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Archive for the ‘Corporate collectors’ Category

A testimonial for Chinese contemporary art – Art Radar speaks with Weng Ling

Posted by artradar on August 31, 2010


ART PROFESSIONALS CHINESE CONTEMPORARY ART ART HISTORY

Weng Ling has been an essential figure over the course of Chinese contemporary art history. Since graduating in art history from the Central Academy of Fine Art (CAFA) in 1989, she has achieved much. In this Art Radar interview, Weng outlines the relationship, as she sees it, between fashion and art and demystifies the perception of her as a “fashion-forward person”, as well as providing insight into the day-to-day activities involved in creating a television art show and running a premier art institution.

She was named director of the Gallery of the Central Academy of Fine Art in 1996, where the likes of Wang Guangyi and Zhang Xiaogang had their first solo shows. In 2001, she curated a breakthrough show called “Towards a New Image: Twenty Years of Chinese Contemporary Painting – 1981-2001”. For the first time, a canon of Chinese contemporary artists showed their works at national museums in China. In 2002, she helped curate the Shanghai Biennale “Urban Creation”. She then moved on to the Shanghai Gallery of Art at Three-on-the-Bund, a high-end lifestyle project backed by Chinese American lawyer and entrepreneur Handel Lee. The gallery enjoyed critical success during the six years under Weng Ling’s direction.

In 2008, she returned to Beijing to run the Beijing Center for the Arts at Ch’ien Men 23, another integrated premier lifestyle development with her long-term business partner Handel Lee. In 2010, she ventured into media to produce and host “Arts China”. “Arts China” was the first in-depth interview program to focus exclusively on the top names in the art and culture world in China, including Xu Bing, Zhang Xiaogang, Zhang Huan, Tan Dun, Cui Jian, and more. Weng Ling blurs the lines between visual art, architecture, design and environmentalism. She collaborates with artists, designers, businessmen, scientists and some of the top institutions and museums in the world.

Art Radar Asia met up with Weng Ling one afternoon to discuss some of her projects.

Weng Ling Portrait, courtesy of Beijing Centre for the Arts

Weng Ling, an essential figure in China's contemporary art community. Image courtesy of Beijing Centre for the Arts.

Weng Ling on “Arts China”

How did you decide to focus on contemporary art when directing the Gallery of CAFA?

It was a natural choice for me. I like art and sincerely wanted to introduce contemporary artists’ reflections on society to a broader audience. I don’t think one has to be a contemporary art connoisseur to have contact with contemporary art itself. Many in the West started promoting Chinese contemporary art because some of the works reflect the conflicts in contemporary Chinese society. After Western capital was injected into the market to raise the monetary value of Chinese contemporary art, Chinese media started following the hype. Neither of the two groups really appreciates Chinese contemporary art based on a very genuine interest in Chinese artists.

Does this partially explain why you ventured into media and produced “Arts China”?

Indeed. The media tends to misinterpret me as a very fashionable person. My work always centers on promoting the most cutting-edge and avant-garde art projects and ideas. So that partially explains why the media could misread me as a “fashion-forward person”. My work can be challenging, as I often face doubt and lack of understanding. This is also the predicament many celebrated artists, designers, architects, directors and musicians find themselves in. So I thought it would be nice to have a casual chat with these friends of mine, in order to showcase the real art and culture figures in China.

The final product looks incredibly real and has a documentary feel to it. How was the process?

It involved a huge amount of work, it sometimes took a full day to record one interview. Luckily, as old friends recounting life and the old stories over all these years, we were very engaged in the conversations. For example, Wang Guangyi looked so carefree on the outside when sharing his longing to hold on to his earliest emotions as a young artist. It was so touching and I almost cried. I have to activate all of the different “channels” in my brain during these interviews, talking like an “insider”. It was quite demanding physically and intellectually. Many museum directors really appreciate “Arts China”, recognising its value in recording Chinese contemporary art history.

Weng Ling on Beijing Center for the Arts

To you, what’s unique about the Beijing Center for the Arts (BCA)?

We are a hybrid art institution between an art museum and a commercial gallery.  On one hand, we discover and promote good Chinese contemporary art that confronts reality and/or has traditional Chinese underpinnings. On the other hand, we are dedicated to promoting collaborations between contemporary art and other disciplines and creating internationally valuable projects. With no precedent in China, it is very interesting to create this space.

It sounds like BCA is your new brainchild, a way in which many of your past experiences can come together naturally.

Yes. Our “BCA Green Art Project” series last year included “Shan Shui: Nature on the Horizon of Art” and “3D City: Future China”, focusing on nature and the urban city respectively. We cooperated with many top-notch artists, architects, scientists, environmentalists and NGOs, governments and businesses from around the world to realise the project. It was a world-wide conversation well beyond the traditional definition of “art”, but a blending of knowledge from many fields. I have previously created fine art exhibitions, city/architecture exhibitions, seminars and have long supported environmental groups and all of these experiences have become a solid foundation for me to draw from to conceive large-scaled cross-disciplinary projects.

