CNN wants to show you How to Become a Hong Kong Art Investor. Here’s step 2:
You’ve got no hope of collecting art if you don’t know anything about what you’re buying. That’s where the Asia Art Archive comes in. Tucked inside a nondescript office tower on Hollywood Road, on a dreary strip of tacky decorative art galleries and dubious antique shops, the AAA is Asia’s leading resource for information on contemporary Asian art. Researchers stationed across the continent gather information on new artists, exhibitions and trends — and make all of it available in the AAA’s library, which is open to the public.
“The people who use this will be students, curators and researchers,” says Phoebe Wong, the AAA’s head of research. “Interestingly enough,” she adds, “not many artists use our facility — they don’t like to look at other artists’ work.” For buyers, the AAA is yet another advantage of Hong Kong’s increasingly well-developed arts infrastructure. “Hong Kong has a lot of potential,” says Wong. “People say that the Hong Kong Art Fair is now better than the Shanghai Contemporary, and Hong Kong is a better place for buying and selling because of taxation and things like that.”
When it comes to money, Hong Kong really is a great place to buy art, simply because there are no limits on the value of what you can bring into or take out of the city. If you buy a painting on the mainland, by contrast, you might be stuck paying a 40 percent duty on your purchase. That’s one of the reasons the big auction houses have set up shop in Hong Kong.