Things are going so well for Phillips in Hong Kong—CEO Stephen Brooks says client interaction in Asia is up 30% since the lockdown—that they’re moving to a new location right next to the M+ Museum in the West Kowloon Cultural District. The move will take place in the Fall of 2022 after the opening of the Hong Kong Palace Museum scheduled for the middle of the year.
Phillips will be taking 48,000 square feet of space in the WKCDA Tower which is also home to the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, M+ and the Conservation and Storage facility for M+ as well. The Herzog & de Meuron-designed WKCDA Tower will give Phillips three floors of retail space, two upper floors of purpose-built exhibition space and a single floor of dedicated office space.
“Being located at the heart of the West Kowloon Cultural District,” says Jonathan Crockett, Chairman Asia for Phillips, “will allow us to work alongside M+, the Hong Kong Palace Museum and the wider District on complementary programming and events, further enhancing the area as a world-class global destination for arts and culture.”
Phillips Executive Chairman, Edward Dolman, made a point to highlight the move as a milestone in Phillips’s evolution as a global auction house. “This long-planned investment in a new headquarters for Phillips Asia reflects and reaffirms our confidence in the region,” he said, “and further cements Phillips’ important position in the market in Asia. This expansion of our presence in Hong Kong is an affirmation that Asia is a leading force in the global art ecosystem.”
Phillips first opened in Asia in 2015. In 2020, Asian clients accounted for 34% of the total hammer of Phillips’s global sales. Clients from the region also took home half of the top ten lots at Phillips that year.
This year, Phillips sold over HK$2.1 billion/ US$270 million, nearly double the results of the previous year, the auction house said releasing a number of statistics including that the company’s biannual Hong Kong Sales made a total of HK$1.37 billion ($175 million) which is a 76% year-on-year increase from 2020. Hong Kong auctions of Watches and Jewelry saw a 76% and 93% increase respectively year-on-year from 2020. In addition, every watch offered by Phillips in Hong Kong this year found a buyer. That would appear to be a singular statistic for any auction house in any region.