Collecting Art The Smart Way – Art Fairs

Marine AB1

Art fairs have become the must do for most art collectors – they travel the world according to the art fair schedules to spot the most coveted artworks in the world. I started my career at an art fair, at PAD, set in the vibrant heart of Mayfair (the wealthiest financial area of London). I was barely 19 years old and I completely fell for the art world after spending only a week at the fair.

The main reason I loved it so much was the intensity that surrounded the fair itself. Everything was out of the ordinary: The conversations, the curations, the art and the people. I felt removed from non-artistic realities. Everyone talked about art, discussed artists and the relevance of the field. Art was the center of everything and it was truly inspiring.

So here I am, seven years later, touring art fairs with our MTArt investors to discuss our crew of artists. This week, I am in Honk Kong. One of our key investors at MTArt is passionate about the city and he has been dying to organize an art week for all of us. As the Art Basel fair kicks in, we are spoiled for choice with great art to see.

Here are my recommendations for the Hong Kong art week:

Go to Art Central – Because that’s the fair that’s dealing directly with a lot of the primary market, emerging from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China etc. As Art Basel HK is very international, I find that this fair gives you the pulse of HK itself and the artistic scene over here.

Head to the Andy Warhol exhibition at the Mandarin  – Very few people know the deep attachment that Warhol had with China and HK itself. The whole series of photographs is brilliant and a short insight into HK in the seventies. I wish I could be reborn at that time!

Art Basel!!! – Of course!! This is when things get truly exciting. It was very difficult to choose one work amongst many (the entire fair is full of treasures!) but I fell in love with the work of Zheng Chongbin from INK Studio in the Insights booths of the fair (a section dedicated to curations and works created in situ for the fair). ‘Roots of the sky’ is both a video art work and a series of paintings exploring topology, water flow, and plant life. In a stream of microscopic and macroscopic images and an accompanying soundscape, Zheng contracts and expands these processes of human perception. Whereas his paintings generate these processes in an artistic medium and fix them in time, his video installations unfold their occurrence in nature spatially and temporally.

Marine AB2

– Get on a ferry to Fo Tan and visit some artists’ studios. It’s an industrial area, slowly being gentrified, and the emerging art scene there is fascinating. Most definitely the up-and-coming hub for undiscovered, emerging artists.

Finally, if you stay at a hotel and are a white faced Londoner like myself, make sure to choose the Four Seasons over the Mandarin because it has an outdoor pool so that you get a chance to tan while you make your calls.

An advocate for artists since a young age, Marine managed her first gallery at age 21, opened her first art gallery in Los Angeles at age 23 and finally created her current business, MTArt, to promote the artists she believed in across the globe. MTArt is the first artist agency promoting influential visual artists and specialising in talent management: building, growing and accelerating their careers.Marine is a thought leader, writer and frequent speaker on contemporary art.