So far in your art career, how do you make decisions about which projects to run? Is it based on your instinct, chances, responsibilities or love of art?

I champion artists’ freedom and bravery – this is the “romantic attitude” I hold. Anyone can be an artist and any project can be realised. Creativity has no limit. Whilst I do believe all the work should aim for a high professional standard in its own right, be it music, visual art, design, architecture or others. Like a scientist, I approach each new art project with caution and a rational mind. There are tons of possibilities to create something meaningful in this era in China, and due to this sense of responsibility, I must carefully review all the potential projects.

Weng Ling on crossover collaboration

You have had vast experience collaborating with partners in various fields, including design, architecture, real estate development, and corporate branding. What do you think of the trendy partnership between fashion brands and art?

Many owners of the fashion houses are art collectors who promote the creation of new art. Many fashion designers have fine art training, too. However, Art and fashion must each keep their independence when partnered up – art can easily be overtaken by the commercial demand of the fashion brand. The most meaningful and lasting collaboration is built upon borrowing the strength from the partner to elevate one’s own strength. Both parties must contribute the best of their own strengths.

Unlike their foreign peers, local Chinese businesses aren’t usually used to the idea of sponsoring art. Is that the case in your experience?

Many Chinese entrepreneurs and businessmen are my good friends. I keep learning many things from them, just like from artists. Chinese entrepreneurs have an enduring power to survive in a complex environment. Since the 90s, I have been receiving sponsorship from Chinese companies. They do not necessarily understand art itself, but want to help the ever changing Chinese art scene in any way they can.

On the other hand, the government should really implement policies to encourage corporate sponsorship. The current tax incentive is far from enough. I believe the government’s attitude is like forward-moving water, so as long as we hold an active conversation with them, things can be changed.

Finally, what do you think of the current vibe of the Chinese art scene?

Oh dear, after visiting many institutions in the UK, I have concluded, it’s so not “romantic” (laughs). Because there is no room to challenge myself, and no possibility to challenge the future. The system is so well-developed and built-up over there. Yet in China, there is a force to create something new and we never know what the height of our achievement will be. The historical meaningfulness might be beyond our imagination.

It’s true that China has many problems to deal with, but I am trying to contribute my own bit. The key is to have a humble heart and peace within, no matter which field one is in. The world doesn’t only rotate around people with money, but is transformed by the most creative individuals.

SXB/KN/HH

Related Topics: profiles, curators, business of art

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Posted in Art spaces, Beijing, Business of art, China, Corporate collectors, Crossover art, Funding, Interviews, Multi category, Professionals, Profiles, Weng Ling | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Peabody Essex Museum loaned 3 giants of contemporary and modern Indian art: Anish Kapoor, Francis Newton Souza, Paritosh Sen

Posted by artradar on June 9, 2010


INDIAN ART AMERICAN ART MUSEUM COLLECTIONS

This year, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) has acquired three major works on loan from the Harmony Art Foundation: Anish Kapoor’s Halo (2006), Francis Newton Souza’s Birth (1955)and Paritosh Sen’s Amhedabad scene (1984).

“We are thrilled to have these three key works from the Ambani Collection,” says Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, the James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes Chief Curator at PEM. “Their extended loan is just one of the many ways in which we are bringing global contemporary art to PEM.”

Halo by Anish Kapoor. 2006.

Anish Kapoor, Halo, 2006

Anish Kapoor is one of the most celebrated contemporary Indian artists. Earlier this year, Kapoor received a commission to construct the ArcelorMittal Orbit in London’s Olympic Park, continuing his successes in London following a 2003 Unilever installation in the Tate Modern and a 2009 show at the Royal Academy. In the United States, he is best known for his 110‐ton stainless steel public sculpture Cloud Gate (2004), installed in Millennium Park, in Chicago.

Halo consists of a shallow circular cone of stainless steel, 10 feet in diameter. Its surface is pleated in a radial pattern, a manipulation more commonly associated with pliable fabric than unyielding steel. It will hang in the PEM atrium, on long‐term loan from the Tina and Anil Ambani Collection.

“Anish Kapoor is one of the most important artists working in the world today,” says Trevor Smith, PEM Curator of Contemporary Art. “The extraordinary technical achievement of his sculpture depends on contemporary technology while invoking a sense of wonder that is timeless.”

Souza and Sen are often pronounced fathers of Indian modern art. Breaking away from colonial training institutions in post independent India, they founded the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group and the Calcutta Group respectively. Both groups pioneered the modern art movement in India in the 1950s.

Birth by Francis Newton Souza

Francis Newton Souza, Birth, 1955

The Peabody Essex Museum has had a long history of collecting Indian art. In the year 2000, renowned Indian art collectors Chester and Davida Herwitz donated their collection to the PEM, fortifying its status as one of the best places to go for Indian art in the United States. Today the PEM has three galleries dedicated to Indian art.

