The Financial Times ran a diary of Gilberg & George’s visit to Hong Kong:
This is our first time in Hong Kong. We love the airport. There is no advertising. We cannot abide airports with shops. But here it’s all very clean and very empty – and there is a bloody big Rolls-Royce waiting for us outside. Why? Suzanne Page, who used to run the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, did a huge show of ours some years ago and told us she was advising a private French collector called Bernard Arnault. We had no idea what the name meant. We always regarded “Class War, Militant, Gateway” to be a sleeping masterpiece from 1986 and Suzanne persuaded us to part with it. Then someone asked if we would like to go to Hong Kong, as Arnault was going to show his private collection, including our piece, and Frank Gehry was going with a model of a new art gallery in Paris that would be a permanent home for our picture. Later we found out all this had a connection with handbags. […]
We’re taken over to the museum for the grand opening. Arnault is there with the Chinese cultural minister and the head of Hong Kong and Macau. The speeches tend to be about the artists that have collaborated with them on handbags [Takashi Murakami and Richard Prince]. They would never ask us to collaborate, which is very nice; Suzanne wouldn’t allow them to ask. She knows that we wouldn’t want to do it, and if we did it they wouldn’t want it anyway. They want something written on their bags and one of our new pictures is decorated with the words “exterminate the poor”, “more public toilets” and “Eli is gay”, but we don’t think that they would want that on handbags.
[…]It is the opening day and we watch everyone going in. It’s fascinating to see the groups arriving: eight ladies on a minibus, groups of schoolchildren in uniforms. The picture will be there for three months, and then it will move to the Gehry building in Paris. Frank said to us at the dinner on Thursday night, “If you’re very nice to me, then I might build you another museum.” He is absolutely charming and insisted we were old chums, though we couldn’t remember having met him before. Richard Prince was very nice, too. He said he was a big fan of our work. We think Murakami saw us as competition, though. And he was right.
Gilbert & George Go to Hong Kong (Financial Times)