March 31, 2015


Art Basel Hong Kong has just wrapped up, and for those not in the know, here’s an explanation and review of the whole shebang.
Art Basel Hong Kong was formerly known as Hong Kong Art Fair until acquired by Art Basel three years ago. Originally not as popular as its older, sister fairs Miami and Basel, the Hong Kong offering is now a dynamic amalgamation of Eastern and Western cultures and creations. With the shift of the fair from May to March, the clash with other international art fairs was resolved and this year saw an increase in the number of buyers, sellers, collectors and visitors.
Art Basel Hong Kong is now an important platform for both Eastern and Western art and a vital part of the international circuit. With 37 countries in participation, there were a staggering 233 exhibitors that descended on the thriving port that is Hong Kong. The Art Basel website describes the city as a “21st century metropolis. It is a port city with a vast skyline rising above its bustling Victoria Harbour. In addition to the many museums, concert halls, and performance spaces, a vibrant melting pot of cultures makes Hong Kong a place of endless exploration.”
Galleries of note included the obvious, such as the Gagosian Gallery (owned by Larry Gagosian – yes, the same one mentioned in Jay Z’s ‘Picasso Baby’) that featured Nam June Paik’s ‘Golden Buddha’ 2005 – a golden Buddha sitting in quiet contemplation, watching its own reflection on a television placed opposite.
Gagosian Gallery
Western galleries are also making more of an impact as they move into the Eastern space, just as they are also doing in the UAE with the Guggenheim and The Louvre opening in Abu Dhabi, with the Gagosian, Pace, White Cube, Emmanuel Perrotin and Lehmann Maupin galleries now opening in Hong Kong. Despite this, Art Basel Hong Kong is still primarily an important stage for Eastern art, and artists such as Yoshitomo Nara (Pace Gallery), Nam June Paik (Gagosian), Sun Xun and new comers like Cambodian Leang Seckon (Rossi and Rossi) all making their mark on this festival.
Eight Australian galleries were shown this year, with ArtsHub listing “Jensen, Roslyn Oxley9, Anna Schwartz, Sullivan + Strumpf, Dianne Tanzer, Tolano, Murray White and Darren Knight for their first visit in the Discoveries section – while Art Central was the choice for Chalk Horse, Conny Dietzhold, M Contemporary, Martin Brown and Metro Gallery.” Apparently Art Central Hong Kong (a short taxi ride from Art Basel) was worth a visit, showing smaller, niche-artists, like my absolute favourite – Dale Frank.
Gallerie Perrotin
The always impressive collection of Sullivan + Strumpf showed the boundary pushing nude sculptures by Sam Jinks, which received ample Instagram air-time. A nude woman, made form silicone, resin and human hair brought out the voyeur in all visitors. ArtsHub mentions that Sullivan + Strumpf was “presenting two editions of five, one sold out and the second almost also by the start of the weekend, and several days still to go” even though they were priced at $AUD200,000 – just one indication of thriving fair sales.
Sullivan + Strumpf
The political undercurrent in Hong Kong’s art scene, for me personally, remains a point of contention that serves to work in favour of creation for most artists. However as we all know, art is subjective, so here are a couple of amazing art world personalities who have shared their picks: Jeffrey Deitch’s and Alan Lau’s picks from the fair
Words: Amy Finlayson (Instagram)
Images: Art Basel

March 24, 2015

1 FOR 1

Do you ever feel bad about buying things? Like, maybe the money spent on that extra pair of shoes could have gone somewhere else- somewhere much more deserving? I certainly do... but thankfully, not with TOMS.
Imagine buying a pair of shoes and actually knowing that you are doing something great for someone other than yourself. Their business model is simple- One for One. You buy a pair of kicks and they will donate a pair to a child in need.

Here's a bit of background information for you...
TOMS was founded in 2006 by American traveller, Blake Mycoskie, who was inspired during a trip to Argentina where he witnessed the hardships faced by children in local villages with no shoes to protect their feet. Blake turned to the traditional Argentine alpargata shoe as a simple, yet revolutionary solution. From there he created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One.

And it doesn't stop there. Every purchase of their (incredible) sunnies helps to restore sight to a person in need through sight-saving surgery, prescription glasses and/or medical treatment. With restored vision, individuals can return to school or work, adults are able help give sight to people in need, allowing them to contribute to the household no longer requiring extra care, and children can refocus in school. Post shopping regret BE GONE!
To date, TOMS Shoes has given over 10 million pairs 1 of new shoes to children in need since 2006. TOMS Eyewear has helped to restore sight to over 200,000 people in need since its launch in 2011.

And just when you think TOMS hasn't done enough, they now help save the animals with TOMS Animal Initiative, an overarching platform to drive awareness and monetary funding for global animal conservation. With all purchases of the TOMS Animal Initiative collections made through Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors, online or at retail, proceeds from sales will also go directly towards Wildlife Warriors and their efforts to help and conserve wildlife. Pretty good excuse to go to the Zoo I reckon.
And if you still don't believe me...look below at who else wears them... errr need I say more?

TOMS- Saving the world one (well shoe-d) step at a time.

March 17, 2015


Back together again, being shady in backyards of Sydney.

For purchase inquiries please visit or email

March 15, 2015


 Photographer: Mikael Wardhana
Hair: Carl Reeves
Model/ Artist: Amy Finlayson

March 1, 2015


Photographing fluorescent lights on an iPhone is quite difficult. Capturing the profound nature of Bill Culbert’s work is even harder.
Let’s be honest here – we all want an epic picture of an illuminating work that abstractly highlights the boundary between industry and environment, don’t we? All that damn flickering when trying to get your focus makes it pretty hard to get an Instagram-worthy shot. If you do manage to succeed, you can upload that gold onto the ‘gram and look like a bonafide gallery hopper! I’m not going to lie – I did it. Everyone was doing it! I just followed all the art kids at NAS.


Which made me realise that sometimes the power and beauty of work lies in the experience of simply being there, and that is what we want to share with the world. That glory of basking in the enlightening grace of an artist who creates line out of light, who takes found objects that most would consider trash and the consequences of mass production and arranges them into glorious sculptures that shine a light on how, unfortunately, mass consumption is a large part of our world.


What is most intriguing about Culbert’s light work, though, is what comes from the darkness; the shadows. He uncovers abstracted reflections of life from energetic light sources, both natural and synthetic.
The darkness and the mystery that falls beneath a fluorescent tube onto an old deconstructed suitcase; the shadows of the unlabelled; anonymous bottles scattered across the floor in the grand work Pacific Flotsam (2007). 2D shady backlit figures and forms in natural landscapes are pinned to the wall in stark contrast with the illustrious, industrial sculptures that are assembled opposite.


“Light can not exist without darkness” and it is the embrace of both these elements, along with Culbert’s penchant for found materials, that allows the work to occupy a rare space between social comment and artistic distinction.
Go bask in the glow of his vision.

‘Bill Culbert – The light is in the work’ is on until 7 March at the National Art School, Burton Street, Sydney.