Christie’s announced last week a new partnership with China Guardian Auctions to present a series of themed sales and other programming by specialists from both houses in Shanghai this coming September. The new auction series is tagged 2020+. Christie’s said “the goal of the partnership is to broaden the market in the region.”
The 2020+ sale and exhibition series will be hosted at Christie’s Ampire building saleroom in Shanghai, with further details on programming still to be confirmed later this summer. The brand collaboration concept is a trending throughout the market, with themed sales a new format for client engagement. Christie’s said the concept around the series is meant “to provide thought-provoking cultural dialogues between ancient and modern, East and West, at this particular moment in time.”
The partnership indicates a bolstered attention to the Asian art market during a pivotal moment under pandemic restrictions. Christie’s Chief Executive Officer, Guillaume Cerutti noted “Our two houses are on the same wavelength to leverage our collective expertise and reach, and to offer to collectors the very best of world art. As the first international auction house to hold an independent auction license in China, this partnership underscores Christie’s continued commitment and long-term investment in this key market”. Christie’s opened its office in the region in Shanghai in 1994, and has since built a strong presence in the burgeoning region for several decades adding sale sites in Hong Kong and Beijing, and expanding it’s Shanghai exhibition space in 2014. Another milestone in the region for the firm was the opening of its 2016 Picasso exhibition to unveil its new Beijing headquarters.
The collaboration between the two leading houses also points to Shanghai’s recent rise as a burgeoning cultural centre, leading market activity in mainland China. With China now the third largest global art market behind the U.S. and U.K., Christie’s initiative to establish a broader foot holding with a regional ally in Asia is a major cue for the global market. The Bejing-based firm, China Guardian has locations across Asia with offices in Shainghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, as well as North America. “As Shanghai continues it trajectory in maturing into an international art center of great significance, we feel now is the opportune moment for such a culturally historic partnership to take place. For China Guardian, innovation is in our genes and we are always proud to promote the development of diversifying art market” said Hu Yanyan, Director and President of China Guardian Auctions.