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Interview: Kylie Ying, Art Collector and Co-Founder of ART021 and JINGART

Interview: Kylie Ying, Art Collector and Co-Founder of ART021 and JINGART

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Interview: Kylie Ying, Art Collector and Co-Founder of ART021 and JINGART

Kylie Ying, Image courtesy of Kylie Ying

As a co-founder of both ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair and JINGART, Kylie Ying is known to be one of the most prominent (and glamourous) art collectors and art patrons in China. She is dedicated to promoting contemporary art in China and remains a successful investor in various other industries such as media, design, fashion, and health care. As an art collector, Kylie has built and developed a collection that is rich in diversity. Her collection includes pieces exhibited by prestigious international museums and events such as the New Museum in New York and the Biennale di Venezia. 

One of Kylie's vital missions is to support young, emerging artists by purchasing their artworks and sponsoring and funding them directly. In 2017, she started the campaign “Young Artist of the Year”, generating corporate sponsorship and media spotlights for many Chinese young artists, which marks her notable contribution to the art community.

Kylie shares more on her art collecting journey, her perspective on the art world and the growth of art fairs in China.

Image courtesy of ART021

Can you tell us about how your journey as an art collector started, and whether your preference and aesthetics have changed over time?

The first reason I became a collector was osmotic influence, which had to do with my family. The second reason is to let nature take its course. Recent years, I changed from "I like it" to "I want to study it". It is a process from sensibility to rationality and then back to sensibility again.
 

Having co-founded the ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair in 2013 and JINGART in 2018, what have you observed about the growth of art fairs in China in the past 10 years, and what do you anticipate for the next 10 years?

I am very lucky to witness the revolutionary leap of Chinese contemporary art in the past ten years. In fact, I think Art Fair is a mirror of Chinese contemporary art. And in the past decade, Chinese contemporary art fairs have been experiencing a rapid-growth and international development process. At present, it is the largest and most widely distributed art fair in China. I think in the next 10 years, it will have a larger scale and will be more professional, international. Because China is a vast country with different cultures, it is a great place to hold an art fair like this.

Image courtesy of ART021

The art market and online art market have had to adapt quickly as a result of the pandemic. What changes do you think are here to stay, and what parts would you prefer to revert back to pre-pandemic days?

I think because of the special nature of art, physical galleries, fairs and artists will not disappear. And after screening, the fittest survives. I think online is a kind of aid, but NFT is not, it's another area.
 

How do you think the relationship between artists, galleries and collectors has evolved over the past few years? Similarly, how do you view the evolution of Chinese contemporary art and in what direction do you think it is heading?

I think their relationship will be more and more professional, which means they fit with the international market.

Image courtesy of JINGART

Which piece in your collection are you most proud of? Are you more of an instinctive buyer or do you like to take a more methodical approach?

There's no specific artwork that I'm really proud of. My collecting habits have changed over time. I think it is similar to the first question. In my opinion, I used to depend on eyes-affinity. And then I started to study and research. I pay special attention to its background, for example, what exhibitions it has exhibited in or what galleries it has been collected by. But recently I return to my nature. It is a process of sublimation from rationality to sensibility.
 

Are there any new artists or major art trends that you are currently focused on? What kinds of artists and artworks do you gravitate towards?

I don't focus on specific artists or art trends. Because I think the world is still diverse. I am currently studying NFT. It is a new thing that is quite different from the traditional art industry. I focus on other kinds of art forms continually.

The Shenzhen Museum of Contemporary Art and Urban Planning. Photo courtesy of DnA SHENZEN

Do you have any advice for new or young collectors starting to build their collection?

In recent years, no matter at ART021 or JINGART, I can see many new collectors appear, which makes me very happy. No matter for what purpose, through what channel to enter the art market consumption or appreciation, I think it is a good thing. For young collectors, they should think about what they want, and looking, listening, asking, trying and buying are of great importance.
 

If you could invite five artists, past or living, to your dream dinner party, who would you invite?

If I were looking for five artists, I would look for the masters of the past. The most famous four masters are Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso and Andy Warhol. I'd like to invite more masters if I could do so. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to have dinner with many masters face to face. For example,I have close communication with Luc Tuymans, Francis Alys, and great Chinese artists, such as Zhang Enli and Zhou Chunya. I think I'm pretty lucky.
 


Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.


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