Western Galleries’ Journey to the East
在今年春日香港艺术之旅的地图上，又添了一枚新地标，那就是位于皇后大道中80号的香港新恒基大楼（H Queen’s）。目前，这座大厦共有7家画廊，从五楼垂直通往十七楼。其中，国际巨头卓纳和豪瑟沃斯分别租下双层空间，以此作为香港分支的首秀；三年前选址荷里活道的日本老牌画廊白石在七、八两楼里占一席之位；已成功在北京和香港开设空间的佩斯锁定十二楼，再为亚洲市场增一筹码；而韩国首尔拍卖则在十一楼创办了首家画廊。除此之外，入驻H Queen’s的画廊还有：来自香港的艺术门和方由美术，以及来自内地的当代唐人艺术中心，阵容可见一斑。
Anew landmark was added to the map of the Hong Kong art tour this spring: H Queen's, located at 80 Queen's Road Central. At present, this mansion has no less than seven galleries spreading from the 5th to the 17th floors. Among them, the international magnates David Zwirner and Hauser & Wirth respectively rented two floors as their first show of the Hong Kong branch. The old Japanese gallery, Whitestone Gallery, which three years ago was located on Hollywood Road, is now on the seventh and eighth floors. Meanwhile on the twelfth floor is Pace Gallery, which has already successfully opened in the Beijing and Hong Kong markets, expanding its presence within Asia's art scene. Making their Hong Kong debut is Seoul Auction, who have a gallery on the eleventh floor, and you'll also find Pearl Lam Galleries and Galerie OraOra from Hong Kong, and Tang Contemporary Art from mainland China in H Queens.
On March 26th, dozens of invited guests lined up on the ground floor to attend the opening of selected galleries within the building. However, just like what happened at the Pedder Building
“WHEN YOU’VE BEEN THAT STILL AND AWARENESS IS AND MORE SHARPLY FOCUSED.”
“整个中环，现在没有比这儿更适合画廊‘群居’了。”豪瑟沃斯画廊亚洲区资深总监郭谦谦说，“香港 in previous years, the venue's elevators were “not enough". Slowly but surely, guests eager to witness the excitement began taking the stairs – regardless of how well-dressed they were.
David Zwirner in Hong Kong, which opened in January this year, held a solo exhibition of German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans. The Whitestone Gallery showed the "fantastic glass" of American artist Dale Chihuly. Pearl Lam Galleries held the first solo exhibition in Asia for the Italian artist Arcangelo Sassolino. Seoul Auction presented the works of artists such as Ufan Lee and Yayoi Kusama. Pace Gallery brought Yoshitomo Nara's new work. Hauser & Wirth announced their start in Hong Kong with the works of American artist Mark Bradford. Galerie Ora-Ora held the solo exhibition of Chinese artist Xiao Xu .
On this day, these galleries – especially western galleries with decades of history – seem to proclaim: China, here we come.
“There is no better place for the galleries to ‘live in groups' than here throughout the whole Central.” "There's a lot of space here and the floor is over four meters high, suitable for displaying art 寸土寸金，这儿空间大、层高高过4米，适合展示不同大小、形式的艺术品。”“我们（画廊）之前听说卓纳选择这儿，到实地探访后，感觉的确挺不错，就定了下来。”豪瑟沃斯资深总监蔡荔馨补充道。去年秋天，豪瑟沃斯和卓纳画廊先后宣布进军香港。今年1月，卓纳以米凯尔·博伊曼斯的个展开启赴港征途。
事实上，在H Queen’s开业的十年前，国际画廊已开始“抢滩”香港。2009年，Ben Brown Fine Arts成为第一家入驻毕打行的国际画廊。“这儿天花板约3.8米，比一般大厦约高一倍；香港人比较不愿意上山（前往荷里活道），也很难要求他们去更远的香港仔和工业区。”香港总监Andreas Hecker说。两年后，高古轩强势入驻大厦七层，开始抢滩香港市场。正在那时，还在为贝浩登画廊选址的艾曼努维尔· 佩罗廷考 of different sizes and forms," said Guo Qianqian, the senior director of Hauser & Wirth in Asia. "We (the gallery) heard that David Zwirner had chosen this place, and after a site visit, we felt the same way and decided to settle here too,” said Cai Lixin, senior director of Hauser & Wirth. Last fall, Hauser & Wirth and David Zwirner announced plans to expand in Hong Kong. In January this year, David Zwirner started their journey to Hong Kong with a solo exhibition by Michael Borremans.
