Celebrating Six Years’ Support for Art Basel in Hong Kong

Fresh market insight, a new commission and an unprecedented display of works by artist Ed Ruscha – discover how we’re marking this year’s edition of the international art fair

This March, UBS celebrates its sixth year of support for Art Basel in Hong Kong, having served as lead partner of the global fair franchise since 1994. Taking place between 29-31 March, the fair will feature the most significant display of artworks by Ed Ruscha in Hong Kong since the 1980s, presented in the UBS Lounge, along with a UBS-commissioned installation by Chinese-British designer Elaine Yan Ling Ng, which addresses global air quality.

“Ed Ruscha is among America’s most recognized and influential living artists,” comments Mary Rozell, Global Head of the UBS Art Collection, which includes a significant body of Ruscha’s works. The UBS Lounge will feature more than 40 paintings, prints and works on paper by the artist, who has become renowned for his stylized representation of popular and consumer culture – from Hollywood logos, to the ubiquitous signage that characterized advertising in the pre-digital era.

Also in the UBS Lounge, Elaine Yan Ling Ng’s interactive installation ‘Nexus’ will highlight an environmental issue declared a “global public health emergency,” by The World Health Organization. The design installation will represent air pollution levels in 71 cities across the world, including Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, revealing shifts in quality over 24 months. The work is powered by a feed of big data from more than 8,000 air quality monitoring stations, analyzed by specialist research facility UBS Evidence Lab.

The fair will also play host to the UBS Open Classroom series, which brings together leading gallerists and contemporary artists to discuss the art and artists that have had a shaped the last year, with a selection screened on UBSart Facebook Live. For younger visitors, the UBS Junior Art Hub will offer educational art activities throughout the public concourse, providing opportunities to create and discover. 

Ahead of the event, Art Basel and UBS co-published the third Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report, providing fresh insight into collecting behaviours in Asia and globally. Written by cultural economist Dr. Clare McAndrew, the report provides a comprehensive and macro-level analysis of today’s international art market, highlighting key trends in the context of wider economic shifts. Download the report

“We have seen the show help consolidate the status of Hong Kong as an international art hub,” comments Amy Lo, Co-Head UBS Wealth Management Asia Pacific and Country Head and Chief Executive of UBS Hong Kong. Established in Hong Kong for more than 50 years, UBS has a “long history of support culture and collecting contemporary art,” Lo continues, citing “incredible interest” in the fair this year from UBS’s global collecting community.

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