“There is a tremendous synergy between the Peabody Essex Museum and Harmony Art Foundation based on our belief in Indian art, and our genuine commitment to bring it to the global stage,” says Tina Ambani, a former Bollywood star and founder of the Harmony Art Foundation, an institution which supports emerging and established Indian artists. “It’s time that the art world looks beyond current fads and market trends to establish an abiding interest in the incredible power and potential of Indian art.”

AM/KN

Related Topics: Indian artists, collectors, events – museum shows

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Posted in Acquisitions, Collectors, Corporate collectors, Indian, Museum collectors, Museum shows, Museums, Painting, Progressive Artists' Group, Promoting art | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Asia Art Forum 2010 meets growing demand for art collector education in China – Jing Daily

Posted by artradar on May 5, 2010


CHINESE ART COLLECTING

Jing Daily, an online news source covering “the business of culture” in China, spots a new trend: burgeoning demand for collector education.

According to Jing Daily,

Along with the growing interest in buying and collecting art in China — whether for personal or investment reasons — has come increased demand for information and educational resources from the country’s “new collectors.”

To address this information gap, new books and online resources, along with more forums and conferences, have appeared on the scene in mainland China and Hong Kong, designed with Chinese collectors and art enthusiasts — rather than just academics and curators — in mind.

The publication cites several recent examples:

  • The upcoming Asia Art Forum, to be held in Hong Kong from 21 to 23 May, 2010. This is the third edition of a three day gathering of talks and artist studio visits with influential curators, collectors and experts designed for emerging and established collectors. This year’s forum focuses on Chinese art, with luminaries Phil Tinari, Valerie Doran and Karen Smith speaking. Read more about why organiser Pippa Dennis set up the Forum here.
  • The Global Collecting Forum was held in October 2009 in Beijing. According to Redbox Review it was a “‘private forum [of] a star-selection of 25 invited international art professionals, curators and authorities from the US, Europe, Russia and China [who met] to discuss and exchange ideas on the topic of global art collecting.”
  • The first meeting of Chinese art collectors at the Songzhuang Art Festival in October 2009.

We have been watching this trend and spotting some new education sources, too. To explore further, read in the related posts section below about a well-regarded book surveying the next crop of Chinese born artists and an online resource which tracks the collecting activities of international museums in the Chinese art arena.

KCE/KN

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Posted in Advisors, Business of art, Collectors, Conference, Corporate collectors, Critic, Curators, Events, Gallerists/dealers, Museum collectors, Professionals, Resources, Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dinesh Vazirani CEO Saffronart speaks about 2010 market outlook for Indian art – Arttactic podcast

Posted by artradar on March 28, 2010


INDIAN CONTEMPORARY ART MARKET OUTLOOK

CEO of on-line Indian auction house Saffronart explains that the collector base for Indian art is changing

Dinesh Vazirani is the CEO and Co-Founder of Saffronart, the world’s largest online auction house for fine art and jewelry. In the Podcast interview with ArtTactic, he reviewed the performance of the Indian art market in 2009. He also shared his observations on the changes in the Indian art market in the recent year. Moreover, he shared part of his formula of success in running an online auction platform of such scale.

How was the performance of the Indian Art Market in 2009? To what extent has the Indian Art Market recovered from the financial crisis in 2009?

A lot of changes happened in the post financial crisis period. The initial six months was a difficult time for the art market. The base of the investors and collectors changed quite dramatically. Investors and speculators that are active in the post financial crisis disappeared from the market. There are real collectors looking for good value and premium quality. In the later part of the year with the Indian economy getting better, confidence and perception changed. We saw some of the collector base come by and want to buy the best of the best.

 In the early part of the year, prices of modern art retreated by around 30-50% and contemporary art by 50-80%. Modern art prices recovered by 15-30% later in the year and contemporary art came back by 10-15%. In 2009, the Indian market underwent a transitional change. The players changed. Some galleries and auction houses shut down and some opened.

How is the heavy presence of speculators a threat to the sustainability of the Indian Art Market?

Speculators come into the market and drive up the prices. In 2005 to 2008, prices rose dramatically which brought in a whole slew of speculators, investors, private dealers, collectors and funds. In 2009, after the financial crisis, these players disappeared but they will come back if the value is right. However, it is not expected that they would be jumping into the market as fast as in 2005. This downturn in Indian Art is the first ever downturn in the history of Indian art. Most people have not gone through a downturn to understand the implications of it.

What pattern has been developed in the collector base?

The previous collectors of Indian Art are large corporate houses and business houses in the India subcontinent. However, in the last five years, the collector based has moved from a business house concentrated end towards a broader collector base, which constitutes a lot of professionals, younger collectors from the finance field and young business people. Interestingly, some are from outside of India. In 2006, more non-Indians collected Indian contemporary art and wanted it as a cultural bridge.

What is your outlook for the Indian  art market in 2010?

