Why Is There So Much Weird, Freaky Art at Art Basel Hong Kong 2017?

Hong Kong, the island of misfit toys.

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Jessica Hromas for Art Basel

Things are getting real weird at the Art Basel Hong Kong fair this week. Take, for example, the fleshy, too-real sculptures by the Australian artist Patricia Piccinini: a squat, furry monkey atop two patchy legs, or a lifelike, frizzy-haired woman who could easily be a work by another unsettling Australian sculptor, Ron Mueck, except she’s a nestling a sad sack of flesh that appears to have escaped the Garden of Earthly Delights.

Piccinini’s oddball creations aren’t the only artworks showing hyperrealistic skin: with “Summit,” the Chinese artist Shen Shaomin arranged a hypothetical meeting between five of the world’s most infamous communist leaders—or, at least the lifeless bodies of Fidel Castro, Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, Ho Chi Minh, and Lenin.

From Castro on a gurney to Pikachu-like yellow rats that the Japanese collective Chim↑Pom taxidermied after capturing them with a fishing net, try not to look away from all the strange fruit from the fair on Instagram, here.

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