This year’s Art Basel Hong Kong is a collaboration with The Plated Project, a global initiative that uses art to alleviate world hunger. Every month, The Plated Project partners with artists from around the world to create art plates under unique themes.
Art Basel Hong Kong presents four unique ceramic plate designs that pay tribute to the distinct art-forms that are intrinsically Hong Kong. The exhibition spotlights the city as a destination with rich arts and cultural heritage. It invites guests to reimagine traditional art forms across four different themes: playful, poetic, vibrant and majestic.
The plates are designed by artists Anila Agha, Tarini Sethi, Suket Dhir, Kalakaari Haath and Insane51. The artworks integrate classical art forms found in Hong Kong. This includes hand-carved mahjong tiles, hand-made stencils, the renowned neon signs across the city as well as Cantonese opera.
A PLAYFUL MEMORY OF THE FUTURE
Digital mahjong and electronic tables are slowly bringing back the popularity of this long-established craft. Hand-carved mahjong tiles were named an “intangible cultural heritage” in 2014. However, only a few carvers are still practising the craft in Hong Kong. Kalakaari Haath’s aim with the piece is to reinvent the way mahjong’s story can be communicated to future generations through a multi-tiered narrative.
A POETIC MEMORY OF THE FUTURE
Pakistani-American artist Anila Agha is known for exploring artwork in areas of global politics, cultural multiplicity, mass media, and social and gender roles. Together with fine artist Tarini Sethi, they created ‘A Poetic Memory of the Future’, paying tribute to the art of hand-made stencils. Their plate tells a story of a stencil maker who sits in the shadows and a story of timeless craftsmanship whose time to shine has come.
A VIBRANT MEMORY OF THE FUTURE
What is Hong Kong without its distinctive neon signs? The 1950s to 1980s were a time where these signs thrived and lit-up the city. Greek muralist and one of the pioneers in 3D art, Insane51 splashes his plate with vibrancy and colour through graffiti. His creation responds to both neon lights and 3D glasses that come with the plate. The red tinge in the foreground of the plate is a reminder of how the city would look without its rooted identity.
A MAJESTIC MEMORY OF THE FUTURE
Cantonese opera fashion in Vogue? Potentially this is what artist Suket Dhir wants to convey. He captures the elaborate headdresses and jewelled masks, as well as the beauty and elegance of Cantonese opera on a plate. He conveys this through his muse, Zhenyin Wusheng, who represents a new female warrior character for the Cantonese opera scene today.
The specially commissioned and limited-edition ceramic art plates aim to inspire wanderlust and the desire to explore culture, arts, and heritage when travel is possible again. They are available to purchase from selected hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, or via The Plated Project website.
All the proceeds from the sales will be donated to the Foodlink Foundation Hong Kong-a charity dedicated to fighting hunger, building self-sufficiency, and fostering nutritional wellness among those in need. All, whilst reducing food wastage in Hong Kong.
Not only is Art Basel Hong Kong pushing to shed a light on classical art forms through its modern interpretation, the underlying cause makes it even more than just another art exhibition.
(Images: Art Basel Hong Kong)