Despite nearly half a year of violent political unrest, it’s been confirmed that Art Basel Hong Kong 2020 will still be pushing through, with the annual fair scheduled to run from March 19 to March 21. While the fair sees the upheaval as a “tumultuous time for us here in Hong Kong,” organizers are hoping that the issues will be resolved within the next four months.
Adeline Ooi, director of Asia for Art Basel Hong Kong, clarified the news to the upcoming event’s 242 exhibitors. “Some of you might be wondering if Art Basel is making an unconsidered decision by continuing to plan on holding an art fair in March amidst the unrest that we are witnessing in Hong Kong. The answer is: we are not,” she wrote. “The decision to continue with the show is made in support of everything you, we, our partners, the local art scene, art collectors from Asia and beyond have invested into Hong Kong, our fair and Asia in general over the years.”
An Art Basel Hong Kong spokesperson reached out to ARTnews and claims that no exhibitors have dropped out of the fair since the list was published in October 2019. “We are always in close contact with our exhibitors for all our fairs. It is only natural that our exhibitors are monitoring the situation in Hong Kong closely and have questions,” he said. “Our first priority is ensuring our staff and artists feel safe. We are following the political situation closely and are in constant contact with our staff on the ground. As long as we are assured of their safety, we plan to go ahead with our projects for Art Basel and Hong Kong gallery space in March.”
A number of major events across different creative industries have been cancelled in the second half of 2019, including a planned Annie Leibovitz exhibit, the inaugural Rolling Loud Hong Kong festival and the annual Clockenflap Music and Arts Festival.
In related news, here’s a guide to Art Basel 2019 Miami Beach.