Art and Real Estate

by | Apr 14, 2015

Using art to promote business is not a new trend. Companies have been collaborating with artists and art institutions for many years. Among these companies, there are property and real estate developers that support the arts in different ways to promote their business or to increase their added value to the customers. One example of large investment in art we can see at the recent ArtBasel Hong Kong, where property developers hosted professional discussions and collaborated with artists to present installations.

Swire Properties, which has supported ArtBasel HK for the last three years, showcased a multimedia corporate lounge at the show in Hong Kong. Besides their activities in Swire Organization for Youth Arts (SOYA) to promote arts and culture in Hong Kong and mainland China, this year Swire Properties collaborated with international cultural brand Liberatum to produce the short film Artistry and Technology (by Pablo Ganguli and Tomas Auksas), which promotes dialogues in art and technology. You can watch the film here:

Hong Kong Land, one of the mega developers in HK, supported and hosted two exhibitions. The first one, Take Another View on Art, shared with the public important artworks by world-renowned artists such as Zao Wou-ki, Marc Chagall, Claude Monet, Zeng Fanzhi, Alex Prager, Simon Birch, and more. The second, Be Inspired in Central, was a large-scale installation by Zhu Jinshi – 18 meters long and 7 meters high, and made of cotton, bamboo, and rice paper.

Zhu Jinshi. Source: Image courtesy of Domus and wallpaper

For more information from the Hong Kong Land ArtBasel media release click here and for the Swire Properties media release click here.

While HK Land and Swire Properties sponsor art fairs and art events, others use art to boost luxury sales.
In places where everyone builds high-end apartments, the competition for differentiation is tough; amenities such as pools, gyms, and golf simulators are not enough to convince potential buyers. The new trend to boost sales in the high-end market is art.

One example is Abi Rosen, principal of RFR Holding, developer, and art collector who combined an art gallery with a high-end luxury apartment sales office. Buy an apartment for $2.3 million to $10 million and take home an artwork such as George Condo’s “Girl with Night Gown” (2007) or Jean-Michel Basquiat’s collage “Hoax” (1983). Having art in the sales office is “an extension of our aesthetic approach towards real estate,” said Mr. Rosen to the New York Times.

RFR runs a gallery named The Level House open to the public. The company’s “world-class public art program was born out of the founders’ belief that merging art with architecture and real estate enriches both the urban landscape and the tenant/visitor experience” said on its website.

While Mr. Rosen created a gallery sales office in New York City, in Miami another real estate developer hired the famous artist Julian Schnabel to design the sales (Stay tuned for this post) office as he wished. Another developer hired a sculptor whose works are being sold for more than $500,000 each to create for each resident an original sculpture for his/her house.

Companies that are looking for interesting and new business collaborations in the real estate world now have professional help. They can hire Culture Corps, which is an advisory firm that provides art acquisitions and site-specific productions.

What the next examples we will see are I don’t know, but I’m curious to see the new creative business collaborations between artists and real estate developers.

Have your own examples? Let us know!


Read about other cross-discipline collaborations with artists and their outcomes in our blog

Interested in bringing this perspective into your own company? Check out The Artian’s trainings!


What can we create together?