Katie de Tilly arrived in Hong Kong in 1994 when Chinese contemporary art was yet to come into international focus.
With a particular interest in the rich historical, social and cultural context in China and the development in Asia of its contemporary art scene, she founded 10 Chancery Lane Gallery in 2001, expanding it in 2006 and 2008 with warehouse project spaces in Chai Wan. Recently, Katie and her husband Georges began H-KAGE FOUNDATION to create a platform to link independent not-for-profit art institutions across Asia as well as create educational development in Hong Kong by providing a curator mentoring program.
Katie holds degrees in Science and Literature from the US as well as a diploma in Acupuncture from Hong Kong University. She contributes a monthly column called Artspy for Baccarat Magazine. She sits on the board of the Tate APAC committee, Program Advisory Committee (PAC) of RMIT University and is Co-President of the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association.
Left: Wang Keping, and Right: Katie de Tilly. (image courtesy of Artshare)
Chinese sculptor Wang Keping is an artist I truly admire. His conviction as an artist and his unique sculptural language are forever inspiring. He is able to turn a knotted chunk of wood into an erotic female form with such intensity and perceptive feeling. His knowledge and understanding of woods allow for diverse forms. Some sinuous and flowing, others gnarled and organic. The cracks, the grain, the knots, the density all lend different characteristics to his works, each unique. He has no assistant and never has, some works weighing a ton. He rigs a chain and pulley to move them from here to there. His work is deeply meditative and at the same time brute. They are inspired from the past perhaps ancient Chinese Han yet they are his own creation with a notable outlook on natural forces, and Zen Buddhism, which invites direct experience of the infinite.
The Venice Biennale combines everything from the old masters to the present. The city's beauty is a backdrop to the contemporary art exhibitions that span the entire city. Art everywhere and in just a few days, it is never enough time to see it. Yet what you do take in, remains with you like a blanket of beauty that has enriched and elevated you forever more. The churches with Titians, Tintoretto or Veronese frescoes abound. The contemporary exhibitions in the Giardini and the Arsenale bring together the entire world of contemporary art in an arena of viewing. Overwhelming, yes, but always inspiring. And the food ain’t bad either.
Huang Rui works at Art Basel HK (Image courtesy of Artshare)
Being an art dealer allows for a very special relationship with artists. Conversations are deep and soul searching. There is a dialogue that transcends the everyday combining dream, intellect, emotion and fervour. Huang Rui is an artist I truly enjoy spending time with when I am in Beijing. His home is a modern brick courtyard-inspired house. A Ming dynasty veranda gives shade to a table next to a swimming pool adorned with trees and his sculptural work. Huang Rui, an artist since the 70s is a true intellect and everything he does is thoughtful and with a strict amount of refinement and detail. Yet, like himself not leaving out warmth and a welcoming presence. The home is filled with his works from the 70s to today. The smell of turpentine from wet paint laces the air. He brings together artists such as musicians and dancers who all gather for evenings of food and drink and performances. His conversations alternate between confucianism, Chinese history old and new, the I Qing, etc. He is knowledgeable and passionate and never stops working. It is a pleasure to know him deeply.
Huang Rui at home. (Image courtesy of Artshare)
Huang Rui, Black and White Cats 49, Then?, 2014. (Image courtesy of Artshare)
Katie de Tilly, Gallerist. (Image courtesy of Artshare)
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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