• 2 Apr 2018

On March 31st 2018, the 6th edition of Art Basel Hong Kong terminated. It closed with a 35 million dollars sale. Therefore, it confirms the growing influence of Asia in the international Fine Arts market, soon to be become the new “Europe” in terms of buying capacity.

Art Basel in Hong Kong 2018

Art Basel in Hong Kong 2018 © Art Basel

A 35 million dollars sale

Art fairs have an ever growing influence on the Fine Arts market. In fact, Art Basel Hong Kong clearly confirms it. Its most important sale is an Artwork by Willem de Kooning by gallerist and Art dealer Lévy Gorvy for the amount of 35 million dollars. Of course, such a sale went along with several others which mostly reached hundreds of thousands dollars. Indeed, at David Zwirner an Artwork by Neon Rauch was sold for 1 million dollars along with two pieces of Michaël Borremans for 600 000 dollars and one Artwork by Lisa Yuskavage for 300 000 dollars. Also Kukje Gallery sold an Artwork by Lee Ufan for 1.5 million dollars. There are several buyers among the 80 000 visitors of the fair who attended it from March 27th to March 31st 2018.

Lévy Gorvy gallery at Art Basel Hong Kong 2018

Lévy Gorvy © Art Basel

Asia : the new Europe

The Asian market is booming, and not only on from an economical perspective. The growth is rate is excellent indeed and expected to reach 6.5% in the next two years, but also the cultural investment has been significantly improving lately. For instance, in May 2018 the Tai Kwun cultural center in Hong Kong will open its doors and the M+Museum in West Kowloon should be launched in 2019. On top of the cultural and economical dynamism, Asia hosts more and more buyers. Already in 2017, Asia represented 41% of the world billionaires, overstepping the United Sates which is home for only 32%. China only should have 205 billionaires in the next five years. The country is already ranked second in the Fine Arts market, with a total of 21% of the sales. All these indicators make economist and author of the joint annual UBS and Art Basel report Clare McAndrew say that Asia “could be another Europe in terms of buying capacity.”

David Zwirner gallery at Art Basel Hong Kong 2018

David Zwirner © Art Basel

The Asian Art collectors’ new behaviors

Art fairs always provide interesting clues regarding the evolution of the collectors’ behaviors. When it comes to Asian collectors, new trends are to be noticed. Indeed, in China for instance, billionaires’ children are now in their twenties and cultivate a certain taste for Art buying and the lifestyle that comes along with. As a result, founder of Shanghai gallery Bank and cultural consulting company Mabsociety Mathieu Borysevicz noted a rejuvenation of its clientele. He indicates that it is a younger and generally speaking more open minded one. The young adults who are part of it are also more inclined to spend money as opposed to their peers. “They’re not spending their own money, I gather, but it’s become quite popular for the wealthy young kids to get into art buying, and it’s also the lifestyle that comes with it” explains Mathieu Borysevicz. The role of the social media is also important with a greater popularity for Artworks that have the potential to generate a strong engagement from the digital community.

Lisson Gallery at Art Basel Hong Kong 2018

Lisson Gallery © Art Basel


Read our article about the participation of photographer and Art-Trope Artist Florence Cardenti to the CIRBE Symposium on April 6th here.

Sources: Artsy, Art Basel Hong Kong and Forbes