NW Week

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Phillips anticipates $1.2 billion in sales in 2021 plans in Hong Kong’s Arts District

new Asia headquarters in Hong Kong

Key Takeaways:

  • Phillips plans to open a new Asia headquarters in Hong Kong’s storied West Kowloon Cultural District in the fall of 2022, close to the recently opened M+ museum.
  • The announcement came shortly after Phillips announced that it had made $1.2 billion in sales in the previous year.

That yearly figure was a record for the House, or it represented a 32% increase over the last year’s figure.

The House’s auctions generated $993.3 million in 2021, a 35% increase over 2019. Similarly, its private sales channel thrived even as people returned to live sales. The remaining $208.2 million came from this line of business.

The boutique house, which Russian retailer Mercury Group owns, will have a new Hong Kong headquarters in the compassion of one of Asia’s most active cultural hubs.

The auction house will occupy 48,000 square feet of space in the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority Tower, taking over five and a half floors of the 16-story structure that overlooks the region’s Victoria Harbour.

The top two floors will be used for auction previews, while the remaining three will be used for retail and office space.

Hong Kong’s Arts District; Image from ARTnew

Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee, the chief executive officer of West Kowloon, said in a statement that the addition of Phillips to the area will kick off a “long-term collaboration” in which Phillips will contribute to “local, regional, and international arts and cultural development.”

Asian buyers accounted for 36% of total spending at Phillips auctions worldwide. According to Phillips, half of the top ten lots sold in 2021 went to Asian buyers.

There were works by Francis Bacon and Georgia O’Keeffe, two auction powerhouses.

The record year demonstrates that Stephen Brooks, who took over as CEO for Ed Dolman this year, has led the company to success thus far. Brooks stated in a statement that he believes the House will be worth even more in 2022.

He said that increasing Phillips’ presence in Asia is a “critical component of our growth strategy.”

In April, the CEO told news that part of his long-term plan for the House was to expand evening sales, which had remained the same size for five years, to accommodate buyer hunger.

Source: Art News

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