Kiarostami to be honored as Art Basel expands film component

Iran Daily- Noted Iranian auteur, Abbas Kiarostami, who died last year, will be commemorated in an exhibition of his final photography series at Art Basel, the giant Swiss art fair that holds its Hong Kong edition in Spring, presented by Rossi & Rossi gallery.

According to Variety, it is due to be take place shortly after FilMart and the Asian Film Awards.

In addition to its current film activities, the Swiss fair announced that it will introduce the Kabinett sector to the Hong Kong show.

Kiarostami, who passed away in July at the age of 76 after losing a battle to cancer, was a beloved figure in world cinema for creating poetical pictures. His works were often considered as a form of reflection and meditation as his sensibilities managed to catch simple things that are usually ignored.

Kiarostami made more than 40 films and received over 70 awards in his lifetime. His 1997 drama ‘Taste of Cherry’ was awarded the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival. He had always filmed his works in home country Iran, except for ‘Certified Copy’ in 2010 and ‘Like Someone in Love’ in 2012.

Kiarostami is known for his minimalist approach in film, which means more poetry and less dialogues, and these were his special contributions in shaping Iranian cinema.

The impact of early cinema on the tradition of Chinese opera will be examined in works by Singaporean artist Ming Wong, while Hong Kong’s Lee Kit will present video installation ‘It Was a Cinema’ (2016). China’s Wang Qingsong will show a five-minute video work called ‘Happy Bed’ (2014.) Most works on show at the fair are for sale.

Adeline Ooi, Art Basel’s director Asia, said this year several art galleries exhibiting at the fair will focus on film and video works.

The fair’s film section will return, showing a range of feature-length and short films. Last year the film section showed 67 shorts five features including ‘The Chinese Life of Uli Sigg’ — a documentary about the eponymous Swiss mega collector, and ‘Jellyfish Eyes’, the debut film of Japanese art star Takashi Murakami.

“For the Hong Kong show, film is much more accessible to the audience, and very often documentaries and films about an artist have an effect,” Ooi said.

FilMart runs from March 13 to 16. The Asian Film Awards take place on March 21 at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Art Basel runs from March 23 to 25.