This year, Chiara, Artseco’s intern, wrote the report on Art Basel Hong Kong 2018 and was busy taking photos during the fair. We are thrilled with her efforts! You can read her report here on the blog:

Sunday, March 24

Arrived!!! Today is my first time at Art Basel Hong Kong. First of all, we all got passes for the fair so that we could go in and out without being disturbed. Then we went into the exhibition hall. My father had already shown me some pictures beforehand, so I already had a certain image in mind. When I went in, it was really amazing how big the hall was in reality. At first I was really scared of getting lost. My father, Olli, and I first walked through the entire hall and checked all the stands to see if the air and sea freight had arrived intact and complete. Then we made a short detour to the Lotusgroup stand, which is one of Artseco’s partners. Another partner is Ifas. The partners get on really well with each other. At the end of the fair, a joint meal is already planned. So after I got to the stand, I went straight on with Martin, Thomas, Thilo and Jörg. As I understand it, the four of them do all the “manual work”, i.e. unpacking, measuring, installing and later dismantling. My father and Olli are the ones who know everything. That means they know where everything is, who has to go where and when and generally have the whole planning under control. In any case, I was with the four of them. They seemed to find it really easy to take the art out of the boxes. The unpacking went really quickly. It was really funny to watch, because somehow everyone teases everyone else. Every now and then Dad and Olli whizzed past on their scooters. It must be really relaxing on a scooter like that. But they disappeared again as quickly as they arrived.

Monday the 25.03

Today it was time to install the artworks. Each installation was associated with a certain challenge. For Thilo, it was the weight and size. His task was to install two sculptures. This required a forklift and he had to estimate when the sculpture would fit perfectly. He mastered this really well. Another challenge is sometimes not the art itself but the gallery owners behind the art. Martin and Thomas had to deal with a gallery owner who didn’t really have a plan or wasn’t sure what she wanted. In the end, the gallery owner was very pleased with the boys’ work. And the patience they had with her paid off. My father and Olli had the task of drawing a grid of squares on the wall with the utmost precision. Every millimeter had to be measured exactly. That was the challenge of this work. So as you can see, the art trade is not just about unpacking and mounting, but also involves various obstacles that have to be overcome. I was able to look at some of the works today, as everything was under construction. I was really impressed by many of the pieces, but with some others I just wondered who would spend money on them. Well, in the end it’s all art anyway.

Saturday the 31.03

Today was the dismantling… I was told right from the start that today would be the hardest and most stressful day of all. And you could tell. The guys worked until five in the morning. Luckily, I was allowed to go home at ten. Nevertheless, I still got to see a lot. First I went to Bortolozzi (Martin and Thomas). The two of them packed the works back into the boxes piece by piece with a lot of concentration but also a lot of fun. I also had the chance to dismantle the sculptures, for which Thilo was responsible. There was a bit of a thrill when you saw this expensive sculpture hanging in the air by just a few ropes. However, this didn’t cause Thilo any problems. He had the situation more than under control. For the first time, I was even allowed to help with the packing of the sculptures. Although I mainly just held the walls of the crates or lent a hand here and there, I still felt responsible for the sculptures and wanted everything to run smoothly. Shortly afterwards, my father called me over. He needed my help packing pictures. I had already helped him out for a day, so I knew roughly what to do. You had to be very careful about how to wrap the artwork. For example, some need extra foil (I’ve forgotten what it’s called 🙂 ) or edge protection. This is usually written down. But you just have to find out about it first. The guys from Artseco seemed as if they didn’t need to do that anymore, as they are so well versed in the field that they know how to wrap every piece of art. I think as a good art handler you should be aware of that. That was the end of my day and my work at the fair. It was a great experience for me to get a taste of the “art business”. It is a great togetherness. Many people know each other (e.g. the art dealers and customers). And you have the chance to admire many great works. I found that one of the best things. Being able to admire the finished work at the end.

Thank you Chiara for your beautiful personal report!

The Artseco Team