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Archive for the ‘Branding in art develops’ Category

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 »

Murakami’s Geisai Miami cancelled, Geisai Taiwan debuts this December

Posted by artradar on October 29, 2009


INTERNATIONAL ART FAIRS

takashi_murakami

Takashi Murakami

The contemporary Japanese art guru Takashi Murakami is continuing to shape the infrastructure of the art world through his biannual Geisai art fair, which Murakami intends to expand to multiple international cities. The Art Newspaper reports that Geisai Taiwan, to be held in Taipei, will replace Geisai Miami this December. The new Geisai Taiwan event is planned to have more than 200 exhibition booths for new artists. In contrast, the cancelled Miami event was structured differently, presenting only 21 new artists in 2008 which a panel selected from a pool of applicants. The event was originally intended to coincide with Art Basel Miami.

Regarding the cancellation,  the spokesperson for Murakami’s company commented:

” We would not say that Geisai Miami has been cancelled, but rather that we are simply building on our desire to expand the Geisai event/concept worldwide.”

Geisai has been highly successful in Japan, growing each year since its 2002 Tokyo inception and repeatedly attracting 1,000 participants and 9,000 visitors for the one-day event.

Geisai is produced by Murakami’s company Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd., and is intended as a platform to discover new artistic talent.

Soichi Yamaguchi, whose art now commands high prices, entered Geisai as an unknown artist and cites his win at Geisai #9 in 2007 as the turning point in his career  that helped him find gallery representation. The Japanese event has taken on a festival-like feel, and has been highly accessible for new artists, with booth fees starting at ¥25,000 (approximately $270 USD).

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Posted in Branding in art develops, Business of art, Connecting Asia to itself, Democratisation of art, Fairs, Japanese, Market watch, Miami, Taiwan | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Louis Vuitton, A Passion For Creation review – the fine art of branding in Hong Kong

Posted by artradar on July 28, 2009


LOUIS VUITTON EXHIBITION REVIEW HONG KONG

The historical roots and modern artistic expression of a luxury brand are revealed at  ‘Louis Vuitton: A Passion For Creation,’ presented as a 3-part series by the Hong Kong Museum of Art.  In the first installment of the exhibition, the story of the brand’s evolution is told through the display of original products and artworks from the 19th and 20th centuries and the new millennium. The show begins quietly, showcasing old original Louis Vuitton pieces that champion form and function. However, soon aspirations are revealed to challenge the limits of brand identity and demonstrate the ever-evolving nature of this luxury name.

'Louis Vuitton: A Passion For Creation' Exhibition Entry, Hong Kong Museum of Art

'Louis Vuitton: A Passion For Creation' Exhibition Entry, Hong Kong Museum of Art

The brand is shown from its humble beginning, when the spirit of travel inspired the original concept for Louis Vuitton. However, a new identity emerges under the art direction of Marc Jacobs, who was appointed in 1997.

The show demonstrates LV’s progression with pieces that reflect modern international urban culture by Takashi Murakami of Tokyo, and Stephen Sprouse, who emerged from the arts scene in New York.  The chosen works on display suggest that Louis Vuitton has grown from its origins as the image of Western sophistication into a reflection of international artistic attitudes, sometimes fantastic or defiant, but always luxurious.

'Panda' by Takashi Murakami, 2003. Fiberglass.

'Panda' by Takashi Murakami, 2003. Fiberglass.

Of particular significance is Murakami’s Panda, made in 2003. The massive multicolored, cartoon-like fiberglass panda appears to be rising out of a classically inspired Louis Vuitton trunk, suggesting the surreal new direction he envisions for the brand. Indeed, Murakami’s vision for the modern Louis Vuitton is a frivolous world, a brightly-colored childish fantasy. In contrast, Marc Jacob’s Spring 2008 interpretation for the brand challenges boundaries with a provocative ‘naughty nurse’ theme, and Stephen Sprouse’s Spring 2001 graffiti-inspired pieces challenge the established high-end identity with defacement.

Louis Vuitton Spring 2008, by Marc Jacobs

Louis Vuitton Spring 2008, by Marc Jacobs

Although this show may first appear to be another form of marketing, it does a fair job of demonstrating the art of creating a powerful brand and the evolution of its identity. It would be over-reaching to say the Louis Vuitton products themselves are presented as special works of art. Instead, the real magic that Louis Vuitton shows is the ability to build off an original concept while not changing its foundation, and continually applying a fresh mystique every few seasons by modeling products after fine art by edgy, of-the-moment artists.  Louis Vuitton is artfully alive and growing, but its roots are still intact.

