The Chinese billionaire Adrian Cheng, who founded the non-profit K11 Art Foundation in 2010, plans to build 17 new shopping malls, which will also double up as exhibition and gallery spaces.
Cheng’s New World Development Company already runs shopping centres in Shanghai and Hong Kong, with works by artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Damien Hirst and Yoshitomo Nara dotted around the store aisles.
A spokesman for Cheng says: “We have 19 projects planned under the K11 brand, all of which are in China. When I say project, it includes mostly museum- retail art malls and also offices. Hong Kong and Shanghai are both in operation, so the remainder will be ready by 2020, and indeed, all will show art.”
An exhibition of works by Salvador Dalí, on loan from the Spanish-based Fundación Gala-Salvador Dalí, is due to open at the chi K11 art space in the basement of the K11 art mall in Shanghai later this year (5 November-15 February 2016).
Meanwhile, the K11 Art Foundation and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London are collaborating on a series of exhibitions in a bid to foster cultural exchange between the UK capital and China. The partnership kicks off with an exhibition of works by Zhang Ding, which opens at the ICA on 12 October (until 25 October).
Cheng is worth an estimated $1.4bn according to the website Wealthx.com, which recently included the philanthropist in a list of the world’s top 20 billionaires aged under 35.