The Biennale des Antiquaires is the oldest fair of art held in France every two years. The European economic crisis and the emerging economies mostly in Asia has shifted the balance of economic power and the Biennale is shifting its focus accordingly. The Paris Biennale was held last year in September which was designed, decorated and managed by Karl Lagerfeld and it was decided during the event that from now on mini fairs will be held in alternating years, when the French show doesn’t take place, in new locations such as Hong Kong along with Istanbul, Moscow and New York.
The first of such mini Biennale is scheduled to be held at Hong Kong. It is the gateway to China which is producing millionaires and billionaires at the fastest rate and the Biennale hopes to benefit from their burgeoning wealth. The high profile event is organized by Syndicat des Antiquaires which is an organization of French dealers who use the event as a platform to showcase the finest pieces available in the market. Christian Deydier, president of the Syndicat des Antiquaires believes that the organization has to be proactive. It cannot afford to wait for the people to come to them; instead they need to make that extra effort to go to the people. And that’s why it was decided to hold mini Biennale at important locations around the world.
Hong Kong has developed into an important international art market and has the potential to grow further backed by the rich Chinese and their growing interest in luxury and art. Deydier explained that this is what prompted them to take a scaled down version of the Biennale, world’s most expensive art fair, to Hong Kong. Netherlands- based European Fine Art Foundation that keeps track of the art markets around the world reported that China has overtaken the US to become the world’s largest art and antiques market and they naturally deserve an International art fair. The Hong Kong fair will be held in October 2013 and the details like a suitable venue are still being worked out. One should not be surprised if the Hong Kong fair grows to become the central fair in the years to come.