Generation Axe

Generation Axe
Featuring: Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt, and Tosin Abasi
Date: 7:30pm, 12 April, 2017
Venue: Kitec, Star Hall
Tickets: $980, $680 from HKTicketing

Virtual Frontiers, Art and Tilt Brush

Hidden away in the corner of the Collectors Lounge is Virtual Frontiers, Art Basel‘s collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, the results of a group of artists who were invited to create works using the Tilt Brush virtual reality app. And if you wondered why you needed to upgrade your pc and buy a VR headset, Tilt Brush a 3D drawing and painting application is that reason. Released a year ago (sadly only for Windows) it is quite amazing both in the creative sense and in the exploration of other’s creations.

The artists invited to explore and create with Tilt Brush for Art Basel included Cao Fei, Robin Rhode, Sun Xun and Yang Yongliang who attended residencies at Google’s offices in Beijing and Paris to create the series of interactive works on display during the show and in which you can literally climb inside and explore the creations.

Eternal Landscape (2017), Yang Yongliang‘s Tilt Brush work uses the ‘Shan Shui’, traditional style of Chinese ink painting that depicts scenery or natural landscapes and is often considered to be one of ancient China’s most important contributions to the history of art. ‘Eternal Landscape’ recreates a traditional Shan Shui landscape in a virtual immersive realm, while trying to preserve the classical aesthetics.

With Gusheshe (2017), which in South African township slang translates to ‘go faster’ or ‘very fast’, Robin Rhode references the BMW E30, a model that was produced and driven on the streets of the townships of South Africa in the early 1990’s, a politically tumultuous time for the country. Rhode took inspiration from the iconic street culture in South Africa and re-imagined ‘Gusheshe’ animated in a virtual setting.

The Previous Life of the Yimatu Mountain (2017) by Sun Xun is a portrait of Yimatu, the highest mountain in Fuxin in Liaoning Province, the artist’s hometown. It focuses on the way the artist imagines what life around the Yimatu mountain would have been like in the past.

Cao Fei’s mixed reality film, titled Derivation Blurs the Virtual and Physical Worlds (2017), declares a utopian future where walls and societal restrictions are broken and new conversations and new possibilities emerge.

In addition to being able to explore the VR artworks the ‘Conversations‘ part of Art Basel features Cao Fei and Yang Yongliang in conversation with Freya Murray, Program Manager, Google Arts & Culture. They will discuss the artists’ approach to making art in virtual reality, the impact virtual tools such as Tilt Brush can have on artistic practice and more broadly on the arts in general. The talk will take place at the fair in the auditorium on level 1, at the entrance of Hall 1A of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, on Wednesday, March 22 at 3.30pm. If you can’t make it, all the talks from the fair can be watch here later

Twenty-Five Minutes Older @ Art Basel


One of Art Basel‘s off-site exhibits this year is Twenty-Five Minutes Older by local artist Kingsley Ng. Ng’s ‘Twenty-Five Minutes Older’ turns two of Hong Kong’s iconic trams into moving camera obscuras, creating an altered reality and allowing passengers to experience Hong Kong in a new way – in reverse.

Moving images of the city, created via a ‘pin-hole camera’ in the side of the blacked out tram, are accompanied by spoken extracts from Liu Yichang’s famous stream-of-consciousness novella Tête-bêche. The live images of passing street life displayed inside the tram blend and flow alongside Liu’s poetic incantations. The familiar re-experienced in a completely new way – it’s quite surreal as the upside down world floats in the darkness as Liu’s words flow from headphones that remove the everyday sounds.


‘Twenty-Five Minutes Older’, was first presented in 2016 as part of ‘Human Vibrations: The 5th LargeScale Public Media Art Exhibition’ that celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Arts Development Council in Hong Kong, runs on the different parts of the tram tracks until the 28 March. Tickets are free, but must be booked in advance here.

Art Central VIP Preview @ Central Harbourfront – 20 March, 2017


The sun emerged, after weeks in hiding, to shine on the start of Art Week and turn Art Central’s two massive tents into impromptu saunas. That didn’t deter the opening day crowds who flocked to see what was on show.

Again there’s a little of something for everyone but the trend still seems to be for massive works that look fine in a big tent, but would be out of place in our space saving flats. Last years paint a massive picture cut it up and give away the pieces has in true HK style been replaced with a massive painting where you can buy a small square…

Art Central runs until the 25 March, click on any photo for the full gallery.