A bi-weekly conversation series on the issues that matter with the people that matter to artists and the organizations that support them, CBMArts presents ‘Arts and Culture Conversations’.
The Future of the Asian Art Market: Hong Kong and Beyond
Over the years, Hong Kong has grown into one of the largest art trade centers in the world, thanks to its freeport status and its prestige as a leading global financial center. The recent political turmoil in Hong Kong, with the implementation of the National Security Law, has caused more multi-national companies to relocate their Asia-Pacific headquarters to other countries like Singapore and Korea. With Hong Kong gradually losing its advantage as the business and financial hub in Asia, the art commerce in the city will unavoidably be affected. What will happen to the art market in Hong Kong? How does this impact the art market in Asia overall? This colloquium will address these issues with top experts working in the Asian art world.
Magnus Renfrew is a leading art fair organizer, an author, and Founder of the ARTHQ Group.Renfrew is co-founder of ART SG, a major international art fair for Southeast Asia which will have its inaugural edition in November 2021. In 2019 Renfrew co-founded the art fair – Taipei Dangdai – which has rapidly established itself as a key fixture on the international art calendar.Renfrew was founding director of Art Basel in Hong Kong – serving as one of three members of Art Basel’s global Executive Committee, and founding director of the fair’s predecessor ART HK: Hong Kong International Art Fair, which inaugurated in 2008.
Renfrew has been recognized for his contribution by industry media and has been named twice in the ArtReview ‘Power 100’ as one of the 100 most influential figures in the art world. In 2013 he was honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader.
Ben Brown began his career at Sotheby’s, where he spent 10 years in the Contemporary Art department, reaching the level of director. During his time there he pioneered the now well-respected Italian Sale, and his particular interest in the subject led Brown to concentrate on this little-represented field in London. Following Sotheby’s and prior to opening Ben Brown Fine Arts, Brown spent two years as co-managing director at Waddington Galleries.Ben Brown Fine Arts opened its first location in the heart of Mayfair in 2004. The gallery has prominently positioned itself on the contemporary art scene with the representation of Ron Arad, Miquel Barceló, Tony Bevan, Yoan Capote, Rob & Nick Carter, Kitty Chou, Awol Erizku, Candida Höfer, Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne, Heinz Mack, Vik Muniz, Nabil Nahas, José Parlá, Enoc Perez, Ena Swansea, Djamel Tatah, Hank WillisThomas, Gavin Turk and JanWorst.
Also renowned for its strong expertise in 20th century Italian art, the gallery has been exhibiting the work of Lucio Fontana and Alighiero Boetti, amongst others, since its inception.In 2009 the gallery took the first step in an international expansion with the opening of an exhibition space in Hong Kong. Since its establishment, the Hong Kong gallery has hosted exhibitions of gallery artists as well as presented historically significant exhibitions of important modern artists, such as Pablo Picasso, Alighiero Boetti and Sean Scully. Ben Brown Fine Arts participates in major art fairs worldwide.
Kejia Wu is a columnist for theFinancial Times Chinese and an adjunct faculty member at Claremont Graduate University. She is the author of TEFAF Art Market Report 2019: the Chinese Art Market and a co-author of the Global Art Import and Export Tax Report commissioned by the China Association of Auctioneers and the Chinese Ministry of Culture. In 2019, she was presented the Asia Art Pioneers Award by ArtReview Asia, LEAP, and The Art Newspaper China Edition.
Before joining Claremont Graduate University, she was a member of the faculty at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York. Previously, she oversaw Asia projects and strategies at Sotheby’s in the Office of the CEO while based in New York. Wu worked in Asia for more than a decade advising various art organizations on projects including the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the first Gerhard Richter retrospective at the National Art Museum of China, the Chinese Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, Art Dubai, and ArtSingapore. She is co-founder of the East Modern Art Center (EMAC), the first nonprofit contemporary art center in Beijing, and was in charge of its contemporary art programs and operations. The art performance created at EMAC, Dancing with Farmers, was featured at the Chinese Pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennial in 2015.
Wu is a graduate of Yale University and Renmin University. She is a trustee of the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture (NYSS), as well as a board member of the nonprofit organization Elimu Strive. Wu has lectured and spoken at numerous institutions including Columbia University, NYU Shanghai, Tsinghua University, NYSS, TEFAF, UCCA, and the City University of Hong Kong. She was named by the Financial Times Chinese as a spokesperson for its “Ten Year Ten People” Anniversary Campaign in China in 2015.