All posts filed under: Collector

Octavia Fox

Food historian Octavia Fox talks about three of her favourite pieces in her collection. Antonio Casadei was an Italian artist working in Hong Kong during the 60s and 70s. His name is now little known but you would have walked past his work on numerous occasions: the ceramic screens in Statue Square are his, as are the back-lit glass wall in the lobby of the St George’s Building and the public sculptures in Mei Foo Sun Chuen. I think he was a great ceramicist and he must have had a substantial kiln somewhere in Hong Kong to produce works like the chunky bas reliefs which once graced the lobbies of the Prince’s Building. I have two of his paintings, which my father bought when Casadei was selling art door to door – most probably on his arrival in 1962. These paintings must have been produced in Italy before his arrival but they are, for me, very much a part of that era in Hong Kong. Eizō Katō was a Japanese landscape artist who worked in both Hong Kong and Japan. …

Liz Lau

Ceramics maker and LUMP Studio owner Liz Lau talks about three works by local artists in her collection. Chris Lo Sze Lim became my ceramics teacher when I moved back to Hong Kong from London in 2015. He was a generous and invaluable advisor when I was planning the opening of my own workshop, LUMP Studio, and we have worked closely since then on the Hong Kong Dragon Kiln Concern Group, which is dedicated to the preservation of an 80-year-old, 20-metre-long outdoor ceramic kiln in Tuen Mun. I love Chris’s works because they are full of the ebb and flow of emotion. This piece was made for his last solo exhibition in Hong Kong, in 2016. It tells a beautiful, bittersweet story of Ah Bo the stuffed koala bear. Chris used to take Ah Bo everywhere and loved pressing his face into its round head. One day, more tired and stressed then usual, his mom was tidying around the house when she found Ah Bo under the couch. Frustrated by the mess, she ripped Ah Bo’s head clean …

Michelle Garnaut

Founder and CEO of the M Restaurant Group Michelle Garnaut talks about three of her favourite pieces in her collection. One of my first pieces of art was Yau Leung’s Dai Pai Dong 1960. It was a present from my brother-in-law in the late 90s. The photograph came with a catalogue of Leung’s works from the 60s and 70s. My brother-in-law got to know Yau Leung while working with [graphic design pioneer] Henry Steiner. Asking my brother-in-law about the piece again for this article, I discovered that the photograph was printed by Leung himself. Dai Pai Dong 1960 is a such classic Hong Kong scene, looking down at a dai pai dong with everybody sitting around tables eating. My first encounter with Yeung Tong Lung was when he painted the murals at my former restaurant M at the Fringe, which opened in 1989 at the Fringe Club. Not being able to make a living from his art meant he had to take on commercial work and in this case he recreated Michelangelo nudes. About 10 years …

Whitney Ferrare

Pace Gallery senior director Whitney Ferrare introduces three Hong Kong pieces from her collection.  When I was approached by the editor of Artomity about potentially discussing works in my private collection, I was apprehensive whether it would be viewed as a conflict of interest. The secret would be out that, as a gallerist, I was also a collector. It began at 10 years old in Hong Kong, when I pushed my mother to acquire a work depicting three women by Walasse Ting for my bedroom – a rather exorbitant demand for a kid, but the stage was set. My high school dormitory room was filled to the brim with my own renditions of Pollock paintings, and eventually the first work I paid for was a 19th-century water jug from Afghanistan. I paid for it in instalments, something I still do to this day. There’s a myth that working in the art world means you are sure to have access to desirable works, but it’s been challenging to have the word “dealer” marking my fate like some archaic scarlet letter. In …

Amna Naqvi

Supporter of the arts, collector and philanthropist Amna Naqvi talks about two commissioned pieces in her collection. Untitled is an installation that was commissioned from the Hong Kong-based artist Tsang Kin-Wah in 2012. Both my husband Ali and I’d been noticing Kin-Wah’s work in Hong Kong for some time. For me the appeal lay in his use of text as a leitmotif. We were on an Asia Art Archive Collectors Circle trip to Seoul in 2011 and it proved to be the turning point for this acquisition. We visited Leeum museum in Seoul, came upon Kin-Wah’s text on the glass cladding of the museum, and I was mesmerised by the sheer scale of the installation. We both decided that a commissioned work would be best as we would prefer the possibility of an installation rather than a painting. We invited Kin-Wah home for a discussion with Jehan Chu, who helped us with the commission. We came up with the idea of a folding blue and white chinoiserie-inspired screen which would be manifested as a single work of art but with the …

