Hugo Weihe, former International Director of Asian Art at Christie’s, joined Saffronart as its CEO from July 1, 2015. A leading figure on Indian art and antiquities, Weihe will oversee Saffronart’s bases in Mumbai, New Delhi, New York and London.
Internationally considered as one of the foremost experts in the field of Asian art, Weihe was brought on board to Christie’s from Sotheby’s in 1998 to establish the department of Indian and Southeast Asian Art from inception. Within a year, he was heading Christie’s Asian Art department in the Americas, and eventually the entire global department. During his time there, Weihe was instrumental in catapulting Christie’s Asian Art department and specifically the Indian department, to a market leadership position, largely due to his carefully curated shows, sourcing of exceptional masterpieces from various important collections, innovative business sense and detailed knowledge of the market. Under his leadership, Christie’s achieved numerous record breaking prices. In December 2013, following Weihe’s proposal, Christie’s realized its first auction sale in Mumbai.
Weihe’s career began as a part-time assistant at Galerie Dobiaschof in Berne, Switzerland, while he simultaneously pursued a degree in the History of Art, Asian Art and Musicology at the University of Zurich. Wiehe went on to attain a Ph.D as well, and authored a book Die Ware Kunst (Art as Commodity) in 1989. In the early 90s, Weihe was the publisher of Artibus Asiae, an important scholarly journal in the field of Asian art, based at the Museum Rietberg Zurich, in collaboration with the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C. His impressive resume also includes stints at Galerie Koller Auctioneers and the Swiss Institute for Art Research in Zurich.
In 1995, Weihe was hired as a specialist in the Chinese Works of Art Department at Sotheby’s New York, a position he held for the next three years. He was responsible for sourcing and cataloguing a broad range of Chinese works of art, including Qing ceramics, Ming furniture, Tang pottery, Shang bronzes, among many categories. During this time, he established the first world record for furniture with a Ming folding chair in 1996.
Weihe has been a longstanding advisor and friend to prominent private collectors worldwide. He has appeared as a panellist and moderator for discussions on South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art, including conducting interviews with artists and collectors, at various international venues and art fairs.
Now, as Weihe joins Saffronart, he embarks on a journey to establish Saffronart as the pre- eminent market leader across categories. His leadership is a step towards amplifying Saffronart’s presence as the top tier auction house for fine art and collectibles in India, as well as globally.