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Oldest Japanese auction house Est-Ouest lands in HK
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Japan's oldest auction house, Est-Ouest Auctions, which opened recently in Hong Kong, launched a two-day auction series in Hong Kong Monday.

Est-Ouest is the first auction house from Japan to hold sales in Hong Kong. The sales featured over 500 lots of the top artworks from categories of Asian Postwar, Contemporary Art, Western Art and Jewelry and Chinese Contemporary.

Founded in 1984, Est-Ouest has evolved from its roots as experts in art nouveau and art deco objects into the leading seller of postwar and contemporary art in Japan, with an emphasis on Japanese contemporary art.

With sales from May 2007 to April 2008 totaling almost 150 million HK dollars (about 19.23 million US dollars) just for contemporary art, the company holds the lead position in Japan's auction market for this category. It is also well known for having the world's top market share and price records for the art nouveau and art deco glasses category.

Takashi Seki, President of Est-Ouest, said, "Est-Ouest's international reach will further develop with our new Hong Kong presence and the launch of our auction series. At the same time, we can help promote Japanese art and culture to other parts of the region."

Seki also said the low and simple tax system in Hong Kong very beneficial to their business. "Our customers will pay less if our auction is held here. Also, it will be easier for them to predict how much tax they have to pay with such a simple and transparent system," he said.

Charles Ng, Associate Director-General of Investment Promotion, welcomed the arrival of another leading auction house to Hong Kong.

Ng said that earlier this year, Invest Hong Kong assisted a leading UK auction house to organize its inaugural wine auction following its establishment in Hong Kong last year. And now, with the opening of Est-Ouest in Hong Kong, the city's role as the regional auction hub would be further enhanced.

(Xinhua News Agency November 24, 2008)

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