Players will be coming back to purchase work  and a new base of buyers are expected too. There were people wanting to come in to buy during 2005 to 2008, but the price rose too sharply then, so they want to come in now and see if they can get premium values. 2010 will be dependent on two things. One is the perception and confidence of the Indian base customers and the other is the participation of non-Indian buyers in the post finance crisis period in the art market.

Why has Saffronart been so successful as an online auction house when no auction houses have found equal success in this format?

For the past 10 years, we have been building up the collector base, giving them the confidence and transparency and improving the technological platform. On the other side, we have been doing physical exhibitions and previews all around the world, including San Francisco, L.A., Mumbai, New Dehli, Hong Kong and London. To make people confident, we added the brick and mortar side. It is the “the click and the brick” that has made Saffronart so successful. Nearly every business is heading to the direction of going online.

Is the art market fundamentally changing because of the web?

Over time, there will be a strong shift towards online transactions. People will transact more online or even leaning more to mobile bidding platforms. These mobile bidding platforms have been enormously successful. 

 To listen to the original Podcast, please click here. Arttactic has a range of fascinating interviews with art market influencers and is worth a browse.

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Posted in Art and internet, Art Funds, Asia expands, Auctions, Business of art, Collector nationality, Corporate collectors, Ecommerce, Globalisation, Hong Kong, India, Indian, Individual, Interviews, London, Market transparency, Market watch, Mumbai, New Delhi, Recession, Website | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why do banks buy art and will they continue to? BBC podcast

Posted by artradar on December 15, 2009


ART PATRONS BANK COLLECTORS 

How has the 500-year-old tradition of art patronage by banks changed, particularly after the events of 2008? Why do banks collect art? Will they continue to collect after the Financial Crisis and if they do will their reasons for collecting change? Razia Iqbal asks art advisors and staff of banks including Deutsche Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland in a Wise Buddha production made for BBC Radio 4. 

Turning the World Upside Down Anish Kapoor

Anish Kapoor, Turning the World Upside Down III, Deutsche Bank Collection

Art has been bought by banks for all kinds of reasons over the centuries. In the Middle Ages art patronage helped banking families wash away the sin of usury and gain social status.  In more recent times art was bought to decorate boardrooms and for investment. Pre-recession banks came full circle and art collections were actively used for image management again. The events of 2008 have now created a double pull for banks with art collections: should they sell which would help their image of prudent fiscal management or should they keep and share their collections with the public who now own many of them.  Iqbal’s programme hints at intriguing echos: there may no longer be a need to atone for Christian guilt but corporate guilt is perhaps another matter. The podcast is no longer accessible but here are some snippets. 

Bank collectors buying wider range of media 

Alex Heath, Managing Director of Independent Art Consultants which sources art for Barclays Bank amongst others says that the type of works which banks are interested in buying have changed in the recent past. “It is now less about straight painting and prints” and more about bringing “variety into the workplace”‘ with other media. 

Art now part of marketing mix 

In the past many banks bought works for decorating public spaces and board room he explains and over time the pieces accumulated into collections. More recently though he says that art is used consciously as part of the marketing mix. He describes how, in his work with clients, the marketing department or agency is his first port of call where he will ask “‘What do you want to say about the bank?” and from there he will generate art ideas which will complement the marketing message. 

Deutsche Bank recognised by peers 

Asked if he thinks that banks are cautious in their purchasing decisions, favouring traditional over contemporary works, he explains that there are banks which are taking leading positions as collectors of contemporary art and particularly singles out Deutsche Bank as “‘doing very well” at this. 

Art for staff, art to stimulate intellectual curiosity 

Alistair Hicks adviser to Deutsche Bank, which has a collection of over 56,00o pieces, shows Iqbal some of the works in the Deutsche Bank lobby, corridors and board rooms and explains the bank does not buy for investment.  Deutsche Bank’s primary purpose in buying art which began in the 1970s as an initiative called “Art in the Workplace” is to stimulate the intellect of its staff. “A good banker has to be curious about what is going on in the world and artists play a leading role in expressing current ideas”. 

In the lobby an early spot painting by Damien Hirst is reflected in an Anish Kapoor sculpture called “‘Turning the World Upside Down”‘. Iqbal is invited by Hicks to come around and inside the “almost spiritual” sculpture to experience its echo effect. Artwork is so intimately integrated into the environment of the office that boardroom are named after artists and Kapoor’s sculpture, affectionately known as ‘The Silver Ball’, has been adopted as a meeting point “We are in the Freud room. Meet you at the Silver Ball in 5”.

Art atones for sin 

Banks have traditionally been patrons of the arts with the first significant example occurring in Italy in the 1300’s when a banker commissioned a chapel containing religious artworks to atone for the sins of the family who had gained their wealth as bankers at a time when money-lending with interest was regarded as sinful by Chrisitians. 

Art for social status 

Iqbal explains that the Medicis in the fifteenth century, developed the concept of patronage considerably but used art not to atone for the family’s sins but rather to elevate its status. Artworks funded by gains from the prosperous Medici bank became a means to help the family gain public prominence, access and power and eventually noble status. 

What will banks do with art collections after the Financial Crisis? 

