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Jul 28 2021

Christie’s Envisions New Asia-Pacific Headquarters

by Gabrielle Tse

Rendered image of The Henderson, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects for Henderson Land Development. Courtesy Arqui9.

On July 27, Christie’s announced that it will open its new Asia-Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong in 2024. The new 4,645-square-meter, four-story space will be located within The Henderson, an upcoming commercial landmark on Murray Road in Central, scheduled for completion in 2023. The 36-story tower is a project by Henderson Land Development and is designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the firm founded by the late British-Iraqi architect. Christie’s has signed a ten-year lease and is The Henderson’s first anchor tenant. 

The new headquarters will become Christie’s first year-round saleroom in Asia, allowing it to hold in-house auctions and private sales, with over 2,600 square meters of exhibition space that can house large-scale artworks and accommodate 300 to 400 people during auctions. According to Francis Belin, president of Christie’s Asia-Pacific division, the establishment of the first headquarters in Asia allows the private auction company “to transform [their] sales and events schedule from two main seasons [at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre] a year, to year-round programming, and to embrace opportunities for greater creativity and innovation.” Speaking of this change to Reuters, Belin added that the auction house plans to hold six major auctions throughout the year, and will be more aligned with the common commercial practices of other auction houses. 

The relocation responds to Christie’s major sales in Asia. In the first half of 2021, Asian clients contributed 39 percent to the auction house’s worldwide sales, with the Hong Kong saleroom achieving HKD 3.5 billion (USD 458 million) this spring, its highest since 2013. 

Undaunted by the city’s latest political turmoil, Belin dismissed concerns of censorship brought by the National Security Law in Hong Kong. According to a South China Morning Post article, he stated that he is “unaware of the recent stricter application of rules for public exhibitions” and expressed his confidence in Hong Kong to remain “Asia’s art center.” 

Christie’s will move out of its current 2,880-square-meter Hong Kong office, which has 650 square meters of gallery space, at Alexandra House in Central. Christie’s is also looking to expand in Shanghai, appointing the media entrepreneur Rebecca Yuancao Yang to chair its China branch on June 30. 

Gabrielle Tse is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.

To read more of ArtAsiaPacific’s articles, check out our Digital Library.

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