Chinese billionaire and art patron Adrian Cheng unveiled a new retail concept in Shanghai last week – a mall where art meets luxury shopping. He launched his new K11 mall (which includes a dedicated art space) with a 45 minute multimedia performance by Ryoji Akeda, saying “sound art is very avant garde.”
Cheng plans to roll out 19 art/shopping malls over the next five years, despite a slowdown in the Chinese economy and a government-led austerity drive that has led some analysts to caution against expansion. He says China's luxury market is multi-layered and the ultra-luxury market, which he is targeting with his new retail concept, is resilient.
His faith in the ultra-luxury market was evident at Art Basel Hong Kong where, with Modern Media's Thomas Shao, he hosted a champagne-fueled, celebrity-studded post-vernissage party at the Grand Hyatt.
Image: Ryoji Akeda's performance at the K11 shopping mall, Shanghai