Bonhams Appoints New Hong Kong Team Members Following Layoffs

Edward Wilkinson and Ingrid Dudek are both being promoted from within.

Ingrid Dudek. Photo: Bonhams
Edward Wilkinson. Photo: Bonhams.

Edward Wilkinson.
Photo: Bonhams.

Despite a recent bout of layoffs, Bonhams auction house has appointed two new team members in China: Edward Wilkinson, who is currently Bonhams director of South Asian, Indian and Himalayan Art based in the United States will become the executive director for all of Asia, and Ingrid Dudek, who joined the company last year, will step into a new role as head of modern and contemporary art in Asia.

Wilkinson will not take the reigns at his new position until June, while Dudek’s promotion from director of contemporary art, Asia is effective immediately.

Wilkinson, who established the Indian and Himalayan Southeast Asian Art Department in 2011, has 30 years of experience at auction houses in Sydney, London, and the United States. Before joining Bonhams, he headed the Indian and Southeast Asian department at Sotheby’s.

Dudek, who for the past year has been tasked with growing a Western consumer base for art being sold out of Hong Kong, was previously at Christie’s, where she worked as the vice president and international senior specialist in Asian 20th century art for nearly a decade.

The news of Dudek and Wilkinson’s appointment arrives following major layoffs in the company’s Hong Kong branch, with deputy chairman of Asia Magnus Renfrew, who had been with the company for two years, getting the boot along with seven other employees in China.

Ingrid Dudek. Photo: Bonhams

Ingrid Dudek.
Photo: Bonhams

While Hong Kong remains one of the world’s premiere cities to buy and sell art, the global art market decline has hit the area hard. Based on the recently-released TEFAF report, experts posit that China has played a major role in the worldwide economic slowdown, after the market fell 23%. Data compiled by artnet reflects these claims.

Nevertheless, the team at Bonhams is optimistic.

“The market in Asia has experienced tremendous growth over the past couple of years and some sectors may experience a temporary slowdown,” Wilkinson told the Guardian in a recent article on the topic. “However, collectors from the Asian region have shown their capacity to appreciate a broad cross-section of the arts and I believe the market has the capacity to adapt very quickly.”

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