Moving to Hong Kong, or just moving house within the city might involve moving precious pieces of art in prime condition –and it is no walk in the park. The fine art landscape has evolved over recent years in Hong Kong and Asia. For instance, in 2016, more art and antiques were sold by value in mainland China than anywhere else in the world. With art week around the corner, the number of buyers in Hong Kong is set to grow too, and many of them will be wondering how to handle their new art pieces to preserve their quality and value. Here’s some advice on packing paintings and other artworks.
According to TOMMY K.C. CHAN, Director of Crown Fine Art Hong Kong & Macau, when it comes to transportation or storage of your precious belongings, there are plenty of reasons why you want to leave it to experts.
Art fairs and auctions have been around for a while, but online marketplaces are changing the way art is consumed and produced, according to Artfinder’s inaugural art market report. The platform for independent artists claims that the art market is being democratised for buyers and sellers thanks to growing online sales.
Artfinder reports significant shifting consumer demographics, too – with a 50 percent increase in sales among under-34-year olds in the first half of 2017. That’s a lot of art to move and care for!
Depending on your needs, the climate your art piece has been kept in, or its dimensions, you need a dedicated fine-art logistics company that understands and recognises that every work of art is unique, and therefore requires special packing, crating, handling and transportation or secured storage.
Packing & Crating
It’s important your artwork is packed with acid-free material. Most valuable collections will also require crating. Make sure your provider has an in-house crating team experienced in bespoke crates based on the specific requirements of the artwork.
Transportation & Storage
In the mainly tropical, hot and humid all-year-round climate of Southeast Asia, it’s crucial to have specialised air-conditioned transportation to handle delicate artworks. Trucks must be equipped with Air Ride suspension and GPS systems. For large and heavy items, you need a hoisting team that is thoroughly prepared and ready to take up the challenge.
Just like the storage of fine wine, storage of artworks is regulated, and the chosen facility should have renowned certification. Make sure your art storage company is certified with GRASP (Global Risk Assessment Platform), a riskassessment system for evaluating warehouse and museum facilities, which includes proper design and construction, manned and electronic security, environmental control or contingency and emergency planning.
Installation & Beyond
If you’ve just purchased a new artwork or moved to a new home, don’t leave the installation of a valuable piece to a handyman. Make sure your artwork is installed by a “white glove” handling team.
Last, but not least, if you’re already a long-term collector, you may be interested in exploring other services, from the restoring or appraisal of artwork, to framing, stretching and unstretching.
This article first appeared in the February/March 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.
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