Upgrading Art Industry on West Bund Integrating with the Global LE FREEPORT Service System

Source:West Bund Media Center

In the afternoon on March 27, Shanghai West Bund Development Group Co., Ltd., and Euroasia Investment Group, a globally renowned art logistics provider, signed an agreement of cooperation on the LE FREEPORT|Shanghai|West Bund at the Xuhui Waterfront. The document aligns the parties’ mutual agreement on the three-year collaboration to establish the LE FREEPORT|Shanghai|West Bund as China’s first comprehensive fine arts bonded-storage and service platform to be integrated into the global LE FREEPORT service system.

Following the successful collaboration on Phase 1 of the West Bund Fine Art Storage project in 2013, the LE FREEPORT|Shanghai|West Bund project is an important strategic move to reinforce and extend the industrial service chain in support of the arts. It is also a new stage of development for the Xuhui Waterfront, signifying that the area has advanced to a stage where it can contribute functional planning for the art industry.

The LE FREEPORT|Shanghai|West Bund collaboration also represents Xuhui District’s efforts to proactively meet the development requirements of the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone. It will benefit the new series of industry restructuring activities in Xuhui District, encourage local involvement and leadership in international economic cooperation and competition, and drive globalization of domestic art and related industries.

According to the guidelinesfor the regional culture-oriented and industry-focused development strategy and in line with the branding strategy adopted by the Xuhui government for the West Bund Culture Corridor project, West Bund Development Group initiated planning for the art industrial chain in 2012. In March, 2014, Phase 1 of the West Bund Fine Art Storage project was completed and put into operation.The project is co-operated and managed by Singapore Le Freeport Management Pte, Ltd., an international fine art storage and equipment management company affiliated with Euroasia Investment Group. With the in-storage of the Ming Dynasty "Chicken Cup,” the project officially launched. In August of that year, the project was included in the first batch of replicable and promotable projects operating out of Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone.

With high-performance facilities in China and an international management team, West Bund Art Storage has had a busy first year, hosting many cultural events and organizations. West Bund Art Storage provided custom bonded and other storage services for over 200 art pieces from more than 30 international organizations, including Long Museum, Yuz Museum, West Bund Art and Design, Design Shanghai, and Sotheby's.

Compared to China’s domestic fine art trade and its emerging art market, art support services such as storage and logistics are still growing slowly. From the perspective of the global fine art industry, in order to meet robust market demand for professionalism and management, it is crucial to have a portfolio of professional services in global art trading, exhibition, and cultural exchange. According to preliminary statistics, turnover of artworks and valuable goods at Euroasia Investment SA exceeds 10,000 pieces annually. Euroasia Investment Group continues to build up its global service network and proactively plan projects in important cities like Paris and Dubai. The Group also has projects in three operational free ports in Geneva, Singapore, and Luxembourg.

The idea for the LE FREEPORT|Shanghai|West Bund Project originated as a win-win prospect for the domestic fine art industry. The project represents an all-around upgrade to other existing cooperative projects.

The LE FREEPORT|Shanghai|West Bund project will be co-invested and co-managed by Shanghai West Bund Development Group Co., Ltd. and Euroasia Investment Group. The venue will be located in the core area of the Xuhui Waterfront. Plans include a floor area of over 25,000 square meters. Planning and design of the venue are expected to be completed by the end of 2015 and launched in 2016. In terms ofbonded storage and logistics service functions, the LE FREEPORT|Shanghai|West Bund project will further explore functional services such as professional displaysfor large-scale international art exhibitions, the bonded storage operations, and financial support services related tointernational fine art markets.

As part of the global LE FREEPORT service system, the LE FREEPORT|Shanghai|West Bund Project will provide a safe, convenient, and efficient storage environments and logistics services for collectors and art organizations in China. It will also enhance bonded exhibitions and circulation among the most important art zones. The LE FREEPORT|Shanghai|West Bund will accelerate West Bund’s progress towards becoming the preferred landing place forinternationalartwork. It will also help turn Xuhui Waterfront into a central playerin international fine art trade. The convenience of LE FREEPORT services will enhance both cultural exchange andthe globalizationof the domestic art trade.