Hong Kong’s Fine Art Asia fair organisers have announced that they will launch ‘Guardian Fine Art Asia’ (GFAA), the Beijing edition of the event, in May this year.
The news comes just two months after TEFAF ruled out their hoped-for Beijing fixture as "not viable at the current time" largely, it is thought, because dealers baulked at the costs and red tape involved.
However, Art & Antique International Fair Ltd (AAIF), founded in 2006 by Hong Kong antique Chinese furniture dealer Andy Hei, hope to smooth the way for exhibitors by going into partnership with Chinese auction house Guardian Beijing, a necessary step if the May 28-June 1 venture is to succeed.
Guardian Fine Art Asia (GFAA), held in association with the China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), will be organised by the Ministry of Commerce of the PRC and the People's Government of Beijing Municipality, and supported by The World Trade Organisation.
Mr Hei has run his international art and antiques fair, now named Fine Art Asia, in Hong Kong since 2006. In 2011 Calvin Hui, an Asian contemporary art collector and promoter, joined Fine Art Asia as co-chairman and director and Fine Art Asia 2014 (October 4-7) will be the tenth edition of the fair.
"It is our honour to co-present GFAA, an expansion of Fine Art Asia, with excellent support from art experts and professionals in Beijing," said Mr Hui last week.
Although the news was officially embargoed until this week, Mr Hui broke the news of the Beijing fair on February 11 at a panel discussion, hosted by Fine Art Asia at The Fine Art Society in London, on "why it's crucial to have a presence in the Chinese market".
When questioned as to why he thought Fine Art Asia could succeed where TEFAF Beijing, a planned collaboration between TEFAF Maastricht and Sotheby's Joint Venture in Beijing with GeHua, had so far failed, Mr Hui said: "Fundamentally, we are the home team."
One of the main obstacles facing Western dealers attending such an event has been the hefty import and sales tax placed on goods entering Mainland China.
However, Mr Hui told ATG: "Dealers will ship their goods to Hong Kong where Fine Art Asia, as the organiser of GFAA, will consolidate all the dealers' goods into one shipment which will be shipped to Beijing by our official shipper. There will not be any import tax or guarantee deposit required from the dealer.
"Regarding sales tax, it is commonly known that between 17.5% and 40% sales tax will be charged for transactions in China, no matter who you are."