In an interview with the management of the Royal Bank of Scotland which since the Financial Crisis 2008, is now almost entirely public-owned, Iqbal learns about their strategy for the Barclays art collection going forward.  

Acknowledging that the trust of the public has been lost and taxpayer money needs to be refunded, the art collection strategy of RBS comprises three parts: art of historical importance will be retained, loaned out and made accessible to the public, some art will be retained for decorative purposes and the strategy towards the remaining part of the collection is to become “net sellers”. 

Though the reasons why banks buy art may change over time, Iqbal points out that banks’ tradition of collecting art stretches back over 500 years so probably won’t change any time soon. Do you agree? Leave your thoughts below. 

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Posted in Advisors, Banks, Branding in art develops, Collectors, Corporate collectors, Professionals | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Deutsche Bank signs 5 year lead sponsorship deal with ART HK

Posted by artradar on December 8, 2009


HONG KONG ART FAIR SPONSORSHIP

The May 2010 incarnation ART HK will only be the international art fair’s third event, but it has already earned the confidence-and sponsorship- of Deutsche Bank, the largest bank in Germany, which has recently signed a 5 year sponsorship deal with the young but promising Hong Kong art fair. Their enthusiasm for the fledging fair is understandable; ART INFO reports that in May 2009 (an uncertain time for art!) 27,856 people visited ART HK over four and a half days to view 110 galleries from 24 countries. In all, this accounts for a 31% jump in attendance over the inaugural fair in 2008.

Regarding the sponsorship, Michael West, Deutsche Bank’s head of communications for Asia Pacific, comments:

“Our sponsorship of ART HK is a reflection of both the scale and growth of Deutsche Bank in the Asia Pacific region and our longstanding global commitment to the arts… The success of ART HK in 2008 and 2009 demonstrates the high level of demand for a world-class art fair in the region.” –ART INFO

Regarding Deutsche Bank’s  sponsorship  of ART HK, Magnus Renfrew, the director of the fair who was profiled among 15 individuals without whom “the art world wouldn’t spin on its axis” in Art+Auction’s December 2008 Power Issue, comments:

“Globally, galleries are looking for new opportunities to expand their markets and increasingly are looking towards Asia… ART HK is now well established as a high-profile fair with proven high-quality attendance and solid sales results… Deutsche Bank’s involvement is a ringing endorsement of the solid foundations that we have laid in Asia to date. Our shared vision and active partnership will bring us one step closer to further affirming ART HK’s position as one of the leading art fairs.” –ART INFO

Deutsche Bank: a long-time art patron

Deutsche Bank is a well known patron of the arts, and controls one of the world’s largest corporate contemporary art collections, which is comprised of about 50,000 artworks from the 20th century. With the motto “Art Works,” the bank has maintained a pro-art agenda for the past three decades, making these artworks accessible to the public worldwide. It also collaborates with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation on the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin.

And here’s what sources are saying about ART HK…

‘ART HK 09, raised its game at its second edition…It seems that by common consensus dealers from across the world have decided that the only viable venue for a pan-Asian international art fair is Hong Kong.’
Apollo

‘Hong Kong emerged as the one to beat in Asia…ART HK, located in a city noted for its transparency and ease of conducting business, will become a dominant force in the region.’
ArtAsiaPacific

‘….in a very short time Hong Kong will be the most important art trade fair in the world.  In fact – this could be the Art Basel of Asia.’
Die Welt

‘ART HK has won the battle to be the destination art fair for Asia’

The Art Newspaper

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Posted in Asia expands, Business of art, Corporate collectors, Fairs, Funding, Globalisation, Market watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Collector Ciclitira, founder of Korean Eye, makes big plans for Korean art

Posted by artradar on June 30, 2009


KOREAN ART

If you have an interest in Korean contemporary art, be sure to make time for the latest 20 minute podcast from Arttactic, a London-based research house.

In it, British collector and sports promoter David Ciclitira, together with Rodman Primack, Phillip de Pury’s London chairman, discuss Korean Eye, a multi-year initiative founded by Ciclitira which aims to promote Korean contemporary art to a Western and ultimately international audience.

Hyung Koo Kang, Woman, 2009

Hyung Koo Kang, Woman, 2009

Korean Eye is holding its first 31 artist exhibition at The Saatchi Gallery in London until 5 July 2009 and the exhibition catalogue is available online. “This space in London is the iconic space right now, it has three to four thousand people a day going through the space in 20 days, so we’ll have 60 to 80 thousand people coming through, so that will be good” says Ciclitira in an interview with Art Market Monitor.

None of it’s from my collection. It’s all brand new. It’s all for sale. I’ve built up a collection of Korean contemporary art in the last two or three years. But I asked a young curator to put the show together, so it’s his choice of artists. I don’t necessarily agree with all of it, but when you hire a curator, you let them do it.

Later Ciclitira plans to bring a larger Korean Eye-branded show to other ‘markets’  including perhaps Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong.

