Standing between two rows of minimalist, polished booths at Art Basel in Hong Kong last year was a huge taxidermied horse. Its front half was fairly unremarkable (if any stuffed horse can be described as such), but its backside had everyone talking. From the waist down the horse swelled outwards, its skewbald coat stretched into a perfect sphere as if someone had blown it up like a balloon. It was surreal, unnerving – and perfect for Instagram.
A work by Chinese artist Yang Maoyuan, the inflated horse was one of a series of large pieces spread throughout the fair. These installations collectively formed Art Basel’s Encounters project, which was created to give visitors a chance to see pieces that couldn’t exist within the confines of a traditional booth at Art Basel. The initiative is a regular feature of the fair, and this year it’s again being organised by curator, Alexie Glass-Kantor. Before another collection of mind-bending installations is fitted in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, we look back at some of the highlights from last year’s Encounters, as well as the rest of the fair.