The busy months of October and November for the art world have been an opportunity to witness the omnipresence of a new wave of young and influential collectors from China. Whether it was in London for Frieze, in Paris for FIAC and the opening of the Inside China, an exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo led by art patron Adrian Cheng (34, Chairman of the K11 Art Foundation, who just made his entry to the ArtReview Power 100 List), or in New York for the exhibition of Chinese artist Wang Jianwei at the Guggenheim Museum, this new group of Chinese collectors was very much in focus.
This week, many of them are meeting again in Shanghai, for the second edition of Art021, an art fair founded itself by two young collectors, and already attracting international names such as Marian Goodman, White Cube, and Perrotin, as well as leading galleries from China.
“Meet China’s New Power Collectors” is a three-part focus series, exploring who are these new collectors and what does their emergence mean for the international art scene.
In this first part, three leading figures of this generation are sharing with us their approach on collecting, their vision, and long term strategies. They are Kelly Ying, Lin Han, and Chong Zhou.
Kelly Ying (KY)
I don’t think you can truly collect art without being involved in the other aspects of the industry
Young and active collector from Shanghai. Originally working in the fashion industry, Ying is now focusing entirely on art. She is the co-founder of Art021, and the wife of collector David Chau (Zhou Dawei), 29, who is himself much involved in the art scene in China, supporting galleries and other cultural institutions.
Chong Zhou (CZ)
Art collecting is 50% of my career
25, graduated with a degree of art history from UCLA. He is a second-generation collector, and made his first art purchase art in 2010. His family runs a large pharmaceutical group. Zhou is based in Shanghai, where he also owns a restaurant, “Macasa”, displaying his art.
Lin Han (LH)
We are breaking or revising a lot of boundaries
27, studied animation design at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom. His first art purchase was a Zeng Fanzhi painting in 2013, which was the cover of Sotheby’s 40th anniversary day auction. Since then, he has opened the first private art museum in Beijing’s 798 Art District, the M Woods Museum, featuring more than 200 works. Lin is based in Beijing.
What motivated you to start collecting?
CZ: My family has been influential in this decision. They started collecting in 2001, a very early time for local Chinese collectors to buy contemporary art. My motivation today is to find and acquire influential young artists, including names like Sun Xun, Yang Yongliang, Gao Lei, Shi Zhiying, etc. I believe I have a strong sense of duty towards their development, since I am myself born in 1989. Trying to discover the next important artists is also motivating me, just like my family did in their time. . . .