Adrian Cheng is one of Hong Kong's elite businessmen. He leads the fortunes of the world's largest jewelry conglomerate by market capitalization. He is also CEO of New World Development, a luxury hotel chain that includes the Crillon in Paris, Carlyle in New York, Rosewood ... The small Chang's company, run by Henry's father, is worth €13 billion. Adrian set up the K11 Foundation in 2010 to contribute to the development of the Chinese art scene. Why isn't he counting his money under the Riviera sun wearing Roberto Cavalli, the Italian brand 90% owned by his family?
The Cheng family is the fourth largest in Hong Kong
Adrian Cheng, who wanted to be a tenor from an early age, studied humanities at Harvard. He speaks excellent English. He is also reluctant to give information about his personal collection, although he admits to loving Tatiana Truve and Pierre Huyghe. When he talks about his main project, the art villages, he is a bit more talkative.
The K11 complex is under construction in Wuhan, a city of 10 million people halfway between Beijing and Shanghai, home to the Renault and PSA factories. Away from the former re-education camps, 17 budding artists and sculptors will benefit from workshops, mentoring, lectures, scholarships, etc. "I am an incubator for Chinese contemporary art.
He often uses the word "global" to define his taste and pragmatism. The former aspiring tenant is pleased with the Beijing regime: "The government encourages our cultural approach. The authorities are not as harsh on artists as people think, unless you are crazy. It depends on what you mean by the term crazy.
More than 50 cultural partners
Founded in 2008, K11 operates a seven-story shopping center in Hong Kong's Tsim Sha Tsui district and the nearby K11 Musea, a mix of culture and commerce described on its website as an "arts and crafts incubator." K11 already operates malls in mainland China, in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Tianjin and Wuhan. As a pioneer of 'cultural commerce', K11 aims to 'promote and expand the fascination of Chinese culture and offer every visitor a fantastic journey' as well as open a window on international art.
K11 HACC's multifunctional art space will actively connect a variety of contemporary art and creative culture, providing an ideal exhibition and event platform for artists, designers and arts organizations. Partnerships have already been established with leading art and cultural institutions from around the world to create and animate the space. Internationally renowned institutions such as MoMA PS1, Centre Pompidou, New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York) and Palais de Tokyo are participating in the project.