In Singapore Art district, I met an experienced Fine art professional Kim Randall, to discuss the ideas of Eastern Art and future of the Galleries in Asia.
Hello, Kim! Can we talk a little bit closer to your work today and getting your professional opinion about the Contemporary Fine art.
M: What was inspiring you for a first time to become a Contemporary art professional? And why Contemporary?
Kim: I have always had an eye for the aesthetic. Contemporary Art = aesthetics with intellect! Art is the product of our quest for beauty and knowledge. I got steered towards the world of contemporary art after I finished studying Interior Architecture in London by a very close friend who was an artist. She instigated my first job managing David Gill Galleries. Through David and his partner Francis Sultana, my world opened up starting with a fine introduction to contemporary decorative art consequently my springboard to the world of contemporary fine art.
Moving to London in the mid 90’s was also a serendipitous inspiration. The art scene there was spicing itself up nicely, thanks to the YBA (young British artists) whose works pushed boundaries and limits stimulating controversy and conversations… this part was most interesting to me.
M: When do we talk about Asian Art as one, in General, we are right or wrong? Should we divide it by Countries and talk separately? What is the Asian Contemporary Fine Art for you?
Kim: There are many parts of Asia, consequently, their styles can be vastly different. They should be looked at separately on their own merits not only by their technique but also by the concept.
M: What is your favorite Eastern Art school?
Kim: I don’t have one particular school I could recommend, to be honest. However, I would suggest research into residencies to artists who are willing to get out of their comfort zones. These programs encourage creative dialogues. Singapore has some good ones. The government is proactive and provide quite a bit of funding to emerging and established artists alike.
M: I was surprised that many Galleries are not looking to the USA or Canada Market? Is it depended on the particular Artist or a Gallery?
Kim: Actually yes, if an artist is good or known they might get further, as with a gallery that backs them but there are a few reasons why it’s not easy…. expense, network, dedication, travel… all amounting in difficulty crossing the pond, so to speak.
The Asian blue chip artists do have representation with western/North American galleries. Introducing an emerging artist does come with more risk. It’s tough enough to do with artists from the same part of the world let alone shipping one over.
M: I found a lot of works that depicting of female and male nude. And every time Artists invite viewers to open their minds and look closer to the philosophy of the body. They are not scared of being provocative. From the Far countries, Asia looks very private and presenting the ideas of family and religion. Is it just a cover for western people or something more what we don’t see?
Kim: The Asian culture does appreciate the female and male form, and there are, of course, Asian artists that have a niche in their market creating nudes but in general, Asia is still very conservative with family and religious values or even politics highlighted. Because of this perhaps it’s more interesting that the feminine and the masculine are woven into works quite cleverly without the more obvious nude as a subject matter. This might change in the future with the introduction of new ideologies and narratives, but it will still take time. That said, if you look closer at the Asian contemporary art out there now, good artists stamp their individuality in their works.
M: As we know, Art business on a big step to the online representation. What do you think, the Contemporary Galleries should use to keep people looking Art on sites? And what are your thoughts on the future of all of this?
Kim: If they just do it, should put as much high-quality art on their websites as possible. There is a lot of art online, but it isn’t necessarily the best. I, personally, like to get a view on the gallery by checking out their web presence but I would never buy something online unless I knew the artist, was familiar with their work and the provenance of their work. I would also research any history of artists, secondary markets, etc, so I know what I’m buying if I don’t see it first. Usually, though, I like art to move me in a way, make me contemplate or stimulate me emotionally, so I need to see it with my own eyes before I buy.
For an online art platform, I would say they need to study their market, price points of what the community you are selling to are willing to pay and put up quality works, priced correctly.
The future of art online depends on technology and our advancements to be able to show the art in the best possible way, so people will be convinced to buy. I don’t know exactly how that would be done, but I’m sure someone will come up with something. 😉
M: Should we go to the Art Fairs to see something new or it is better to look on the internet? What is your favorite Art shows?
Kim: In the SEA region, I love going to Art Basel! Wish list art fair and dream art works galore! Almost a contemporary art museum when it’s on.
I like Art Central in Hk as well as they bring in a good cross section of galleries from all over the world.
Art Jakarta and Art Stage Jakarta do amazingly at rounding up the best that Indonesian contemporary art offers from emerging artists to blue chip Indonesian art works.
The art fair in Manila offers the very best of the Filipino contemporary market too.
M: What are the most interesting things you’ve learned from a profession?
Kim: Being an arts professional lets me use both sides of my brain. You have to be organized because most creatives are not. It’s an emotional business with egos everywhere. Exciting but it’s also taught me to be patient. I love it because it’s very real and creative thinking is key to me. Without it, the world would be a boring place.
M: What is your advice to the Contemporary Artists?
Kim: Continue to provide insightful works that are the sign of our times. Explore all the new technology, techniques, different mediums, for example, photography or digital form arts. Keep evolving!
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