Following the severe outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which has recently been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization, Art Basel had no option but to cancel the upcoming edition of Art Basel Hong Kong. The fair was scheduled to take place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) from March 19 to March 21, 2020.
Numerous factors informed this decision, including: fundamental concern for the health and safety of all those working at and attending the fair; the severe logistical challenges facing the build-out and transit of artwork to the show; and the escalating difficulties complicating international travel, all arising as a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Marc Spiegler, Global Director, Art Basel said: ‘Our thoughts are with those affected by the recent coronavirus outbreak around the world. The decision to cancel Art Basel Hong Kong was an extremely difficult one for us. We explored every other possible option before doing so, gathering advice and perspectives from many gallerists, collectors, partners and external experts. We are acutely aware of the important role that the fair plays within the region’s cultural scene and for our galleries, both in Asia and across the globe. Our team dedicated extensive time and effort to ensure our show in March would be a success over the course of the past year. Unfortunately, the sudden outbreak and rapid spread of the novel coronavirus radically changed the situation.’
Adeline Ooi, Director Asia, Art Basel said: ‘We are deeply grateful to our exhibitors, partners, and friends all over the world, and especially in Hong Kong, who have stood by our side, lent their support, and shared insights and opinions over the past days and months. Our commitment to Asia and Hong Kong has not changed, and we look forward to the 2021 edition.’
The next edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong will take place from March 25 to March 27, 2021.