You may not know these artists yet—but you should.
One of the most frequent complaints lodged at art fairs is their uniformity—from city to city, convention center to convention center, one sees work by the same artists over and over. You’re probably familiar with some of the MVPs: the mirrored disc by Anish Kapoor, the brash word canvas by Barbara Kruger (preferably one that makes an ironic statement about conspicuous consumption), and the hyper-realistic drawing by Robert Longo, to name a few.
But art fairs remain a draw because, if you look hard enough, most also offer some potential for discovery. And Art Basel Hong Kong, which opens to VIPs on Wednesday, allows visitors to encounter work by rising talents in Asia—and, this year, Southeast Asia in particular—who might be less familiar to Western audiences. Below, we flag a few names—all age 40 or under—worth seeking out at the fair.
Moe Satt, Dove with revolution hand (2018–19). Courtesy of Nova Contemporary.
Who: This 36-year-old is part of a generation of emerging Burmese artists who were children during the country’s 1988 uprising and whose work explores the country’s turbulent recent history.
Based in: Yangon, Myanmar
Notable Resume Lines: Moe was a finalist for the Hugo Boss Asia Art prize in 2015. His work has been included in group shows at the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai and Para Site in Hong Kong. He also founded Beyond Pressure, a performance art festival in Myanmar that brings live art to the streets of Yangon.
See His Work At: Nova Contemporary (Bangkok)
What to Look Out For: Moe is known for performances and multimedia art that employ his own body, particularly his hands, to dramatic effect. At Art Basel Hong Kong, Nova Contemporary is presenting three works by the artist, including Dove With Revolution Hand (2018), a fiberglass and steel installation modeled after the cover of a 1988 edition of the underground local newspaper The Call, which depicted a dove with clenched fists as wings.
Prices: Moe’s works at the fair are priced between $9,000 and $25,000.
Fun Fact: Moe studied zoology before turning to art.
Up Next: The artist is currently at work on a solo show in National Museum in Yangon titled “Revisit: 1983–2005,” due to open in September 2019.