London’s Evening Standard drills down on Hong Kong’s dynamic luxury economy and highlights
‘Hong Kong is simply booming,’ says Wykehamist fine art dealer Ben Brown, who is married to jewellery designer Louisa Guinness. He is about to open a large new modern art gallery in an old colonial building (one of the very few with ceilings high enough to show important contemporary art properly) in the Central district between Hong Kong’s two separate Mandarin Oriental hotels. ‘You can tell that things are going well again; people aren’t working through their holidays any more.’
Brown decided to open a gallery in Hong Kong – ahead of major global dealers such as Larry Gagosian – not only to try to tempt wealthy Hong Kong-based expat financiers with spare cash to buy a pair of Candida Hofer prints (he sold more than 20 to people in Hong Kong this year), but more importantly because he wants to be at the front of the queue to sell important Western art to the new breed of super-rich Chinese buyer (the number of Chinese billionaires jumped from 101 to 130 last year), whose appetite for the finest and most expensive art, jewels and vintage wine – as well as discreet banking and investment services – appears insatiable.
King Kong: Why Hong Kong is Booming Again (This is London)