Hong Kong Roundup
              Marcus Yee
              Hong Kong floats, at least according to Xi Xi’s short story, “The Floating City.” In this sensitive portrait of Hong Kong, the city has stabilized into myth, while its inhabitants have turned into a group of happily amnesiac petits bourgeois, desiring only for peaceful homes. After a few years of toil, the city became prosperous and cosmopolitan, boasting art festivals and books from all over the world. The floating city was a miracle. This sensation of floating is best captured by Art Basel Hong Kong’s public art section, “Encounters.” In Elmgreen & Dragset’s City in the Sky (2019), the global financial metropolis is literally turned upside-down; whereas Lee Bul’s Willing To Be Vulnerable – Metalized Balloon (2019), a shiny emblem of high modernity’s aspirations and failures, hangs languorously from the convention center’s ceiling. By virtue of their scale, these spectacles were well received by a public hungry to update their WeChat or Instagram feeds. At same time, looking at these monuments aloft in the air, the question remains: What keeps everything afloat? This was also the source of trepidation by inhabitants of Xi’s floating city. Unnerved by the possibility of an Icarian fall, they wished to pack up and leave the city …
              Hong Kong Roundup
              Qinyi Lim
              Despite this year’s Art Basel Hong Kong taking place over the coldest and wettest Easter experienced in Hong Kong since 1978, the buffeting winds and rain did little to deter the audience from exploring beyond the confines of the Convention Center. Rather, the weather provided a common topic of commiseration between people with umbrellas lost, broken, and unlawfully gained. In these exchanges often lay the contrasting perspectives of a city held in a delicate balance between the celebration of possibilities and entrepreneurship, the oft-perpetuated stereotype of being exotically between the East and West, and the anxious foreshadowing of an impending loss of governmental and personal autonomy in light of an encroaching mainland China. This heady mix of apprehension and celebration became apparent in the different energies and temporalities channeled into events and exhibitions outside of the fair—a mixture of elation, of adulation, and of consideration. One of these events was Alexander Geist and Ming Wong’s performance for the album launch of That Girl (2016), a commission by UBS, which the duo presented twice in one night—first at a private party hosted by UBS at Ping Pong, and secondly at a public “Emergency Party” hosted by Flash Art, ArtReview Asia, and LEAP. Geist …

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