It’s March Madness, but of the artistic variety.
Art Basel may not kick off until March 23, but this whole month is bursting with events. From satellite fairs Art Central, Harbour Art Fair, and Asia Contemporary Art Show running alongside, countless cocktail parties, exhibition openings and private dinners, the social calendar during March is always turned up a notch.
Renowned artists Christo, whose recent works include “Floating Piers,” Takashi Murakami and Cai Guoqiang of “Skyladder” fame are due to land in the city soon, joining a bevy of celebrities including Charlize Theron, Charli XCX and Michelle Yeoh.
“I’m super excited,” said Nicolas Bos, chief executive officer of Van Cleef & Arpels. “I think that in the last few years it has invented itself as a true cultural destination of creation and contemporary art originally from what was a commercial art fair.”
Bos was at the Asia Society on Wednesday with visual artist and occasional Lady Gaga-collaborator Robert Wilson. The brand brought its “L’Arche de Noé” (or “Noah’s Ark”) installation over from Paris for the month, getting a head start on all the fuss. During Basel itself, Van Cleef & Arpels will be hosting a luncheon with the Chinati Foundation to discuss upcoming performances from Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project.
Just next door, Pacific Place mall was in the midst of setting up “BIT.FALL,” a piece by German media artist Julius Popp. From March 13 to April 6, the 30-foot-tall installation will display a curtain of individual water droplets programmed to spell out trending buzzwords for a fraction of a second.
On March 17, London’s Gazelli Art House is taking over the Joyce store with pieces from artist couple Charlotte and Philip Colbert, which will be available for purchase after the party. Shanghai Tang Mansion is getting a makeover, too, and will be transformed into a Suzhou-inspired garden via a large floral installation by artist Kirk Cheng.
“Godfather of Brit Art” Michael Craig-Martin will unveil a new sculpture at The Peninsula hotel on March 20. The next day, Christian Louboutin’s exhibition “Complimentary Colors” featuring artist CJ Hendry debuts at the Fringe Club, the same night as the Davidoff Art Initiative’s private dinner. This year the cigarmaker is opting for a much more lowkey event whereas in years past, it has invited R&B crooner Craig David and Dita Von Teese to perform at its poolside bash.
Separately, the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award, which honors emerging Asian artists, marks its third year. It is teaming up with the Rockbund Art Museum for a cocktail on March 22 at The Pawn to celebrate the winner. Gucci muse Petra Collins will be at PMQ to unveil the exhibition of A Magazine specially edited by designer Alessandro Michele. Audemars Piguet will be hosting a VIP event as well at Zuma.
On March 23, DFS will be hosting a party until late at the hipster-favorite Potatohead lounge.
Rounding out the busy month, the Amfar Gala returns to the storied Shaw Studios on March 25, this time with Theron as co-chair. Charli XCX and Mark Ronson will be performing. Kenneth Cole, Yeoh, Michelle Rodriguez, Yuz Museum founder Budi Tek and Harry Winston ceo Nayla Hayek are all scheduled to attend.