Alexandre Colliex

Director, ACO consulting /Manifesto (France)

Alexandre Colliex is an alumnus of the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure, the elite arts and humanities “Grande Ecole” in France. He holds an Agrégation, the University teaching degree, in English literature as well as a BA in History. He wrote his Master dissertation in Art history on the painting of Francis Bacon at Emmanuel College – Cambridge University. He served as advisor on the private staff of the French Minister of foreign trade and was then appointed Cultural attaché at the French embassy in Canada, based in Toronto. On his return to France he was director of International relations for the Pays de la Loire region and then Head of international exhibitions and projects at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. In this capacity he organized a number of high profile exhibitions in the US (Milwaukee, Nashville, Seattle, OKC…) as well as innovative cultural partnerships abroad (Saudi Arabia, South Africa…). He was directly involved in negotiating the first branch of the Pompidou abroad. More recently, he was managing director of the Giacometti Foundation in Paris and director of the CTF Art Museum project, the first privately funded contemporary art museum in Hong Kong where he is still active with arts and exhibition projects. Alexandre Colliex who was a guest speaker at BYU in 2017 is curating exhibitions in Morocco.

The rise of private museums in Asia

I will strive to share my professional experience in the world of museums and their new global strategies starting with my 7 year term as head of international projects at the Pompidou in Paris. I was tasked with conceiving and implementing the global strategy of the institution and that included drafting a roadmap of the key countries and metropolises in the fast-moving global art and culture scene. I will want to share the experience of partnering with Saudi Aramco, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia on the first-ever contemporary art exhibition in the kingdom and how it has heralded the opening of their gigantic cultural centre in Dhahran. The Gulf is obviously one of those new cultural hubs and the building of national art institutions is a crucial component of the nation-building and branding in that region. I have recently been involved in projects with the Qatar museum authority as well as the Louvre Abu Dhabi and will share insights into those strategies. More recently, I have been overseeing a private museum under construction in a large-scale urban development project in Hong Kong. The mix of entertainment, real estate, retail and corporate branding in those projects which look up to the Louis Vuitton Foundation is a major feature of museum projects in Asia. Beyond Hong Kong, the major Chinese cities (Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen ...) all have extremely ambitious projects which I will want to highlight. And now beyond China, new museums are part of the privately funded strategies in countries such as Indonesia or the Philippines where I now work for young developers who include art and museum structures in their own commercial strategies.