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Collecting Contemporary Art

Press Release
22 October 2014

The First-of-its-kind Executive Programme
on Collecting Contemporary Art for Novice Art Collectors

A collaboration between HKU SPACE International College, 
Central Saint Martins and Art Basel

HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education International College (HKU SPACE IC), in collaboration with Central Saint Martins (CSM) and Art Basel, the premier international art-fair organiser, launches ‘Collecting Contemporary Art’, an executive programme, the first-of-its-kind in Hong Kong and tailor-made for novice art collectors and business professionals in related fields from Hong Kong, Mainland China and overseas.

The programme comprises about 60 hours split across eight days, consisting of six modules. This includes an intensive three-day module delivered by a Central Saint Martins’ lecturer from London, five one-day modules led by HKU SPACE and industry experts from Hong Kong, Europe, and Asia, with the last two modules of the programme being spent at local galleries and Art Basel’s show in Hong Kong.

Mr. Ken Wong, Head of HKU SPACE International College (IC) said, “This programme aims to educate participants on how to ‘read’ contemporary art, and help to build their art collections intelligently and systematically. Without acquiring certain techniques and skillsets in art collecting, novice collectors may have loosely put together collectibles which may not stand the test of time. Educational programmes by auction houses primarily focus on the arts at auctions, which are usually masterpieces or highly popular ones that set a high financial hurdle for novice collectors. Comparatively, an art fair offers a wider range of art works with some being sold at more affordable prices. The question then is whether an individual possesses the ability to judge what is worthwhile to collect.”

“While the masterpieces in the classical art market are kept in national museums or by veteran collectors, resulting in a rather slim market, novice art collectors can explore the many more opportunities in the contemporary art segment,” explained Ken, on the focus of this programme. “Among the various art forms in the contemporary art market, painting as a more easily accessible collectible will be our focus.”

Marc Spiegler, Director Art Basel, said, “This initiative expands upon our longstanding tradition of staging talks and conversations that address the practical issues people in the artworld are facing. We are delighted to see an expanding audience for art in Hong Kong and to be part of this development – alongside the city’s institutions and galleries. As the artworld becomes larger and people become more serious about collecting, it is important to discuss the ground rules – and the responsibilities that come with collecting art.”

On completion of this programme, participants should be able to:

Examine contemporary art in context as outlined by veteran practitioners from London, Hong Kong and Shanghai, covering Western, Asian and local perspectives;
track up-and-coming artists and art investment trends, understand the strategies, and acquire a set of practical skills in collecting contemporary art;
deal with special topics including purchasing art online, documentation, art valuation and art investment from our CSM lecturer, Art Basel senior management team, gallery owners, HKU SPACE academic staff and fly-in academics from Asia and China; and
obtain the latest knowledge through interactive lectures, conversations with local art practitioners and unique experiences at galleries, artists’ studios, museums, and exhibitions.

Programme Overview:

The six modules are as follows:

Module 1. Collecting Contemporary Art
by Central Saint Martins London
16-18 January 2015, Friday to Sunday

Module 2. Contemporary Art Scene: Marketplace and Trends
24 January 2015, Saturday

Module 3. Strategic Art Collecting
31 January 2015, Saturday

Module 4. Managing and Maintaining a Collection
7 February 2015, Saturday

Module 5. Art Hunting in Hong Kong
7 March 2015, Saturday

Module 6. Exclusive Art Walk during Art Basel Show
Hong Kong, 14-17 March 2015

  • Date: January to March 2015
  • Eight days (including a three-day module delivered by a Central Saint Martins lecturer, and a suite of five one-day modules led by HKU SPACE and industry experts from Hong Kong, Europe, Asia and China)
  • Teaching Venue: 6/F., United Centre, Admiralty (Admiralty MTR Station Exit D)
  • Tuition fee: HK$29,000 (Discount of HK$2,000 for early-bird or group enrolment, or HKU SPACE-CSM Executive Series alumni)
  • Medium of Instruction: English
  • Maximum Number of Places: 25

Programme Enquiries:
+852 2910 7645 / +852 2910 7626

Notes to Editors:

About HKU SPACE International College
With the motto ‘Education with a Global Vision’, HKU SPACE International College (IC) was first established in 2003 to offer full-time degree programmes. In the 2014/15 academic year, IC offers more than 30 full-time undergraduate programmes in collaboration with overseas universities. As the demand for postgraduate qualifications is on the rise in Hong Kong and the region, IC now offers a number of full-time postgraduate diploma and master’s programmes, catering to the need of degree holders. Since 2011, IC has been working in partnership with Central Saint Martins (CSM), University of the Arts London to introduce executive courses ranging from branding to creative studies for senior executives. IC’s latest developments include the launch of a new executive education series on leadership and presentation with the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama (RCSSD), the University of London since 2014, and a new executive programme on collecting contemporary art with CSM and Art Basel.

About Central Saint Martins
Central Saint Martins is one of the world’s leading centres for art and design education, a reputation based around the achievements of its graduates and the creative energy of its current staff and students. CSM students and staff are continually curious and always restless in developing beyond the accepted norms of their subject. This forward-looking approach places Central Saint Martins at the heart of London’s dynamic creative scene. With its 150 years of history, CSM’s famous alumni include some of the most important British and international artists from famous painters such as Lucien Freud and Frank Auerbach who studied fine art at Saint Martin’s in the middle of the 20th century; to Sir James Dyson, the industrial designer and founder of Dyson Industries; A.S. Byatt, the British author; Colin Firth, the actor and winner of BAFTA’s Best Actor Award and to the latest wave of the world’s celebrated designers including Katharine Hamnett, Marc Jacobs, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney.

About Art Basel 
Art Basel stages the world’s premier art shows for Modern and contemporary works, sited in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in its participating galleries, artworks presented, and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions for each edition. In addition to ambitious stands featuring leading galleries from around the world, each show’s exhibition sectors spotlight the latest developments in the visual arts, offering visitors new ideas, new inspiration and new contacts in the art world.

Please visit for additional information.

Media Enquiries:

HKU SPACE: Ms. Emily Chu/ Ms. Vicki Wan
Tel.:              +852 2975 5854/ +852 2910 7689

Art Basel:     Dorothee Dines 
Tel.:              +41 58 206 27 06