Hong Kong’s SICD holds their first auction of contemporary Asian and Western art on 11 December 2016.

To raise awareness about the South Island Cultural District and allow collectors to get a taste of the art offered there, Hong Kong’s SICD has organised their first auction. Art Radar spoke to SICD Executive Chairman Dominique Perregaux about the event and the future of SICD.

Burtin Morris, 'Popcorn', 2006, acrylic on canvas, 122 x 91.5 cm. Image courtesy SICD.

Burtin Morris, ‘Popcorn’, 2006, acrylic on canvas, 122 x 91.5 cm. Image courtesy SICD.

Hong Kong’s South Island Cultural District (SICD) has organised their inaugural art auction of contemporary Asian and Western art in collaboration with the local auction house Hong Kong Auctions, who will be holding the event on Sunday 11 December 2016 at GIG, Ovolo Southside, 64 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Hong Kong at 2 pm.

SICD is holding a preview of the auction at South Island Cultural District’s Unit D, 8/F, 65 Wong Chuk Hang Road, from 9 to 10 December between 12 and 7 pm daily. The 50 lots on offer can also be seen online on Hong Kong Auctions’ website and at the Auction Preview cocktail reception on 9 December from 6 to 9 pm.

Chinyee, 'Beyond My Window Part II #9', 2004, watercolour on paper, 41 x 30.5 cm. Image courtesy SICD.

Chinyee, ‘Beyond My Window Part II #9’, 2004, watercolour on paper, 41 x 30.5 cm. Image courtesy SICD.

The artworks for sale have been consigned for auction by art galleries and private collectors who are members or clients of the SICD, and represent a selection of works from some of the best galleries in Hong Kong. This also marks the first time in Hong Kong that there has been such a collaboration of galleries for an auction. Quoted in the press release, Executive Chairman of SICD Dominique Perregaux comments:

The SICD is very excited to team up with Hong Kong Auctions to host the first truly local auction, featuring paintings and sculptures from renowned and upcoming Asian and Western artists. The price range of the art work sold goes from less than then thousands Hong Kong to more than one millions. We are therefore inviting young collectors a well as established ones to participate to the first of many South island Art Auction to come.

David Mach, 'Hong Kong Girl', 2008, postcard and collage on board, 152 x 152 cm. Image courtesy SICD.

David Mach, ‘Hong Kong Girl’, 2008, postcard and collage on board, 152 x 152 cm. Image courtesy SICD.

“There is something for everyone […],” as Brian Hodgson, Managing Director of Hong Kong Auctions who is conducting the sale says, with prices starting as low as HKD3,500 and going up to more than HKD1 million. Among the highlights are works by Zao Wou-ki (estimate HKD350,000), Yoshitaka Amano (estimate HKD1.8 million), David Mach (estimate HKD100,000) and Ma Desheng (estimate HKD200,000).

SICD was founded in 2013 and is currently formed by more than 25 galleries and art spaces in the industrial space of the South Island areas in Wong Chuk Hang and Tin Wan. New galleries and artist studios are opening in the area every few months and the South Island MTR line is also scheduled to open in December 2016, which will dramatically change the profile of the neighborhood, making it more easily connected to downtown Hong Kong.

Art Radar spoke to Dominique Perregaux about the upcoming inaugural auction and the future of SICD.

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In recent years, many art organisations and non-profits have teamed up to hold auctions to fund their operations. How did you come up with the idea for SICD’s auction and what is its aim?

Actually the South Island Auction is not really a fund raising project. Only five percent will go back to the SICD. Five percent will also go to Food Angel Charity, which means that collectors will make good deeds when buying at the auction. But most of the proceed will go back to the consignees (galleries, artists or collectors). So the main goals of such auctions are:

  • To raise awarness about the South Island Cultural District specifically to collectors (versus general art lovers during our annual Art Days in March and September). As with the new MTR line opening at the end of December, we have no doubt that the SICD will become the main art district within the next two years. Yet at that stage, we still need to broaden our reach to inform as many people interested about contemporary art about what is happening in the south side.
  • The collector behaviour in Hong Kong and in the region is very different from the West or even from Japan or Korea. Here a lot of collectors actually do not visit “genuinely or candidly” galleries to just see shows. They usually visit galleries specifically to purchase an artwork, and then would not necessarily come back before their next purchase. They also enjoy a lot buying art through auctions and art fairs. So organising our own auctions should motivate collectors to discover new artists and acquire them, even if they missed their gallery shows.
  • The South Island Art Auction being the first HK homegrown auction will also allow us to have a singular profile, compared to other auctions. First SICD galleries have direct access to artists that are already sold in main auctions. But representing these artists, gives us access to special works from these artists. Some with collectors who will consign through us give us the special relationship most SICD galleries have developed with their clients. Then we aim to become the Hong Kong auction that gives local artists special visibility. We plan to give more space to established Hong Kong artists who are not being yet included in major auctions. Being from Hong Kong, the South Island Art Auction will definitely favour Hong Kong artists going forward.
Ma Desheng, 'Cay', 2004, acrylic on canvas, 130 x 89 cm. Image courtesy SICD.

Ma Desheng, ‘Cay’, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 130 x 89 cm. Image courtesy SICD.

What do you hope to achieve with the auction and what kind of audience (buyers) do you think will participate? Is it for both established and emerging collectors?

Our goal is to sell as many works as possible of course. This is how we will measure our success. We are selling artworks ranging from HKD3,400 to HKD1,800,000, so there are really pieces for every kind of buyer. We have “affordable” works for young collectors looking to purchase upcoming artists. We have also “affordable” works for people who are looking for nice decorative pieces. Then we have more “pricey” works for established collectors willing to acquire important pieces from important artists.

Given our local and international profile, our genuine and serious line, we hope collectors will trust our approach and selection. As a homegrown auction, we also hope to develop a special relationship with local collectors, on a more “humane” and less “corporate” level.

Will you be holding this auction annually?

We plan to hold two auctions per year. One in December and one in June.

Jiang Shuo, 'Going Forward', 2006, bronze, 55 x 60 x 23 cm. Image courtesy SICD.

Jiang Shuo, ‘Going Forward’, 2006, bronze, 55 x 60 x 23 cm. Image courtesy SICD.

What do you envision for the future of SICD?

We are getting the visit of overseas galleries planning to open branches in Hong Kong almost every month. The SICD is becoming  a serious  contender when pondering where to open a space in Hong Kong. With the MTR opening end of December 2016, given the large spaces available (in industrial or new buildings), the reasonable rents compared to Central, being seven minutes to Admiralty and having already more than 20 galleries in the neighborhood, we expect tens of galleries to move from Central to the south side. Plus with the overseas galleries, we have absolutely no doubt that the SICD will become THE main art district in Hong Kong within the next two years.

What is also special about the SICD, is that we are selecting our members. Which means that we are pursuing a strong and high quality contemporary art line. Visitors are already feeling the difference and the commitment current members have when going to exhibitions held in our district. To keep this demanding line is important to us while we are growing.

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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