In fact, ten years before the opening of H Queen's, the international galleries already began to vie for market share in Hong Kong. In 2009, Ben Brown Fine Arts became the first international gallery to enter the Pedder Building. "The ceiling was about 3.8 meters high, about twice as high as the average building. However, Hong Kong people are more reluctant to go up the hill (to the Hollywood Road), and it is also difficult to ask them to go further to Aberdeen and industrial areas,” said Andreas Hecker, the gallery's Hong Kong Director. Two years later, Gagosian moved into the seventh floor of the building and began to tap the Hong Kong market. At the time, Emmanuel Perrotin, who
虑过“和高古轩做邻居”，但其在一场采访中透露，当时房租已较去年“翻升一倍”。最终，贝浩登选择了距离毕打行不远的中国农业银行大厦，同年，白立方也在那儿安了家。2012年后，Simon Lee Gallery、立木画廊、佩斯来品“港味”了。
为何西方画廊热别钟情这块土壤？这与其得天独厚的地理优势和免税政策有关。香港作为连接世界的窗口，聚集着来自世界各地的藏家，其中，亚洲藏家是国际画廊越来越重要的客户。在本届香港巴塞尔现场，这些亚洲富豪们为以下作品买了单：乔治· 康多《俄罗斯女孩》(200万美元)、安尼施·卡普尔《Mirror (Red to Purple)》（72.5万英镑）、A.R.彭克《Standart-West KO》（60万美元）、詹姆斯· 特瑞尔《Elliptical Glass: KEPLER 62 f》（59万美元）、奈良美智《Your Puppy》(55万美元)、李禹焕《Dialogue》(25万美元)……“我开画廊三十年了，每天都在尝试做没有做过的事。现在，我们非常有兴趣了解亚洲藏家的喜好。”在布鲁塞尔开设画廊的Xavier Hufkens说。
不过，由于内地的艺术品税收政策（进口关税3%，以及进口增值税17%），绝大多数西方画廊仍在观望。在内地参加艺博会，与内地美术馆、画廊合作举办展览，是它们“解码”的最好方式。 was also picking an address for Galerie Perrotin, considered being a neighbor to Gagosian. Perrotin later said in an interview that the rent had “doubled" from last year, leading the gallerist to choose the Agricultural Bank of China Building, itself is not far from Pedder Building. In the same year, White Cube also settled down there. After 2012, Simon Lee Gallery, Lehmann Maupin, and Pace Gallery came to Hong Kong as well.
Why do western galleries love Hong Kong so much? This has a lot to do with its geographical advantage and tax exemption policy. As a business-friendly port connecting China to the world, Hong Kong is home to collectors from all over the world. Particularly, Asian collectors are increasingly important clients of international galleries. Last year, high net worth Asian collectors bought a slew of high ticket works at Art Basel Hong Kong, including George Condo's Russian Girl (USD2 million), Anish Kapoor's Mirror (Red to Purple) (GBP725,000), A.R.Penck's Standart-West KO (USD600,000), James Turrell's Elliptical Glass: KEPLER 62 f (USD590,000), Yoshitomo Nara's Your Puppy (USD550,000), Ufan Lee's Dialogue (USD250,000). Xavier Hufkens, who runs a gallery in Brussels, echoed the sentiment shared by many European galleries trying to establish themselves in Hong Kong: "I've been running the gallery for 30 years, and trying to do things I haven't done every day. Now, we are very interested in understanding the interests of Asian collectors.”
In addition to Hong Kong, Shanghai has gradually become the next target of international galleries. Korea's Arario Gallery and Japan's Ota Fine Arts have already entered the West Bund, and Galerie Perrotin has announced that they will enter the Bund by the end of the year. "We're doing things that other international galleries haven't done. We want to be the first one to eat crab,” the gallery said in a characteristically off-beat statement.
Despite this, the vast majority of western galleries are still hesitant to choose a location within the mainland due to domestic art tax policies (import tariffs is 3% and value-added tax on imports is 17%). As such, participating in Art Fair in China and holding exhibitions with domestic art galleries is the safest way for them to decode China.