Art Basel will present its ambitious Film program of over 70 films by and about artists, in Hong Kong. Alongside the selection of short films, the program will also include for the first time five feature-length films: the premiere of ‘Zeng Fanzhi: YOU Art Project’ (2014 – 2015), the Asian premiere of ‘The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg’ (2016), Takashi Murakami’s ‘Jellyfish Eyes’ (2013),
William Kentridge's renowned ‘10 Drawings for Projection’ (1989 – 2011), and ‘Poet
on a Business Trip’ (2014) by Beijing-based underground filmmaker Ju Anqi.
The Short Film Program consists of a total of 67 short films exploring six diverse themes,
curated once again by Beijing and Zurich-based multi-media artist and producer Li
Zhenhua. The program features works by artists Adel Abidin, John Akomfrah, Tony
Albert, Martha Atienza, Breda Beban, Will Benedict, Chang Li-Ren, Chen I-Chun,
Chen Qiulin, Chen Szu-Han, Chen Yin-Ju, Cheng Ran, Tiffany Chung, Juliet Darling,
Quynh Dong, Christopher Doyle, Inci Eviner, Fang Lu, Gao Xingjian, Christoph
Girardet, Yuki Hayashi, James T. Hong, Minseung Jang, Christian Jankowski, Joan
Jonas, Tsubasa Kato, Karen Kilimnik, Aki Kondo, Kuo I-Chen, Lai Chih-Sheng, Lee
Ji-Hong, Li Binyuan, Candice Lin, Ke Lin, Søren Lind, Jawshing Arthur Liou, Liu
Shiyuan, Lu Yang, Ma Qiusha, Matthias Müller, Kenta Nishimura, Hans Op de Beeck,
Stephen Page, Jack and Leigh Ruby, Larissa Sansour, Vaibhav Raj Shah, Shi
Jinsong, SHIMURAbros, Sussman&Lee, Yukihiro Taguchi, Tan Tian, Tao Hui,
Stefanos Tsivopoulos, Kuang-Yu Tsui, Xavier Veilhan, Wu Chi-Yu, Wu Ding, Tintin
Wulia, Yuan Goang-Ming, Yuan Keru, Zhang Xu Zhan and Zhao Zhao.
Art Basel is delighted to present the Asian premiere of ‘The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg’
(2016); a documentary film directed by Michael Schindhelm, reconstructing the
adventures of the entrepreneur, diplomat and art collector during his 30 years in China.
The film tells the unique story of how the life of a Swiss man, through chance
circumstances, became embroiled in the history of China after Mao’s death.
Directed by Shi Li-Sanderson and Philipp Stölzl, ‘Zeng Fanzhi: YOU Art Project’
(2014 – 2015) is a close study of the practice of distinguished Chinese artist, Zeng Fanzhi.
Reflecting on the practice of academic research, the film studies the artist's painting
process over the last 12 years under the concept of ‘YOU,’ which in Chinese indicates the
highest attainment of freedom. The screening at Art Basel is an edited version of the
original 73-hour long film.
William Kentridge is widely known for his series of ten animated films titled ‘10 Drawings
for Projection,’ (1989 – 2011) drawn over a period of 22 years which are for the most part
set in his home city of Johannesburg. The timeline covers South Africa's transition from
apartheid to democracy, but the films are not about political events. Instead, the saga
traces a different and parallel arc – the character Soho Eckstein's gradually awakening
from a capitalist blockhead to a sober penitent.
Takashi Murakami’s ‘Jellyfish Eyes’ (2013) brings Murakami’s brightly-colored fictional
characters to the screen for the first time alongside human characters in a tale set in a
small village in the Japanese countryside. The work manifests clear references to the
Fukushima catastrophe in 2011, as the children save their fictional world from a disaster.
The low-budget black and white ‘Poet on a Business Trip’ (2014) is written, directed and
cinematographed by Beijing-based, underground filmmaker Ju Anqi. Shu, a poet who
has never been on a business trip, decides to send himself on a 40-day train journey,
crossing the whole of Xinjiang, China. The metaphorical title of the film presents an
ineffable absurdity and satire.
The feature-length films will be screened at Theatre 2 within the Hong Kong Convention
and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), while the Short Film Program will be screened at the
agnès b. Cinema at Hong Kong Arts Centre. Film is free and open to the public. Due to
limited capacity, tickets are available on a first-come-first-served basis. For more
information and the full list of participating galleries, please visit
Art Basel, whose Lead Partner is UBS, will take place from March 24 to March 26, 2016,
presenting 239 of the world’s leading galleries.