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Inner Alchemy
Hanison Lau Hok-shing
Julia Steiner


Inner Alchemy

Hanison Lau Hok-shing x Julia Steiner 

curated by Angelika Li 


Vernissage Friday 7 June, 6-8pm 

PF25 cultural projects: entrance through Nadelberg 33 into Pfeffergässlein 25, Basel. 

A site-specific video installation by Julia Steiner will be on view.


Exhibition 8 – 28 June 2024 

Viewing by appointment only +41 7678 17678


Special Summer Event

'Inner Alchemy Mixology Hours' by Traditional Chinese Medicine Dietician Modanzski. Her seasonal recipes, specially crafted for this exhibition, offers a blend of wellness and sensory indulgence, including sound and scents.

A site-specific video installation by Julia Steiner will be on view.

Please refer to the Art Basel VIP Program for details and registration.


General Enquiries

Press Enquiries

Link to Press Folder


Launched in 2019, the series delves into the narratives and imaginations of 'homeland' from Hong Kong perspectives. It intricately examines boundaries, roots, diaspora, cultural identity, colonial ideologies, displacement, and interweaves them with experiences and voices from other parts of the world. By metaphorically venturing into hydrological cycles—water, clouds, and wind—and reflecting on the concepts of disappearance, the series navigates challenging landscapes, contemplating human conditions and resilience. 


In response to traumas and catastrophes, many questions arise: What can we do? How can we contribute? What steps can we take? How do we react when faced with states of fear, distress, powerlessness, and vulnerability? Instead of solely focusing on external observations, do we also take a moment to turn inward to our selves, replenishing our essence, reviving our vital energy, and nurturing spiritual qualities? Can we view the alchemists' pursuit of transmutation as a symbol of transforming inner turmoil into strength?


In the 11th chapter, 'Inner Alchemy,' the focus is on introspection towards our well-being and inner selves as a process of healing. Curated by Angelika Li, the exhibition brings together Hong Kong artist Hanison Lau Hok-shing and Swiss artist Julia Steiner to offer insights into the artists’ creative processes and their perspectives on inner alchemy as manifested through their artistic expressions.

Link to Curator's Notes & Map

Link  to List of Works

About the artists


Hanison Lau Hok-shing (b. 1979 Hong Kong, lives and works in London)


Lau, a contemporary literatus and sculptor, embodies the essence of a Renaissance man. Deeply rooted in classical Chinese culture, Lau seamlessly integrates antique objects and books into his hand-sculpted wooden forms and installations, offering a modern interpretation of traditional heritage. Inspired by diverse sources such as forgotten verses by Hong Kong poets like Ye Shi (Leung Ping Kwan, 1949–2013), the captivating narratives of Hong Kong Chinese martial arts novelist Jin Yong (1924–2018), and the rich melodies of Cantonese opera, Lau's art reflects both reverence for the past and engagement with contemporary aesthetics and sentiments.


Lau earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees from RMIT University in 2005 and 2007, respectively. He served as a Lecturer at Hong Kong Baptist University. In 2017, Lau received the Award for Young Artist from the Hong Kong Arts Development. His recent exhibitions include 'Dwelling in Tranquility - Reinventing Traditional Gardens' at the Hong Kong Palace Museum in 2023, 'By the People: Creative Chinese Characters' at the Hong Kong Museum of Art from 2022 to 2023, and 'Charming Tastes and Fragrance: Literature and Visual Arts Exhibition' at the Hong Kong Art Centre in 2019.



Julia Steiner (b. 1982 Büren zum Hof, Switzerland, lives and works in Basel)


Steiner pursued her studies at the Bern University of the Arts, with a semester spent at the Berlin University of the Arts. In 2018-19, she held a temporary professorship at the Braunschweig University of Art.


The artist has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Switzerland and abroad at institutions including the Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven, Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern, Marta Herford Museum, He Xiangning Art Museum in Shenzhen, Centre Pasquart in Biel and Galerie Urs Meile in Beijing-Lucerne. In addition to exhibitions, Steiner has commissioned various site-specific works and art-and-architecture projects, such as those at the Abbey Church in Bellelay, the Swiss Jura, and the Basel Berufsfachschule.


Steiner has been honoured with numerous awards, including the Swiss Art Award, Manor Art Prize, and Strabag Art Award. She has also participated in various artist-in-residence programmes in Switzerland, Beijing, London, and Mallorca. Her works are featured in institutional collections in Switzerland, such as the Kunstmuseum Bern, Thun, and Biel, as well as in private collections internationally.

Image: details from Julia Steiner, Into the blue IX, 2022 and from Hanison Lau Hok-shing, Classic of Mountains and Seas - chapter III, 2014. Courtesy of the artists.

Visual design: Donald Mak

Inner Alchemy
Inner Alchemy
Hung Keung Streetscape 24360 - 1.png


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