Crossing the border to paint a picture of success

By Chitralekha Basu | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-26 07:14

Crossing the border to paint a picture of success

Poly Auction Hong Kong sold Rain in the Autumn by Cui Ruzhuo for HK$142 million this year. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Wider horizons

As more mainland auction houses emerge against the Hong Kong skyline and dip into a common pool of buyers, some observers are asking if there's enough in terms of art and capital to sustain the current spate of energetic buying and selling in the long run.

"If there is anywhere in the world where there is a volume of collectors with the capacity to absorb a lot of art, I certainly think Hong Kong is one of those places because you have two massive populations, Chinese and Indian, sitting on Hong Kong's doorstep, not to mention the rest of Southeast Asia," said Edward Wilkinson, executive director of Bonhams Asia.

He believes Hong Kong is now an evolved marketplace: "Today, the community of buyers is far more informed than to go for something just because the words 'Qing' or 'Ming' are mentioned."

"The presence of Chinese mainland auction houses in Hong Kong is a very positive thing for the market because it gives a clear indication that Hong Kong is a preferred city to conduct transactions in terms of the legal apparatus that's in place, the rule of law and people having a feeling of safety and satisfaction," he added.

In common with Wilson and Chang, Wilkinson thinks the way forward for auction houses doing business in Hong Kong is to look beyond art from the Chinese mainland.

"I am interested in seeing greater representation from, say, the Indian subcontinent or antiquities from Southeast Asia, all of which are barely represented here. For me, it's an interesting space that has potential."

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