Art Stage - programme of talks

The programme of talks at Art Stage and their speakers included the following three which I attended with glee... (especially the last one as I love, love, love the topic of important private collections):

Necessary Dexterity: Contemporary Curatorial Practice
Speakers: Huang Du – Curator (China), Eugene Tan – Curator (Singapore), Charles Merewether – Director ICA Singapore.

Scope of Contemporary Chinese Art
Speakers: Shen Shaomin - artist, Pi Li - Director of Boers-Li Gallery, Dr Uli Sigg – Sigg Collection, and Sylvain Levy - DSL collection.

The Changing Roles of Private Collections of Contemporary Art
Speakers: Sylvain Levy - DSL collection, Dr Oei Hong Djien – OHD Museum (Indonesia), Lekha Poddar – Devi Art Foundation (India), Don & Mera Rubell – Rubell Family Collection, Budi Tek – Yuz Foundation

 Pictured here are the big-wigs of the   Scope of Contemporary Chinese Art talk.  From the left: the amazing Shen Shaomin, Director of Boers-Li Gallery: Pi Li, the giant of the contemporary CHinese art boom: Dr Uli Sigg, and Sylvain Levy, whose DSL collection was really interesting to learn about at the Collectors’ talk. In fact, I am only now realizing I have no photos from that one L

I was planning to type my notes from the lectures in here… but have chamged my mind. I may do it one day, but for now just let me write a sentence or two about each of these talks and be done with it.

 Necessary Dexterity: Contemporary Curatorial Practice
This was your typical discussion of curatorial issues, but Huang Du and Eugene Tan are models for modern curatorship - not an air of arrogance in either - great guys.

Charles Merrewether had a lot of interesting things to say about the importance of exhibitions of regional art at LaSalle, and strangely he mentioned my hometown in Oz and also we share the same 'most influential artist' - Kasimir Malevich (but it was different works by Malevich that sent us both into the work we do now). 

Scope of Contemporary Chinese Art
Spent this lecture hooked on the words of Shen ShaoMin, having just seen his SAM installation the night before. It was also fascinating to hear directly from Dr Uli Sigg about how and why he started collecting Chinese art. Or was that in the next talk....?

The Changing Roles of Private Collections of Contemporary Art
This talk was interesting for the info on the DSL Collection, and the initiatives they are taking to share it with the public, and for the other collections also. But it was FASCINATING to me for the Rubells. Their collection of mostly American art must be incredible to see bits of in person. They talked about how the family communicate before commiting to purchase a piece, and they talked about the formation of their collection from the early days. They mentioned helping out artists and when they brought up a giant favourite of mine Dan Flavin, I drifted off into daydreams of taking an art tour of the states whilst eating hot dogs, bagels, pretzels and french fries, and partying nights in Miami. Later on, I went to ask the Rubell's if they'd have a use for an Aussie curator, but I was distracted and overshadowed by Handel's Messiah (see the Collectors Stage post) and, not being brave or loud enough, shrank away without trying. I think I was over excited, maybe I should go to their museum at least once first!

Artprice also gave a nice little talk on the sales and market temperature of Asian works in Asia and worldwide, that was pretty much to be found in its entirety in the free book: The Contemporary Art Market in Asia that no Art Stage visitor was allowed to go home without. I'm very pleased I kept my copy, and matching CD, because it's actually full of so much interesting information (i.e maths) that I could neither retain nor be bothered to write down on the day.

If I were to sum the booklet up for you casually and without using my brain - as I like to do in the luxury of the Heart Fairs arena (indeed, what Heart Fairs is for) - i'd say China is a freakin huge piece of the pie in terms of auction sales, up there with the US and beating the UK. And I'd also throw in that according to a genius half-pie & rainbow chart (advanced maths?) Asia sells more contemporary art at auction in the high estimate range than the rest of the world combined. And I grabbed those facts for you just now without even reading a sentence or going over any scribbled notes :) told you the book was a useful souvenir.

If you're reading this, thank you for the talks, Lorenzo!!! :)
Anyone else, I know I rambled without saying anything (hey read the disclaimer) so please, if you have any specific questions contact me anytime!