Yuk King Tan and Tobias Berger

Artist Yuk King Tan and her husband, head of art at Tai Kwun Tobias Berger, talk about three of their favourite pieces in their collection. All of the art work we have tells stories about countries that we live in, our friends and our shared history. Some of the work makes the audience reconsider its belief structures, opening up different ways of contemplating the world. Art is such a unique and challenging form of communication. It’s important to have pieces that inform the way we work and also shift how we perceive our surroundings and community. Three really interesting, intelligent artists in Hong Kong right now are Ho Sin Tung, Nadim Abbas and Leung Chi Wo. Ho Sin Tung has a lyrical, idiosyncratic illustrative style that uses a sociological perspective to examine the way memory, aesthetics, literature and filmscapes can create and mythologise a changing territory like Hong Kong. Her drawing style, with maps and seating plans, uses a muted colour palette and distorted viewpoints to make work that is suggestive, beautiful and often quietly subversive. Your Name is Ferdinand (2010) is a delicate pencil and …

Justin Kennedy

Pizza Express founder Justin Kennedy talks about three of his favourite works from his collection. I first encountered Michael Wolf’s work in a gallery in Shanghai. From a distance I saw an image depicting a beautiful geometric pattern. I thought this was an abstract print – it was only when I got closer that I realised it was a photograph of a Hong Kong public housing estate. Closer still the geometric regularity gave way to the irregular signs of human habitation. The residents of the flats had adapted each unit to their needs and each had left unique signs of their occupation. These were buildings that I had passed many times, but only through Michael’s framing was I able to see their elemental beauty. Over the next few years I bought quite a few of Michael’s pieces both for my home and the Pizza Express restaurants that we were building at that time. The last piece that I bought was this one, a119, which depicts the inner courtyard of a building in Quarry Bay. This work …

Caroline Chiu & Paul Aiello

Caroline Chiu, RTHK Radio 4 presenter and art critic with her husband Paul Aiello, discusses three of her favourite pieces from their collection. Chiu saw Chris Huen Sin Kan’s solo exhibition Out of the Ordinary at Gallery Exit in 2015. His ease with painting on a large scale, his sense of allowing white space to exist, without having to fill every inch of the canvas up, exuded confidence. In that show, there was a painting where his girlfriend, now wife, was sitting on Shek O beach. Chiu fell in love with the abstractness of it, but it had already sold. Chiu had bought and renovated an old village house in Shek O and was living there with her family. Falling in love with the location, she began to think about commissioning Hong Kong artists to explore it as an art subject. She visited Shek O Headland with Huen in spring 2016, showing him the most southeasterly point of Hong Kong island, a small outcrop of rock surrounded by the roaring sea. Chiu visited Huen’s studio in July …

William Lim

Architect William Lim discusses four of his favourite works from his collection. William Lim had known Samson Young as a musician, but first saw his art at the 2013 Para Site exhibition A Journal of the Plague Year. Fear, ghosts, rebels. SARS, Leslie and the Hong Kong story. Young had intended the piece on show, Liquid Borders 1, to be a series of four works. Lim was intrigued by the idea that Young wanted to record the sound along the border between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Young was working with AM Space gallery at the time, and Lim ended up collecting Liquid Borders 1, 2 and 3. These works are constantly lent out to exhibitions, with Lim happy to share works from his collection to promote Hong Kong artists. This year Young will represent Hong Kong at the Venice Biennale. He works with three galleries internationally, and Lim continues to buy his works from all of them. Lim aims to collect the works of artists he likes at key turning points in their careers, but …

Sylvain & Dominique Levy

Sylvain Levy, co-founder with his wife Dominique of DSL Collection, chooses his favourite pieces from their collection. Levy nominates Untitled  Calligraphy by Tsang Tsou Choi as the most iconic work by a Hong Kong artist in the collection. Known as the King of Kowloon, the artist, who was often mistaken for a homeless person, wrote critical messages on walls and utility boxes around the city. He went on to become Hong Kong’s most recognised artist, with his calligraphy displayed at the Venice Biennale in 2003. This piece was included in the seminal solo exhibition The Street Calligraphy of Kowloon Emperor at the Hong Kong Arts Centre in 1997. Its historical significance meant the Levys were particularly happy to have it in their collection. Another artist that symbolises Hong Kong for them is Chow Chun Fai. They were introduced to the artist by Roberto Ceresia from Aike-DellArco and Aenon Loo from Gallery Exit, and immediately felt a connection to Chow’s works. Levy also remembers visiting the artist’s studio and being impressed. He and Dominique have always …