Masterpiece, the London-based art fair that spans modern and contemporary art as well as antiquities and jewellery, announced on Friday that it will be expanding to Hong Kong. Its international expansion efforts beyond London have long been anticipated since receiving an investment from Art Basel parent company MCH Group.
The Hong Kong operation will not simply be a new independent fair, but will look to take over a pavilion within Fine Art Asia in Hong Kong from October 4-7 as part of a long-term partnership with the Hong Kong fair. The partnership will also invite Fine Art Asia to have a similar but smaller presence at Masterpiece London in June later this year, as well as a group exhibition on a shared stand.
The Masterpiece Pavilion at Fine Art Asia 2019 intends to occupy a large enough space that hosts around 25 exhibitors in individual stands, with some pairing up. Masterpiece’s managing director, Lucie Kitchener, said that “it is not a fair within a fair, it is very much an event within Fine Art Asia. The Masterpiece Pavilion will have its own identity but it is part of Fine Art Asia.”
MCH Group bought a majority stake in Masterpiece London in December 2017 and announced that the event “holds great development potential as it can be staged at additional locations in the US, Asia and the Middle East.”
This careful approach comes after the group announced cuts to its portfolio in November of last year, when they announced that they will be abandoning a relatively new initiative to launch regional art fairs around the world. Instead, they said they would look to invest more on the three Art Basel fairs in Miami Beach, Basel, and Hong Kong; Masterpiece, Design Miami, Baselworld and Grand Basel. The cuts were attributed to tremendous losses at Baselworld, estimated to be over $100 million.