“Hong Kong”

Uli Sigg: a little more freedom…

The recent attribution of the Chinese Contemporary Art Award offers us a pretext to meet Uli Sigg. He tells us about his experience as a collector, his diplomatic career… And his commitment to contemporary Chinese creation. Uli Sigg first arrived in China in the 1970s to work for the Schindler Elevator Co. in Beijing and Shanghai, at a time when the country’s leader Deng Xiaoping had initiated China’s policy of openness to the world. He was subsequently appointed as Switzerland’s ambassador to China, North Korea and Mongolia, from 1995 to 1998. Today, Uli Sigg is vice chairman of Ringier, Switzerland’s largest media company. Over the years, he has met nearly 2,000 Chinese artists. At one time, his collection comprised around 2,300 works: Ai Weiwei, Fang Lijun, Zhang Xiaogang, Zeng Fanzhi, Shao Fan, Cao Fei and Song Dong. This was before 2012, the year in which he donated 1,453 works and sold 47 pieces to Hong Kong’s future M+ Museum.   How were you introduced to contemporary Chinese art? The very first contact I had was through an American friend who’d been living in Beijing for some time. This was in around 1979-1980. She wrote a book on Chinese artists a few years later. She was very close to the scene and was the first to show me so many works.   Was there an alternative or underground scene at the time? The interesting stuff was alternative, but in reality, there wasn’t much of interest at first. I used to look through a Westerner’s eyes, and I’d look for the avant-garde contemporary art that I was used to in the West. And there was nothing of the sort. Art had been completely cut off from all information about contemporary art in the West, and artists had no idea about what...

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Collector Hallam Chow donates his artworks

Coming from a family of collectors, Hong Kong art lover Hallam Chow is committed to his country’s cultural life. To enrich the future collection of Hong Kong’s museum M+, scheduled to open in 2019, Hallam Chow has donated five eclectic pieces by Asian artists. The collector thus demonstrates the extent to which contemporary artistic creation is dense in Asia, thanks to works by artists L.N. Tallur and Jompet Kuswidananto, illustrator Eko Nugroho and video artist Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba. Through this donation, Hallam Chow intends to encourage other sponsors to imitate his gesture, to help the museum set up a rich and diverse...

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Fine Art Asia 2016: Great varieties, strong sales

With an array of 6,000 pieces of art and antiques worth HK$3 billion presented by world-renowned galleries, Fine Art Asia 2016 was held on 2-5 October – as usual, Fine Art Asia 2016 was staged at the peak of the October art season in Hong Kong, coinciding with Sotheby’s auctions in the same venue. Gathering 85 exhibitors from around the world showcasing a wide range of museum-quality artworks and antiques, the 12th edition of the fair has welcomed 22,500 visitors, according to the organizer. Andy Hei, Co-Chairman and Director of Fine Art Asia claimed, in the post-fair press release, that there was “a real buzz at this year’s fair with an encouraging number of new and younger collectors as well as many loyal old friends”; and that the attendance and sales exceeded theirexpectations “due to the very high quality of the exhibitors who are all experts in their fields”.  The organizer was delighted that to receive positive responsefrom Hong Kong and international galleries, in terms of both visitors’ interest in their works of art and in sales. From antiques to contemporary art Fine Art Asia is probably one of the few art fairs in the region that brings both antiques and contemporary art together in one fair. It showcases artworks spanning 5,000 years of cultural history included Oriental and Western antiques; classical and contemporary Chinese ink paintings; Impressionist, modern and contemporary art from Pissarro, Monet, Sisley and Picasso through to Damien Hirst; fine jewellery, antique silver and timepieces; and photography. Therefore, it provides a well-facilitated and convenient platform for both art dealers of different specializations and collectors with various interests to meet. International exhibitors including Vanderven Oriental Art (The Netherlands), Robert Hall (London), Priestley & Ferraro Chinese Art (London), Gallery Lamy (Brussels), Nicholas Grindley (London), Susan Ollemans Oriental Art (London), Ateliers Brugier and Galerie Luohan(Paris), presented a wide range of rare Chinese antiques and works of art. Kaikodo (New York) presentedclassical Chinese paintings while Koopman Rare Art (London), and Somlo Antiques (London), returning to the fair with exquisite antique silver and timepieces respectively, alongside new exhibitors Silver & Silver (Bologna) and...

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David Zwirner to open in Hong Kong

The David Zwirner gallery has announced the opening of a new space in Hong Kong, scheduled for 2017. This new space, intended to host six exhibitions per year, has been designed by New York architect Annabelle Selldorf. David Zwirner has justified the opening of the new space in this way: “We have seen literally explosive growth in the interest for Western art among Asian collectors.” Covering around 10,000 m2, the space will occupy the 5th and 6th floors of the H Queen building constructed by architect William Lim from the CL3 Architects agency that offers flexible spaces meeting ecological standards. This development confirms David Zwirner’s ambitions in China, after flirting with the idea of opening a gallery in Beijing and Shanghai. This is the gallery’s third space following New York and London. The gallerist has expressed his hopes for Asia: “I feel that more Western galleries will want to and have to arrive. It’s hard to imagine that if you really think globally in your business that you can’t be in Asia, and I think for the foreseeable future, that will be in Hong...

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Barnebys launches its platform in Chinese

On 13 April 2016, the Barnebys search engine launched its platform in Chinese: Barnebys Hong Kong. After launching its platform in French in February this year, Barnebys is taking a new step in its international development. While the Chinese market showed a few signs of slowing down in 2015, China nevertheless remains strong and dynamic on the global market, behind the United States and the United Kingdom according to the 2016 TEFAF report. The last sales in China, namely during Art Basel Hong Kong, were satisfactory despite the economic crisis. Founded in 2011 by Christopher Barnekow and Pontus Silfverstolpe, Barnebys is an online platform that offers to search for art objects online, providing sales histories, estimates, market watch and saving functions, as well as editorial content in the form of a newsletter. With this new platform, Barnebys is continuing its objectives of making the art and auction market more accessible and transparent, and of adapting to a fully expanding market. Barnebys is now available in six...

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