Tina Kim Illuminates the 6 Best of Basel in June


The illustrious Tina Kim founded her namesake gallery in 2001 in New York, and ever since then has been a guiding light in the international art landscape, elevating diverse artists, independently curated presentations, and sweeping historical exhibitions. Providing a beaming platform for Korean Dansaekhwa artists, Kim spearheaded a pivotal show at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, and has driven forward the collection of captivating work by Korean artists at the world’s premier art institutions, including MoMAGuggenheimArt Institute of ChicagoLACMATate, and M+. With a pure spirit of exploration and forging meaningful connections, Kim imparts to Whitewall her dynamic itinerary, the gallery’s inaugural Art Basel booth, and energizing annual rituals. 


WHITEWALL: What are you looking forward to in Basel in June during the fairs?

TINA KIM: My itinerary during fairs season actually begins the weekend prior with a trip to Zurich. I often look forward to attending the openings and visiting the museums there before going to Basel. Once I arrive, I start with the Liste Art Fair in the morning. It’s nice to meet young, emerging gallerists. Afterwards, I attend the opening of Art Basel Unlimited to see everyone and catch up with old friends. In addition to the fairs, I’m especially looking forward to Regula Humm’s solo exhibition “The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos” at der TANK in the Institute Art Gender NatureBasel Academy of Art and Design FHNW.


WW: What do you have your eye on at the fairs?

TK: The large installations are particularly impressive. The atmosphere is incredibly lively, and it’s exciting to see the other presentations at Art Basel. This is my gallery’s first time exhibiting in Basel with our own dedicated booth. I’m thrilled to make our debut this year with an international group of women artists who weave and infuse unconventional materials into their practices to urgently respond to marginalization and catastrophe on a global and personal scale. We are presenting works by Mire LeePacita AbadSuki Seokyeong KangMaia Ruth LeeMinouk Lim, Jennifer Tee, and the newest artist to join our roster, Lee ShinJa.


WW: What are the exhibitions on your must-see list?

TK: I always visit Fondation Beyeler and Kunstmuseum Basel when I’m in town. Kunstmuseum Basel is showing “Ingenious Women: Women Artists and their Companions,” and I’m fond of strolling through their permanent collection galleries as well. Fondation Beyeler has a group exhibition called “Dance with Daemons” that takes over the whole museum and its surrounding park with contemporary art. It was refreshing to see the space transformed by experimental presentations. 


WW: Where are you go-to places to grab a bite or drink after the fairs/opening?

TK: My favorite restaurant in Basel is Teufelhof, but I also enjoy having lunch at the cafe in Fondation Beyeler. My go-to order is the white asparagus with ham. After the fair, I like to embark on a short trip to Black Forest in Germany. I’ve made it an annual ritual to go for a traditional German meal and stay at Spielweg, a lovely family-run hotel.


— Katy Donoghue

June 14, 2024
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