Seung WookSim, black mutated ornamentation 2007, hot glue on steel frame

Seung Wook Sim, black mutated ornamentation 2007, hot glue on steel frame

‘The Korean Eye’ initiative is interesting on several fronts:

1. Bringing Korean art to the West

Korean contemporary art has, as yet, had little exposure in the West.

Chinese and Japanese contemporary art have already received academic and critical attention from universities and museums in Western cultures. However unlike Japanese art which has experienced long international exposure and Chinese art which has strong national support from economic growth, Korean art is in the shadows. note 1

Ciclitira points out in the podcast that although show catalogues produced in Korea are of a high quality, there is not yet a bilingual book on Korean contemporary art, a gap which ‘Korean Eye’ plans to address in the next 18 months.

Koreans have a 25 year history of collecting Western artists but support for local artists is burgeoning. There has been a growth spurt in the number of Korean galleries in the last 2-3 years and artists are not harnessed to individual galleries. The resulting competitive environment created keen pricing even before the recession. Now the recession is stimulating further discounts. Korean galleries are present at Asian art fairs and have set up galleries across Asia but are still rare further west.

Park Seung Mo, Contrabass

Park Seung Mo, Contrabass

2. Bank sponsorship money can still be found …in Asia

Funds available from bank sponsorship have been thin on the ground since the Lehman collapse in autumn 2008. While the Hong Kong Art Fair ’09 failed to find a replacement sponsor for Lehman, Ciclitira has had better luck:

I’ve been very fortunate to be sponsored by Standard Chartered. That’s not a bank known to many American people. It’s now Britain’s second-largest bank. It was the only bank that didn’t invest in subprime. It’s in 108 markets around the world. It’s highly profitable. It’s basically a Hong Kong-based business. But it’s the largest single foreign investor in Korea. They bought a major bank there, and it’s a really super bank which supports, locally, art. That’s one of the things that they do. And they’ve been really, really supportive of this project. I have been amazed how much traction we’ve gotten from their involvement. So in this time of recession, they’ve been very helpful and we hopefully get to work together with them in the future to build it in other markets.

3. Branded selling exhibitions – a new style of show

Finally ‘Korean Eye’ represents a new style of branded selling exhibition which brings together a collector’s passion, government support, bank sponsorship and auction house sales expertise.

Somewhat like Saatchi, Ciclitira has a background as a professional promoter and an ongoing passion for art. But whereas Saatchi has chosen to exhibit his own self-curated non-selling shows, Ciclitira makes no bones about his plans to develop ‘Korean Eye’ as a brand of selling shows. While he admits to having experienced a steep learning curve:

What I’ve found interesting in this whole learning process is how unsophisticated the art world is, because when you work in major sports events, there are more dates, so much more research, everything is television linked to media values, and art feels amateur when you look at how they do things, and it’s no small wonder that when they need to raise massive money, they find it quite hard.

David-Ciclitira-330x449

Collectors who, in the later stages of the their collecting career, want to be involved with supporting the evolution of art, come from backgrounds of all kinds. It will be fascinating to watch what kind of influence this sports promoter will bring to the democratisation of art through branding and media involvement.

I worked a long time with UBS, and I have access to all their research, and their research, number one for their clients was golf. Art came in third, I think, classic cars or wine were second. The reality is, it’s out there. I believe the art market goes beyond your top bracket. My people all started saying, “The chairman’s crazy, he’s going to do this,” and they’ve all ended up loving it. “Can I get my bonus in a piece of work?”

The problem with the art world is that they’re a bunch of snobs. The reality is that gallerists make people feel as if they’re not wanted, and I think this is part of the breaking down of what will happen in the next 10 years, more people will want to get involved.

It sounds like Ciclitira is a man with a mission to make that happen.

Note 1 Korean Eye Moon Generation catalogue Page 9, Joon Lee Deputy Director Samsung Museum of Art

Artists

Ayoung Kim, Bahk SeonGhi, Boomoon, Cho Hoon, Choi TaeHoon, Choo JongWan, Debbie Han, Han KiChang, Hong KyongTack, Jang SeungHyo, Jeon Junho, Kang Hyung Koo, Kim Inbai, Kim Joon, Koh MyungKeun, Kwon KiSoo, Lee Dongwook, Lee HyungKoo, Lee LeeNam, Lee Rim, Lee Ufan. Lee Yong Baek, Lee YongDeok. Park JungHyuk, Park SeungMo, Park SungTae, SeungMin Lee, Sim SeungWook, Whang Inkie, Yi HwanKwon, Yoon Jong Seok

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Asians, women show momentum and banks tumble in Art Review’s Power 100 2008

Posted by artradar on October 23, 2008


INFLUENCERS ART

Art Review monthly magazine has published its Power 100 list for 2008.  Produced annually since 2001 it is a ranking of the most influential participants in the art world and includes artists, gallerists, auctioneers and collectors.

