The Peninsula Hotels, the official hotel partner of Art Basel Hong Kong (29-31 March 2019), is expanding upon its dedication to contemporary art by launching a global multi-year campaign entitled “Art in Resonance.” Created to provide new and inspiring experiences for visitors, the program is commissioning immersive installations by mid-career contemporary artists. Today, guests can expect works by Janet Echelman, Ivan Navarro, Timothy Paul Myers, and the architecture collective MINAX.
“As a global luxury hotel brand with a 90-year legacy, we understand the important place that art holds for humanity. It’s an inclusive, universal language that crosses borders and builds connections,” said Peter Borer, Chief Operating Officer of The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited, owner and operator of The Peninsula Hotels. “In a continuation of the group’s ethos of innovation, The Peninsula Hotels has worked alongside respected curators, Isolde Brielmaier and Bettina Prentice, to seek out artists who are poetically pushing the boundaries of their mediums and engaging the senses in works that will inspire and enchant visitors.”
Whitewall spoke with Brielmaier—the professor, curator, and Executive Director of Arts, Culture, and Community at Westfield—about “Art in Resonance” and what a program like this means for the city of Hong Kong.
WHITEWALL: “Art in Resonance” is a new, multi-year global program for The Peninsula. The first iteration opens in Hong Kong during Art Basel Hong Kong. What kind of tone did you want to set for this inaugural installation?
ISOLDE BRIELMAIER: The “Art in Resonance” program seeks to use art as a bridge to communicate across cultures and generations. We have commissioned artists to create work that is rooted in physical experiences that amplify the senses and foster collective participation. A focus on broad audiences is of paramount importance to us as curators and also to The Peninsula. This theme of sensory amplification is woven throughout the program worldwide and the artists selected use everyday materials like neon, felt, fishing nets, ceramic bowls and wood with transformative effect
WW: How were the artists and designers—Janet Echelman, Ivan Navarro, Timothy Paul Myers, and the Shanghai-based architecture collective MINAX—chosen?
IB: As we kept our overarching curatorial theme in mind, we began to look at a range of artists, conducting studio visits and extensive research. We decided upon these artists in conversation with the team at The Peninsula and we all felt that their works embody the idea of encouraging people to be physically present and aware.
WW: What relationship do they have with Hong Kong?
IB: These are global artists that align with Hong Kong as a very universal, cosmopolitan and diverse city. MINAX is a local collective and it is important to us to have one local connection that both resonates with Hong Kong as a city but who has global significance as well.
WW: Can you tell us about how “Art in Resonance” will travel to other Peninsula locations, growing to include local artists and engaging programming?
IB: In a departure from past art presentations in which The Peninsula proudly played the role of venue, for “Art in Resonance” the group has chosen to commission new work by emerging and mid-career artists. In this way, The Peninsula hopes to contribute to the cultural ecosystem by providing working artists with financial and logistical support to realize complex projects. New artists will be added to the program every year and works will travel, enhancing meaningful access to art for The Peninsula’s diverse communities around the world.
WW: Outside of this major project, what are you looking forward to seeing and doing in Hong Kong during the week of Art Basel?
IB: The Peninsula has organized robust programming throughout the duration of “Art in Resonance” that will include panel discussions, tours, and roundtables to further inform and inspire local communities, guests and visitors in Hong Kong. In addition, we are very much looking forward to attending the fair and other events to offer insight and engagement with Hong Kong’s dynamic art scene.