Adrien Chang, a young Hong Kong heir, has been reigning supreme over an empire for several years. By inventing the concept of creating a museum within a shopping mall, combining luxury and contemporary art, he has made sure he has made a place for himself in the art world. Who is Adrien Cheng really?
Adrien Cheng, the most influential collector
Ranked 12th on ArtReview's list of the 100 most influential people in the art world, adrian Cheng is considered the most influential collector in the world in 2020. He is ahead of American Pamela Joyner (13th) and French Vincent Warmes (28th). He entered the rankings in 2014 and has risen 61 places in one year, with no sign of his aura waning.
Adrian Cheng has made a name for himself with his foundation, the K11 Art Foundation, which plays an important role in promoting emerging art in China. K11 was originally a giant shopping mall founded by the New World Development Company in the heart of Hong Kong.
Head of a powerful conglomerate
Founded by Adrian Chen's grandfather, it is a powerful conglomerate specialise in real estate, logistics and transport (a fortune that amounted to 76 billion dollars as of 31 December 2019) that he heads. Born in 1979 (39 years old) and a graduate of Harvard University, this young Chinese businessman is today at the head of a family empire that includes Chow Tai Fook, a company specialise in jewellery and watches.
Through the K11 Foundation, which he set up in 2010, he promotes art activities in shopping malls (including a sculpture by Urs Fischer) and has partnerships with museums and institutions such as the Palace of Tokyo in Paris and the Institute of Contemporary Art in London.
Adrien Cheng has combined business and art in ingenious ways. For example, he has installed artworks in shopping malls and introduced the innovative concept of the museum enterprise, but always with a French twist. In recognition of his contribution to France, the government awarded him the Order of Arts and Culture.