Trends this year include

  • Higher rankings and numbers for women in a market tradtionally dominated by men – Kathy Halbreich is first woman to appear on her own in the top 10. Ranked third, behind Hirst and gallerist Larry Gagosian, she is the newly appointed Associate Director of MoMA, New York.
  • Tumbling influence of banks  – as the global credit contagion spreads, financial institutions take a tumble  with both UBS and Deutsche Bank, longtime key art sponsors, ranked 62 and 63 respectively in 2007, falling off the Power 100 in 2008. 
  • Asian participants showing momentum or appearing for the first time.

Takashi Murakami (28), a superbrand not dissimilar to Damien Hirst’s model comes in at 61 places above his 2007 ranking for a year that saw a major exhibition of his work, including a Louis Vuitton store selling Murakami’s own branded products, travel across the US and draw record numbers of museum goers.

Ongoing artistic and financial strength in emerging markets has seen new listings for collectors Roman Abramovich and Dasha Zhukova (54) and a strong rise by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang (69, from 99 in 2006), with first-time appearances by the Beijing-based Long March Project (93) and Delhi-based gallerist Peter Nagy (95).

 

Asian artists

  • Takashi Murakami no 28 (Japanese) wiki site
  • Ai Weiwei no 47 (Chinese)
  • Cai Guo Qiang 69 (Chinese) wiki
  • Subodh Gupta 92 (Indian)  pics
  • The Long March Project 93 (Chinese) pics  site

 

Collectors from Asia

  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan no 30
  • Roman Abromovich and Daria Zhukova no 54
Asia-based gallerists

Entrants are judged on the following four criteria, each of which carries a 25 percent weighting.

1. Influence on art development: entrants must exert influence over the type, style and shape of contemporary art being produced in the previous 12 months.

2. International influence: as the list is international, entrants must exert influence on a global scale rather than as big fish in small-to-medium ponds.

3. Financial clout: entrants are judged on the extent to which they have shaped, moulded or dominated the art market, whether as artists, dealers or collectors.

4. Activity within the last 12 months: entrants are judged on having actually done something during the period September 2007 to August 2008. It’s not enough to sit on your powerful behind.

Posted in Ai Weiwei, Cai Guoqiang, Chinese, Collectors, Corporate collectors, Indian, Individual, Japanese, Subodh Gupta, Surveys, Takashi Murakami, Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Corporate art collecting in decline since the eighties – Wall Street Journal

Posted by artradar on October 17, 2008


CORPORATE COLLECTORS TREND

Corporations in distress sell art collections

Another bankrupt corporation, another corporate art collection on the block. Actually, no one quite knows what Lehman Brothers, the financial services firm that filed for bankruptcy protection on Sept. 15, will do with its 3,500-piece art collection, but with works by such bankable artists as Jasper Johns and Andreas Gurky, it is likely to be on sale at a major auction house near you.

Companies in trouble sell whatever can raise them money, and art collections are but one more asset. Arthur Andersen, the accounting firm brought down by the Enron scandal, for instance, turned two floors of its Chicago offices into a gallery showroom in 2002, selling more than 2,000 artworks over a five-day period. In 2006, the New York futures broker Refco Inc., which filed for bankruptcy protection the previous year while under investigation for hiding $430 million in debt, sold 321 photographs for $9.7 million at Christie’s auction house over a three-day period.

“The major sales of corporate art collections that I’ve been involved with have been distressed situations,” said Joshua Holdeman, senior vice president at Christie’s, who in 2003 had also helped both Enron and Seagram sell artworks from their collections when he worked at Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg. At other times, corporate consignors of art at the auction houses are not identified out of fear that the sale “may be seen as a sign of distress,” he said. “In the grand scale, of course, no one’s art collection will get it out of trouble.”

Mergers and acquisitions, office moves are other causes

Corporations get rid of their art collections for other reasons than doom and gloom, of course. Mergers and acquisitions bring in new leadership that simply doesn’t want the old stuff around. Or yesterday’s art doesn’t work in today’s new building.

Take Unilever. In 1982, the company had bought a 92-work collection of black-and-white museum-quality photographs for its then-new headquarters on Chicago’s Wells Street. Assembled quickly by an art consultant, the collection included such renowned photographers as Diane Arbus, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, André Kertesz, Irving Penn and Alfred Stieglitz.

By 2003, however, the company was ready to move again to a somewhat smaller building on North Michigan Avenue, and so it was time for the art to go. “The old space was classical and elegant, with muted colors, and the black-and-white photographs worked,” said Jessica Jolly, facilities manager at Unilever. “The new building had a different design idea, and people wanted bright colors.” In fact, they didn’t want art at all but large-scale photographs of the company’s products splashed about on the walls. “We show images of Suave shampoo, Ragu bottles, tea packages — images employees can connect to.”

Deaccessioning by gift to public alternative to sale

To Unilever’s credit, the company held a public sale of the 92 photographs, raising $400,000 that was donated in full to the Marwen Foundation, which provides free art classes to Chicago’s disadvantaged youngsters in grades six through 12.

