wun Dun departs from the “real”, official history of the region by simultaneously drawing upon references from film, folklore, superstition, and alternative cosmologies.

The term Wun Dun has a number of different meanings. In traditional Chinese Cosmology the term refers to the primordial chaos that followed the division of heaven and earth. Wun Dun is also a "cosmic gourd" whose shape is taken to represent heaven and earth, and is by extension, a symbol for the entire universe. In Confucianism Wun Dun is a party-loving god shaped like a yellow sack with six legs and no sensory orifices.

In this installation, Wong takes these different meanings and ideas and reinterprets them as a metaphor for Hong Kong itself, an ancient, yet very modern region. Hong Kong is a part of China but with a varied colonial history, much of which has been eroded or forgotten. The complex, intertwined and often-indecipherable layers of Hong Kong’s past are like some great unknowable chaos contained within or behind the slick seamless façade of futuristic modernity.

Wong will orchestrate a series of interventions in the space combining different aesthetic, musical, and architectural references drawn from the idiosyncrasies of the region. From functionally designed banquette seating, popular in cafes and bars across the Pearl River Delta, to an animatronic backing band supporting septuagenarian lounge singers still active in Hong Kong, Wun Dun will provide an anachronistic view into the depths of the city’s collective consciousness.

Top - Adrian Wong discusses bespoke ABSOLUT cocktails for Art Basel in Hong Kong
Bottom - Adrian wong talks about the concept for the Wun Dun art bar for Art Basel in Hong Kong
Image: Portrait of Adrian Wong by Roberto Chamorro.
Art Basel Conversations at Art Basel in Hong Kong 2013.

SUNDAY MAY 19, 3.00pm - 4:30pm 

Conversations Kick-Off: Homegrown Talent
. Asia Society Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Chow Chun Fai, Artist, Linda Lai, Artist, Ho Sin Tung, Artist, Adrian Wong, Artist.
Moderator: Pauline J. Yao, Curator, M+, Hong Kong

Pauline J Yao, curator at M+ in Hong Kong led this discussion on the theme of homegrown talent. In the typically placeless and virtual context of the global art world, it can be argued that value is seldom attached to the local or the specificities of place. The power of place may be diminishing generally but in Hong Kong it thrives in a rich and complex way. In this Art Basel Conversation issues of individual identity and the conditions for artistic production in Hong Kong are explored. 

THURSDAY MAY 23, 10am - 11:30am

Premiere - The Artist and the Gallerist

Zhang Xiaogang, Artist, Beijing, in conversation with Leng Lin, Partner & President of Pace Beijing, Founder of Beijing Commune

Conversations has traditionally opened with an artist in dialog with a prominent curator or critic. This year, artist Zhang Xiagong and gallerist Leng Lin launch a new series of panels entitled ‘The Artist and the Gallerist,' offering insights into this unique and essential artworld relationship. 

In their discussion, Zhang Xiagong and Leng Lin discuss the development of modern and contemporary Chinese art. The overwhelming pace of change that can be seen in contemporary Chinese society as a whole is mirrored in the incredible shifts in attitudes towards contemporary art and in the radical new directions Chinese art has been taking in recent years. The discussion attempts to present both the historical and contemporary contexts for art in China while also giving something of a summary of the various positions being taken by artists in China today.

FRIDAY MAY 24, 10am - 11.30am

Art and Architecture - Building Asia’s New Museums

Architects Stephan Schütz, 
Kjetil Trædal Thorsen and Yang Zhao,

Moderator: András Szántó, Author and Consultant, New York

Asia is in the midst of an extraordinary museum building boom. Other previous waves of museum building have cast long shadows: the great museums of Europe and the museums of the "American century". This is the era of the star-architect museum boom, exemplified perhaps by the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Guggenheim in Bilbao. In Asia, museums have come to be used an an expression of soft power. At the same time, the brands of the star architects are fused with these new institutions. Many questions still loom large, such as: Who are these museums for? What will they show? What messages do they send? Should they differentiate themselves from museums in the US and in Europe? What impact will they have on the  societies and regions in which they are established? Is the museum an agent of change, or does it reflect the status quo? 

SATURDAY MAY 25 - 10am - 11.30am

Collectors Focus - The Asia-Pacific Region

Marcel Crespo, Collector, Manila 

Alan Lau, Collector, Member of Tate's Asia Pacific Acquisition Committee, Board of Directors at Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong

Dick Quan, Collector, Board Member of Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Foundation, Board Member of Art Month, Sydney

Moderator: Elaine Ng, Editor-in-Chief, ArtAsiaPacific, Hong Kong

In which ways can collectors support their art community? How is the balance of local and international artwork in a collection handled? What is the effect of existing strategies: collecting local art for an international audience or collecting international art for a local community? These are among the questions that will be explored by this panel of established collectors.


Art talks from this event