The heir to one of Hong Kong’s greatest fortunes puts art in his shopping malls and has created an academy to support young Chinese talent. Designed by Adrian Cheng, K11 is the world’s first shopping center-museum concept. Find out all about this new Hong Kong arts center.
About K11 Art Mall and its expansion to 9 Chinese cities by 2023
Located in Tsim Sha Tsui, in the district of Kowloon which is overflowing with luxury boutiques, the K11 Art Mall lays claim to the title of the first artistic mall in the world. Its designer is called Adrian Cheng, heir to one of Hong Kong’s greatest fortunes. At 35, this Harvard graduate and former banker at UBS now spends most of his time running the family business. His grandfather and his father then created NWS, a trade, real estate and transport empire. Forbes values the family’s fortune at over US$14 billion. In March, Adrian Cheng Chi-kong, by his full name, was promoted to vice-president of NWS, known to the general public in particular for its jewelry boutiques, Chow Tai Fook, whose red walls line Hong Kong, and also many cities. In mainland China.
Recently ranked No. 46 on the Art Review Power 100 list of the 100 most powerful people in the art world, Adrian Cheng announces the expansion of K11 to 9 Chinese cities by 2023, to put education, l imagination and inspiration within the reach of new segments of the population and thus encourage dialogue between the artistic world and the public.
Support for Chinese artists
With the K11 Foundation, Adrian Cheng has two clear goals in mind. The first objective is to support the development of contemporary Chinese art in the world. The second concerns the promotion of world art to the public in China. It should be noted that his institution was, in 2010, the first art foundation in China « not controlled by the state ». By combining Malls and a foundation, he was able to create a new hybrid model, combining art and commerce. Exhibition and works of art are installed in the public space. The foundation does not only organize exhibitions. It also manages a sort of incubator for artists. Near Wuhan, 800 km west of Shanghai, Adrian Cheng has created 11 studios for talents he considers “promising” and whom he welcomes in residence in order to relieve them of all material worries.