Phillips auction house today announced further details on the launch of its new Asia headquarters, situated in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District. The space will open with an exhibition of 20th-century and contemporary works by a range of artists including Yayoi Kusama, Matthew Wong and Loie Hollowell—the majority of which will be offered for sale in its debut auctions on 30 and 31 March. The preview show, which runs from 18 March to 5 April, will include watches and jewellery and will overlap with Art Basel Hong Kong (23-25 March).
The 52,000 sq ft, six-floor new space is located opposite M+ museum and anchors the WKCDA Tower, which was designed by M+ architects Herzog & de Meuron. Its interiors are designed by LAAB architects and includes with the auction room and exhibition galleries includes offices, a café and a lounge.
"This year, we are celebrating our eighth year of operations in Asia and are expanding our offerings considerably," Phillips’s chief executive Stephen Brooks says in a press release. The new facility "allows us to further build our business in the region, transitioning from a limited set of offerings held twice annually to a fully fledged sale calendar throughout the year. Phillips now enters a new era in the region as the first international auction house to establish a purpose-built salesroom and gallery space".
Phillips’s reported global sales of $746m in the first half of 2022—nearly 40% of which came from Asia. The company has been expanding its regional team, and now counts more than 20 specialists in 20th-century and contemporary art. Last year, the company announced the addition of Minhee Suh as their regional representative in South Korea, while Lihua Tung and Yvonne Fong joined as the regional roster of specialists. Tung was previously a Hong Kong director at David Zwirner gallery, while Fong joined from Simon Lee's Hong Kong gallery, and had previously worked for Christie’s and Gagosian.
The full preview will feature over 200 works from the Hong Kong and New York spring auctions, says a spokesperson, including works by Pablo Picasso, Yoshitomo Nara, Ayako Rokkaku, Huang Yuxing, Chen Ke, Christina Quarles, and Rashid Johnson. The Kusama works in the sale include a large acrylic Pumpkin painting (1995, estimated at $5.1m-$6.4m), which is being sold to raise funds for the Clarinda Carnegie Art Museum in Clarinda, Iowa. It joins another Kusama acrylic on canvas, Infinity Dots (HTI), (2001), which is estimated between $3.2m and $3.8m.