What would Art Basel be without the clinking of Champagne flutes? Behind the doors of the VIP Collector’s Lounge you’ll find the fair’s distinguished partners serving up bubbly as well as a spectacular programme of commissioned works… which you’ll only be able to see if you’ve managed to snag a VIP pass, of course. In the meantime, you can check out a sneak peek below.

Ruinart: New Photographic Works by Liu Bolin
Photo courtesy of Ruinart and the artist

Recognised as one of the oldest Champagne houses in the world, Ruinart has worked with Chinese artist Liu Bolin for this occasion. Famed for his ‘disappearing act’ wherein he camouflages himself with paint against his intricate backdrops, Liu created a unique series entitled “The Invisible Hands” while on-site at the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Maison Ruinart’s historic wine cellars.

Audemars Piguet: Foundations

After last year’s verdant sanctuary and the previous year’s icy homage to the Swiss village of Le Brassus, this year’s Audemars Piguet lounge has evolved into one inspired by iron ore, the natural resource essential to Vallée de Joux, where the home of Audemars Piguet is located. Entitled ‘Foundations,’ this year’s lounge design is the final one of a trilogy designed by Chilean born designer Sebastian Errazuriz, and will travel to the three Art Basel shows in 2018. Concurrently, the booth will showcase new photographic and immersive video works by London-based Italian artist Davide Quayola, all created in the Vallée de Joux village itself.

La Prairie: Light upon an Imaginary Space

Art and beauty have gone hand in hand with Swiss luxury skincare brand La Prairie ever since its creation, so at its pavilion it’s only natural to find extraordinary works. This year, La Prairie has commissioned Swiss artist Julian Charrière’s latest film, “Light upon an Imaginary Space,” which captures frozen landscapes around the world while exploring the beguiling power of light and shadow. Coinciding with the launch of its latest White Caviar Crème Extraordinaire, a lavish cream that imparts brightness with the rare active ingredient Lumidose, it’s a full blown celebration of the purest light.

UBS Lounge
Art Basel - VIP Lounges
Ding Yi, “Appearance of Crosses,” (2006), acrylic on tartan

As a longstanding lead sponsor for Art Basel, the UBS Lounge returns once again as perhaps the most exclusive place to be, where access is normally reserved for employees and their guests. The lounge will be proudly displaying its new acquisitions into the global UBS Art Collection this year, including a 2016 piece by Chinese artist Ding Yi — a striking painting from his series of iconic paintings on traditional tartan. It normally sits in UBS’s Xintiandi offices but will be displayed with other works in the collection that equally express purity of colour and form and powerful emotive expression, such as by contemporary masters Katharina Grosse and Gerhard Richter. There’ll even be complimentary art classes for children, as well as art docent tours and workshops inspired by the art in the collection.

The lounge will also host a series of talks (called ‘open classrooms’) featuring artists and key industry personalities. A select number of talks will be streamed live on the UBS Art Facebook page, so even if you’re not at the fair, you’ll still be able to listen in.

Evelyn Lok
Deputy Editor
When not trying out the latest beauty and wellness trends, Evelyn is likely enjoying a perfectly balanced negroni or exploring some of Hong Kong's best new places to eat and drink. At Lifestyle Asia she covers everything from the biggest events in town to interviews with Hong Kong specialists, with topics spanning art, food and drink, health, tech, and travel.