It is still unknown who exactly came up with the concept for the show. Although the show would have more legitimacy if it was the brainchild of Mr. Tang Hoi-Chui, Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and his associates at the Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department, it is unlikely they alone conceived the premise for an exhibition on Louis Vuitton . Who approached whom for this collaboration is unclear, and Art Radar will be investigating the source of the show. In the meantime, however, expect to see commercialism and art continue to merge in the Asian art scene, which like Louis Vuitton, is also alive and growing into something different.

Showing at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, May 22-Aug 9, 2009.  $30 HK admission

Contributed by Erin Wooters

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Posted in Branding in art develops, Brands, China, Chinese, Consumerism, Crossover art, Events, From Art Radar, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Artists, Logos, Museum shows, Museums, Reviews, Shows | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Art toys – the latest hottest trend from Asia?

Posted by artradar on July 16, 2009


Is urban vinyl the next growth trend in popular art to emerge from Asia and sweep across the world? 

Though it has not yet transitioned to the world of fine art, the genre is reminiscent of Takashi Murakami’s plastics. Popular, collectible and apparently recession-proof, this is a promising area for appropriation by cash-crunched fine art businesses. An interesting piece about the exploding popularity of art toys has just been published in the Taipei Times on the occasion of the Taipei Toy Festival. Here are some excerpts:

michael-lau-fam_456

What are art toys?

The terms designer toy, art toy and urban vinyl are often used interchangeably because many of the figures are created by artists or graphic designers, influenced by street art and style, and made from high-quality plastic or vinyl in limited runs.

The art toy movement – where did it start and who started it?

The birth of the designer toy trend is commonly attributed to Michael Lau, a Hong Kong artist who in the late 1990s began making limited-edition vinyl figures based on a comic he had created. The trend quickly spread through Asia and then on to the rest of the world.

What is the top art toy event?

Since 2004 the Taipei Toy Festival, which  is the largest convention in Asia dedicated exclusively to art toys rings together an international coterie of toy makers and distributors.

More than 200 designers made an appearance at Huashan Culture Park, where the 2009 edition was held in early July, more than double the approximately 80 designers who attended in 2008.

Jen Huang (黃仁壽), founder of toy distributor Monster Taipei (台北怪獸), launched the Taipei Toy Festival as a networking event for designers in Taiwan. The festival’s scope has since expanded, and this year’s roster of exhibitors hailed from the US, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Italy, England and Australia.

But are art toys really works of art?

Well customers think so…..

“I consider these toys works of art,” said (collector) Wang, who counts Husky x 3, Jason Siu and Toys2R among her favorite brands and designers. Wang added that she has invested about NT$20,000 to NT$30,000 in her collection of nearly 30 figures since attending the first Taipei Toy Festival six years ago.

“Designer toys weren’t really well known in Taiwan back then and I went because I was curious to see what it was all about,” said Wang.

Since then designer toys have become increasingly popular in (Taiwan), thanks in part to their use as marketing tools by retailers. Designer Demos Chiang (蔣友柏), a grandson of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), and popular toy designers Devilrobots of Japan and Hong Kong-based C.i.World, creator of C.i.Boy, have all made limited-edition series for convenience stores.

Recession has not dented interest in art toys

Huang says the global recession hasn’t dented designers’ creativity — or fans’ willingness to drop money on their favorite figures.

“People might not be able to afford stuff like new cars or expensive brand-name items, but they are still willing to spend money on little things that bring them pleasure, and a lot of these toys only cost NT$500 to NT$1,000,” said Huang.

Many collectors were happy to go on a shopping frenzy at the festival, as evidenced by the number of attendees squeezing through the aisles with giant shopping bags in tow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CI Boy set from Hong Kong

CI Boy set from Hong Kong

 

 

 

 

Art toy trend more than consumerism

But (designer) 221trees says that collecting designer toys is more than just consumerism.

“I think a lot of people see their lives as dull and boring, so they have the urge to seek out things that are meaningful to them. As designers, we make figures that represent different points of view or characters. When people see them, sometimes they think, ‘There is someone in the world that thinks like me.’ That’s the attraction for me, too,” she said.

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Kubricks

Kubricks

The block-style figures from Japanese toy company MediCom are named after movie-maker Stanley Kubrick. Kubricks come in different sizes and are often made for specific licenses, including films, TV shows, comic books and video games.

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Posted in Branding in art develops, Design, Fairs, International, Taiwan, Toys, Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »