Art Basel Hong Kong 2016 gathered thousands of viewers from the general public to art experts from around the world. The selection of exhibitors represented a truly global view of the modern art scene, with more than half from Asia and the Asia-Pacific.

An especially eye-catching artwork presented this year was undoubtedly Batacian by Joana Vasconcelos. The Parisian-born Portuguese artist skillfully designs and handcrafts her captivating exhibits. With artworks often covering themes centred on feminism, politics, and societal conventions, Vasconcelos encompasses her works with an aura of mystery – encouraging viewers to touch and discuss the concept behind them.

Art Basel | 2016 | Photography by Nomads

Vasconcelos creates large-scale object art, emphasizing on “sculptures and installations that explore consumer culture, collective identity, and our assumptions about what constitutes art”. (Nmwa.org)

Batacia, 2015 | Photography by Hausie

The Batacian piece is constructed from stainless steel shower heads draped in ornaments, handmade woollen crochet, and pieces of fabric. Reaching an incredible two and a half meters in height, the rich colour combinations of blue and gold remind viewers of a mystical fantasy world. Visible elements of Eastern culture are also present, through the globular shapes and luxurious, decorative styling.

Chuvisqueiro, 2015 | Photography by Hausie

The theme present in Batacian continues in Chuvisqueiro which features a ceramic wash basin covered in handmade wooden crochet and ornaments in bright, rich tones of blue.

Angélica, 2013 | Photography by Hausie

The ornamental style is present in a number of Vasconcelos’ works, including Angélica – a medium size sculpture also presented at Basel Hong Kong. Using careful ceramics and handmade crochet, Vasconcelos manages to create an intriguing and detailed sculpture of a lizard.

Cravo e Canela, 2014 | Photography by Hausie

The choice of using handmade knitted and crochet materials to decorate and cover everyday objects sparks consumer interest in the unprecedented designs.

Catuaba, 2014 | Photography by Hausie

The beautiful and vibrant colours bring alive the artworks intricate patterns, whilst simultaneously adding a mystical aura of fascination and discovery.

Commenting on the unique characteristics that give the installations an enchanting twist, Vasconcelos claims;

“One of the most defining aspects of my work is the element of interaction; this enables a variety of dialogues and allows the works to accommodate different meanings.”

Written by Riina Rintanen

Edited by Christina Wright

References

NMWA (2016) Joana Vasconcelos

Born 1971 [Online] Available at http://Http://www.nmwa.org/explore/artist-profiles/joana-vasconcelos [Accessed 18/4/16]

Quotes4life (2016) Joana Vasconcelos [Online] Available at http://Http://www.quotes4life.net/authors/j/joana-vasconcelos/one-of-the-most-defining-aspects-of-my-work-is-the-element-of-interaction-this-e [Accessed 18/4/16]