Art Basel Internship Experience March 2023
Art Basel Hong Kong returned to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in March. Our students Bianca Ooi (12D1) and Kylie Ho (12D2) had a great internship experience at this event. They have learnt a lot not only about the art world but also have developed their soft skills such as organisational, time management and communication skills.
Bianca Ooi (12D1)
Getting to undertake an internship with Frameworks was an interesting experience. This was my very first internship, and I think it was very memorable. I got to experience working with Art Basel on their latest Gallery Show. A friend of mine also got to work alongside me, and we were both really surprised that we managed to get an internship with Art Basel, as it is known as a big event. More so now, because the event was not able to be held due to Covid. I chose this internship because I was interested in the art gallery experience, and I also wanted to improve my communication and social skills. Before taking up this experience, I was quite nervous as I never really experienced something like this before so it was a bit new to me. We also had to attend a workshop based on professional etiquette, to prepare us for this event. But overall it was still an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. I was in the Operations team, and our job was mainly crowd control, and we had to make sure everybody who was visiting had the right tickets and knew where to go. I was mainly standing around the exhibition entrance to ensure everyone was okay, and to help them out if they had any inquiries.
The exhibition went on for a few days and each day lasted for 7 hours, there was a lot of standing and waiting around at times. Usually in the mornings, it wasn’t as busy, but it got more hectic around the evenings and at night as that was when more people started coming in. The event took place in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, so each floor became very crowded, so it was a bit overwhelming to deal with. I had to run around floor by floor sometimes to help and assist the staff when the crowd needed to be under control. Since we had to make sure everyone had their tickets, sometimes people would cut queue or push their way in so it was quite hard to maintain the crowd at times. It made me realize what the staff had to go through dealing with this situation each day, and how hard it can be to deal with unsatisfied visitors at times. So I believe it was an eye opening experience as well, and I respect the staff for their professionalism in remaining calm during these situations.
But overall, the experience was still enjoyable. We were also given passes which was a privilege because it gave us access to all of the galleries. We had to wear them the majority of the time we were there. Not only were we working, but on our breaks we were allowed to go and see all the various artworks which was very captivating. Being an art student, and having access to all of the galleries and being able to see all the unique artworks was very inspiring. I also got to meet a lot of different people, and improved on my social skills which was one of my aims for this experience. I’m very thankful to be given this opportunity, and to be able to experience this event.
Kylie Ho (12D2)
My art gallery internship was an incredible experience that exposed me to the inner workings of the art world. During my time at the gallery, I had the opportunity to work with a diverse range of people, from gallery staff to having to communicate with visitors of all kinds.
An aspect of my internship that I found particularly valuable was the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the importance when it comes to communications and overall operational strategies. Throughout my internship, I was also able to develop a range of professional skills. I learned how to work collaboratively with others, communicate effectively. I am grateful for the opportunity to have acquired them during my time at Art Basel.
Overall, my art gallery internship was an unforgettable experience that opened my eyes to the richness and complexity of the art world. I am grateful for the knowledge, skills, and relationships that I gained during my time at the gallery, and I look forward to applying them in my future career.