Hauser & Wirth has arrived in China.
The global mega-gallery has announced plans to open a new outpost in Hong Kong in spring 2018, to be designed by Annabelle Selldorf. The 10,000-square-foot space will extend through the entire 15th and 16th floors of the H Queens development in the city’s central district.
But that’s not the only site in China where Hauser & Wirth is putting down roots. There will also be offices in the country’s two other major art hubs, Beijing and Shanghai. These are set to be up and running by next month.
“Our expansion into China marks the beginning of a new chapter for Hauser & Wirth,” the gallery’s co-founder, Iwan Wirth, said in a statement. “We have been active in Asia for over a decade, through our long-term close relationships with artists, curators, and collectors in the region, and through our participation at key art fairs in Hong Kong and Shanghai. We have spent the past two years carefully researching the most appropriate ways to expand in these places, to become a fully present part of the art scene in China and engage meaningfully.”
He added, “For us, it was never a matter of ‘if,’ only a matter of ‘how’ and ‘when.’ The moment has arrived and we are thrilled.”
Since starting with a gallery in Zurich in 1992, Hauser & Wirth has been expanding its international footprint in a deliberate manner, adding outposts in various art world capitals in different hemispheres. It currently has galleries in New York’s Chelsea district and the Upper East Side; London’s Mayfair, on Savile Row; Somerset in the English countryside; and downtown Los Angeles. There is also a project space in Gstaad, Switzerland.
But this is the first time Hauser & Wirth has established a presence in Asia. Heading up the operations in Hong Kong will be Vanessa Guo, who is currently senior director of Asia for the gallery, and Lihsin Tsai, who joins the gallery having worked for the collector Qiao Zhibing. Tsai will also be overseeing the Beijing office and splitting her time between there and Hong Kong. Programming will be overseen by Marc Payot, a Hauser & Wirth partner and vice president.