Christie’s Education To Offer Course In Hong Kong During Autumn Auction Week
With Autumn Auction Week in Hong Kong just around the corner, Christie’s Education is set to introduce another new short course aimed squarely at China’s new collectors. Following on the heels of its previous short courses held earlier this year and last fall, from November 25-28, Christie’s will introduce the new short course, “Works of Art for the Qing Emperors: History, Collecting, Market.” Held in English (November 25-26) and Mandarin (November 27-28), the course will educate attendees about the artistic and cultural legacy of China’s last imperial dynasty, the Qing (1644- 1911). Centering first on historical background and the aesthetic tastes of the great Qing emperors, then on how best to approach this booming auction category as a new collector, the two-day course includes gallery tours, lectures from guest speakers, and, of course, cocktail hours.
As Elaine Kwok, Hong Kong Course Director for Christie’s, noted this week, these short courses (while still relatively new) have attracted massive interest among new collectors in the region. Said Kwok, “Our previous two short courses in Hong Kong were met with success, and demonstrate such hunger and interest from participants, that we now find the Education programs an eagerly-awaited feature of our auction season.”
Indeed, demand for arts education among new and aspiring mainland Chinese collectors has caused something of a cottage industry to spring up in Hong Kong over the last year and a half. As Jing Daily pointed out last month, Christie’s began offering short courses in Hong Kong in Mandarin for the first time ever around this year’s spring auctions, and this July, demand from visiting mainland Chinese enticed Hong Kong’s Peninsula Hotel to add its own educational short course as well, toting well-to-do aspiring art connoisseurs around the city in a customized MINI Clubman to visit, and learn about, the local art scene.
It’s no surprise that major auction houses and even luxury hotels are keen on offering educational courses to take advantage of interest among China’s emerging collector base. The collecting boom we’ve seen gain pace in Hong Kong over the past two years, which has only gained strength as more wealthy Chinese have sought to sidestep rising inflation and stock market or real estate volatility by investing in art, wine and other “portable assets”, has been particularly good for international auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s, which now see Hong Kong as one of their key markets, nearly on par with traditional hubs London and New York.
The crossover potential of educational offerings is another factor that will likely cause them to proliferate in the years ahead. By promoting arts education via short courses, which naturally include visits to their auction houses, the likes of Christie’s and Sotheby’s are achieving the art world equivalent of leading a Chinese tour group on an educational trip through Paris which ends at Galeries Lafayette.
Christie’s Education Hong Kong Short Course, Autumn 2011
English Course: Friday, November 25, 9:30am-5:15pm Saturday, November 26, 10am-5:15pm
Mandarin Course: Sunday, November 27, 10am-5:15pm Monday, November 28, 9:30am-5:15pm
Fees: HK$8,500 (US$1,093). Early-bird rate of HK$7,500 ($964) if payment is received by November 11.
Location: Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, No.1 Harbour Road, Wanchai
Contact: +852 2978 6747 or email firstname.lastname@example.org