David Zwirner Looks To Open Hong Kong Outpost

He's shopping for the perfect space.

David Zwirner.
Image: Courtesy of Patrick McMullan
David Zwirner with Raymond Pettibon and Ben Stiller Photo: Michael Plunkett/Patrick McMullan.

David Zwirner with Raymond Pettibon and Ben Stiller at the Artists For Haiti fundraiser.
Photo: Michael Plunkett/Patrick McMullan.

Megadealer David Zwirner is looking to add a Hong Kong outpost to his art empire, the South China Morning Post reports. While nothing has yet been finalized, the gallery is hoping to establish a permanent presence in Asia as soon as possible. The move comes as a result of steady growth in the Asian market, and consistent sales at Art Basel Hong Kong.

“We are actively looking now and are excited to be a part of what’s going on there, as we have felt extremely welcome by collectors throughout the region over the past few years. And we are definitely enthusiastic to go back again in March for Art Basel Hong Kong,” said gallery partner Julia Joern in an email to artnet News.

The problem, of course, is finding a space suited to Zwirner’s stable of blue-chip artists, which includes Isa Genzken, Oscar Murillo, Yayoi Kusama, Jordan Wolfson, and Raymond Pettibon. While Hong Kong is by far the easiest place to sell art in China, space is at an extremely high premium in the overcrowded city.

David Zwirner's 20th Street space in New York. Photo: David Zwirner.

David Zwirner’s 20th Street space in New York.
Photo: David Zwirner.

“For now, both us and our clients find it much easier to transact in Hong Kong than in mainland China. But for us, I know we’d like the sort of space that we can find in the mainland,” Zwirner told the paper, mentioning cities like Beijing and Shanghai as having significantly better options in terms of space. “We are spoilt. We have large galleries that in some instances we’ve built from the ground up. What I’d like to have is a space that inspires artists. But that is difficult in Hong Kong, so we might start with something modest.”

Zwirner will be following in the footsteps of rival Larry Gagosian, who set up shop in Hong Kong in 2011. In 2012, London’s White Cube opened an outpost nearby.


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