By: Sebastien Raybaud
11 Feb 2022 | Fri | 19:01
On February 10, the international art gallery Hauser & Wirth announced the appointment of Elaine Kwok as its new managing partner in Asia.
In the newly created role, Kwok will be responsible for developing a clientele and relationships with institutions in the region. Based in Hong Kong, she will report to Hauser & Wirth’s Global CEO, Ewan Venters.
She is currently Senior Auctioneer at Christie’s Hong Kong and will assume her new role this summer. Since 2017, she has worked with top clients in China and acted as lead auctioneer in many evening auctions. Kwok also held various business development positions at the international auction house for 10 years.
She obtained her two master’s degrees at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Hauser & Wirth’s new managing partner earned her Bachelor of Arts in History and Literature from Harvard University. Her father, Peter Kwok, is a prominent finance tycoon and was chairman of Citic Resources Holdings.
Early in her career, Kwok worked as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs, then joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as a development assistant.
She then worked in various roles at Christie’s Hong Kong for 15 years.
In 2007, Kwok was Business Manager. Four years later, in 2011, she launched and led Christie’s Education in Asia for six years as part of the auction house’s expansion into mainland China. In 2015, Kwok became the first Christie’s auctioneer to pass the auctioneer license exam in China. Since 2017, she has been Senior Auctioneer and Head of the 20th and 21st Century Art Department.
Outside of the auction world, Kwok holds an advisory role on the Museum Committee for the Department of Recreation and Cultural Services in Hong Kong and is Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of Friends of the Hong Kong Art Museum. .
She is fluent in Chinese, English and French, as well as a deep knowledge of art and business. Kwok became Christie’s first Hong Kong-born female auctioneer and witnessed many outstanding auction results.
Su Shi’s Wood and Rock was sold for a record HK$463 million (about US$59.4 million) with Kwok as auctioneer | Christie’s Hong Kong, November 2018
Su Shi’s Wood and Rock
In November 2018, Chinese calligrapher and poet of the 11th and 12th centuries, Su Shi’s Wood and Rock masterpiece appeared at Christie’s autumn sales in Hong Kong. During this time, Kwok was responsible as an auctioneer and selling the artworks. In the end, it grossed HK$463 million (about US$59.4 million) and set a new auction record for Chinese painting and calligraphy in Hong Kong.
With over 10 years of experience in the art world, Kwok now joins Hauser & Wirth. She will report directly to the Global CEO, Ewan Venters, and work closely with the Gallery’s Presidents – Iwan Wirth, Manuela Wirth and Marc Payot. This world-renowned gallery was founded in Zurich in 1992 and established a branch in Hong Kong in 2018 – representing over 90 artists.
Kwok will lead the Asian team, which is expected to further develop the gallery’s relationships with Chinese and Asian collectors, public institutions and private museums.
Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong is located at H Queen’s, located in the central district of the city