More recently, Altria, which had changed its name from Philip Morris Cos. in 2003, disposed of half of its 700-piece art collection when it relocated its headquarters to Richmond, Va., from New York City’s Park Avenue last March. “Our Richmond headquarters now features a lot of Virginia artists,” a spokesman said. The move ended the company’s 25-year-long relationship as a branch of the Whitney Museum of American Art, but its parting gift to the city was almost 200 works from its collection (featuring pieces by Jennifer Bartlett, Romare Bearden, Philip Guston, Betty Saar and Andy Warhol) to 10 institutions, including the Whitney, the Studio Museum of Harlem, the Brooklyn Museum of Art and El Museo del Barrio.

Heyday of corporate collecting over

Once proud buyers of A-list art, corporations are taking a second look at collections. Amid the corporate downfalls and takeovers, we are seeing signs that the heyday of corporate art collecting is over, replaced increasingly by budget-priced decoration.

Volatility a cause

“The 1980s was the high point in corporate art collecting, but the crash at the end of the ’80s started the process of killing it off,” said David Galenson, an economics professor at the University of Chicago and the author of the 2006 book “Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity.” “Company executives found out that the art market could be a very volatile thing that they didn’t want to be part of.”

Astronomical prices another factor

Other factors contributed as well. The prices for top-flight art have risen to astronomical levels, draining corporate resources, and the type of art that is expected to appreciate in value “costs money to maintain, in terms of storage and climate control and state-of-the-art facilities in which to display it,” said Mary Lanier, former director of the Chase Manhattan Bank art collection and now a private corporate art adviser. Shareholders and board directors have less and less tolerance for major art expenditures, according to Princeton University economist Orley Ashenfelter, who noted that “firms, especially when the economy starts to sour, recognize their need to stick to their core business.” The result has been a 20-year-long disposal of one corporate art collection after another.

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Korean contemporary art spread through Asia threatened by meltdown

Posted by artradar on September 30, 2008


Ham Jin Aewan 1025 c-print

Ham Jin Aewan 1025 c-print

 

 

 

 

 

KOREAN CONTEMPORARY ART

Korean artists and galleries have made a huge impact on Beijing recently with the presence of PKM Gallery, Do Art and Arario Beijing in the Brewery International Art Garden says Theme magazine. All three spaces showcase Korean artists but throw Chinese and international artists into the mix as well.  “Today some of the best galleries in Beijing are Korean” agrees Dr Katie Hill, writer curator and lecturer specialising who is currently writing a book on Visual Modernity in China to be published by Lund Humphries in 2009.

Further south, Seoul Auction, Korea’s largest and longest-established saleroom, has announced its move into the Hong Kong market.

Seoul Auction will be the first Asian saleroom to enter the Hong Kong market reports the Financial Times and is kicking off on October 7 2008 with a $38.5m sale of modern and contemporary art. “Hong Kong is now the world’s third biggest art market and has huge growth potential,” says the firm’s marketing director Misung Shim. Among the offerings is Roy Lichtenstein’s “Still Life with Stretcher, Mirror, Bowl of Fruit” (1972), with an estimated sale price of $9m-$10m and Willem de Kooning’s “Untitled XVI” (1982), with an estimated price of $5.85m-$7.8m, as well as contemporary Chinese and Korean art.

To the west ARTSingapore 2008, held this year 10 – 13 October 2008 and known in the past for its focus on South East Asian works, will for the first time in its history have significant representation from India, Japan and particularly Korea. This year 22 new Korean galleries will participate including Park Ryu Sook Gallery, Gallery Neo, Gallery Yeh, Gallery SP and Gallery Bhak.

But with financial markets floundering, is the timing right for Korean artists and galleries to realise their ambitions?

Absolutely not claims the Financial Times , after all visitors were thin on the ground at this month’s Korean International Art Fair, ‘which opened its doors on the “day of days”, when international financial markets were in meltdown’. With the Kospi (Korean stock index) in freefall and the won plummeting, “it was hardly the time to expect Koreans to buy art”. What a contrast to last year, when the Korean art market was booming, Korean buyers were active in auctions in New York and three new art funds were launched.  “The problem is, 80 per cent of Korean art buyers are pure speculators,” said Juhl Joohyun Lee, director of Arario gallery, “and the international situation is having a drastic effect on the Asian art markets.”

Further discouraging buyers is the fallout from the Samsung scandal. Earlier this year Korea’s golden couple, Samsung chairman Lee Kun-Hee and his wife Hong Ra-Hee were accused of using money from a $64m slush fund to buy art for the Leeum, Samsung’s art museum. Lee stepped down from his chairmanship of Samsung, and while Hong was cleared of these charges, buying by Samsung, previously one of the country’s biggest art collectors, has apparently come to a total halt.

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Posted in Acquisitions, Auctions, Beijing, China, Collectors, Corporate collectors, Critic, Curators, Fairs, Galleries, Globalisation, Hong Kong, Individual, Korean, Market watch, Recession, Singapore | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »