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Sylvain Levy, Founder of DSL Collection, Feb. 27, 2014

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Sylvain Levy, Founder of DSL Collection, Feb. 27, 2014
Sylvain & Dominique Levy, leading collectors of Chinese contemporary art based in France.

 

Our Conversation Series features intimate interviews with leading experts from around the world: collectors, curators, artists, gallerists, and museum directors.

 

 

The biggest problem is that you have to connect with Chinese contemporary art. You have to connect either by educating yourself, [or] being accustomed to this new type of creativity, which is in China. It takes some time to do it, and you also have to have an access to the works. If you live in New York, how can you have access to the works? There is perhaps just two galleries [of Chinese contemporary art] in New York. If you go to fairs, you have perhaps three or four galleries representing Chinese contemporary art.

What defines DSL Collection?
We decided with this collection to collect perhaps in another way. We decided that it was not just about objects, it was about many other goals. The first goal for us was through the objects to discover a new country, a new culture - China. The other goal was through the objects to connect to people, especially to the Chinese people. Then, also we noticed what was interesting [is that] if you want to build something that has a very strong image, you have to focus. We have to create a real DNA that can be used even by other people, even from not here. So this is why we have fixed a certain number of goals: the first - to focus on China; the second is to collect big format; the third one is to limit the collection to 250 works. Also, it’s about using all kinds of new technologies to connect people with art, especially now [with] all types of social networks. And the last thing which is very important is to be very present, actively present in education.

How is Chinese contemporary art perceived in the west?
For most of the case in the West, Chinese contemporary art is perceived through some symbols. Either in terms of art, the symbols of the man who is smiling, the man who is bold, the mask. To tell you the truth, it is easier because the Chinese names are difficult. The other symbol is about the market, the bubbles. Another symbol is about fake numbers, or fake [works]. So I think that the idea of Chinese contemporary art is a little bit, for me, too simple.

You have just published a book on your collection, what would you want readers to take away from it?
With a book like this, I would like people to, first, is perhaps to have another idea on what is happening in China. But what I want the most is for people to be curious to make their own journey to discover what is happening in China.
 


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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