David Zwirner Expands His Empire to the East

The New York gallerist opens his first venture in Asia with a new space designed by architect Annabelle Selldorf in Hong Kong.

With showrooms in New York and London, David Zwirner is considered one of the world’s foremost gallerists; this month’s launch of David Zwirner Hong Kong reaffirms its eponym’s global ambitions. But the 10,000-square-foot exhibition and sales office is more collaborative venture than empire building. According to Jennifer Yum, whom Zwirner tapped with Leo Xu to direct the Hong Kong gallery, the expansion stands on the shoulders of Art Basel Hong Kong, which “allowed more exposure to Asian clients who were excited by the gallery’s program.” 

Asia’s new collecting class, Yum observes, “understand the critical and institutional importance of being in a global conversation with contemporary art.” Inside the fifth and sixth floors of Hong Kong tycoon Lee Shau-kee’s 24-story H Queen’s tower, which was designed by William Lim of CL3 Architects expressly for art dealing, visitors to David Zwirner Hong Kong will feel whisked from locality. Zwirner’s longtime architect Annabelle Selldorf has fitted out the venue, and new paintings by Belgian artist Michaël Borremans will inaugurate it. Yum says the experience will be seamless with New York and London, adding, “That is not to say that we [won’t] eventually evolve into having a unique identity among the other locations, and no doubt will be influenced by the local environment.”

Updated January 10, 2018: The gallery just announced a fourth location in New York, located at 540 West 21st Street, due in 2020.

Rendering of H Queen's building. Image courtesy H Queen's
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