On 10 February, international fine art gallery Hauser & Wirth announced the appointment of Elaine Kwok as new Managing Partner in Asia.
In the newly created role, Kwok will be responsible for developing a client base and relations with institutions in the region. Based in Hong Kong, she will report to Hauser & Wirth’s global CEO, Ewan Venters.
Currently, she is Principal Auctioneer at Christie’s Hong Kong and will assume her new position this summer. Since 2017, she worked with top clients in China and acted as Principal Auctioneer in many marquee evening auctions. Kwok also worked in various business development roles in the international auction house for 10 years.
She earned her two Master’s degrees from Stanford Graduate School of Business and from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Hauser & Wirth's newly appointed Managing Partner obtained her Bachelor of Arts in History and Literature from Harvard University. Her father, Peter Kwok, is a prominent financial tycoon and was a Chairman of Citic Resources Holdings.
At the start of her career, Kwok worked as a Financial Analyst at Goldman Sachs, and then joined The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York as a Development Assistant.
She then worked in various roles in Christie's Hong Kong during a 15-year spell.
In 2007, Kwok was a 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 China auctioneer license exam. Since 2017, she became Principal Auctioneer and Director, 20th and 21st Century Art Department.
Outside of the auction world, Kwok holds an advisory role on the Museum Committee for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department in Hong Kong, and is Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee for Friends of Hong Kong Museum of Art.
She is proficient in Chinese, English and French, as well as having profound knowledge of art and business. Kwok became Christie's first Hong Kong born female auctioneer, and witnessed many stellar auction results.
Su Shi's Wood and Rock was sold at a record HK$463 million (around US$59.4 million) dollars with Kwok as auctioneer | Christie's Hong Kong, November 2018
Su Shi's Wood and Rock
In November 2018, 11th and 12th century Chinese calligrapher and poet, Su Shi's Wood and Rock masterpiece appeared at Christie’s Hong Kong Autumn Sales. During that time, Kwok was responsible as auctioneer and for selling the artwork. In the end, it fetched HK$463 million (around US$59.4 million) dollars, and set a new auction record for Chinese painting and calligraphy in Hong Kong.
With more than 10 years of experience in the art world, Kwok now joins Hauser & Wirth. She will be reporting directly to global CEO, Ewan Venters, as well as working closely with the gallery’s Presidents – Iwan Wirth, Manuela Wirth and Marc Payot. This world-leading gallery was founded in Zurich in 1992, and established a branch in Hong Kong in 2018 – representing more than 90 artists.
Kwok will lead the Asian team, which is expected to further develop the gallery's relationship with Chinese and Asian collectors, public institutions and private museums.
Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong is located at H Queen’s, located in the city's Central District