Adrian Cheng wears a lot of hats. He's the CEO of New World Development, founder of K11 Group and K11 Craft Guild Foundation, a dedicated collector of contemporary Chinese art, a powerful force on the global art scene, Tatler's Most Influential 2020 honouree and also now an author. For his latest venture, Cheng joins forces with John Dodelande, an entrepreneur and also a prolific collector of contemporary Chinese art, to release a new book, Chinese Art: The Impossible Collection.
The authors describe the book as "an exhibition curated on the printed page", describing it as a personal anthology of works that both Cheng and Dodelande love and admire rather than an encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese art. The oversized volume is part of Assouline's Ultimate Collection and pays homage to the art of luxury bookmaking by using traditional techniques to bind the book—several of the plates are hand-tipped on art-quality paper.
It is then housed in a luxury clamshell, to respectfully showcase the works of art featured in the best, most elevated form, making it a collectible piece in its own right. With such enormous care and craftsmanship dedicated to making it, the book is priced at US$895.
Chinese Art: The Impossible Collection will offer its readers an art-led insight into the new China through its choice of artworks, allowing further exploration of artists' key roles as observers, participants and commentators. Also featured in the book are scholarly introductions and captions by art historians and critics including Philip Tinari, Alexandra Munroe and Karen Smith.
Furthermore, some of the artists featured in the book will be invited to paint a single clamshell for the tome later this year. The cases and the book inside will become one-off artworks and the unique copies will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.