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William Lim, Art Collector, Architect, Artist, Feb. 4, 2015

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William Lim, Art Collector, Architect, Artist, Feb. 4, 2015
William Lim, Art Collector and Architect based in Hong Kong. (Image courtesy of Initart Magazine)

 

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

 

 

I am William Lim, I am a Hong Kong based architect, and also an artist and a collector. I did the book ‘The No Colors’, which was published last year by Hatje Cantz.

What does your collection focus on?
For the last few years, I have been focusing on contemporary Hong Kong art. Few years ago, I started to think that maybe my collection needs to have a certain focus. At the time I found that Hong Kong art – there was really no market, and there was really no focus, nobody focusing on their work. And I find their work is very personal, very affordable, and that’s when I really decided that maybe that should be what I focus on.

As an architect, artist and art collector, how do these different roles help shaping your own collection?
I work as an architect, so my work, you know, even from my education, we learn how to think about things conceptually, so for me it’s very easy to appreciate contemporary art that are very concept driven, I would say that that has really been kind of the spring board for the way I look at artwork and the way I collect. So I like work that doesn’t need much explanation, that you can look at it, and then you kind of get the idea what the artist is trying to say. I also, you know, my collection also tend to be very much about space, or about time, which I also deal with very much within my profession.

What is your process of collecting?
I like to collect very young artists’ work, so a lot of time it is really based on intuition. I used to go to graduation show, and I would pick up some artists that I find very interesting, and I would collect those work, and then its very interesting to see then the artist start to develop, and then you see more and more of their work at shows and working with galleries and all that. I also find that it is very important to really not collect a piece here, and a piece there, but to really follow the career of an artist.

Do you agree that contemporary Chinese art at times overshadow Hong Kong art? What is the place of Hong Kong globally as a cultural scene?
Well I think definitely Hong Kong artists are kind of the underdog in the China market, although I think that it is not necessarily a bad thing. I think to me, I have kind of seen a boom and bust situation for mainland Chinese artists. There are some artists that got too commercial, and in a way they have pretty much disappeared from the art scene. So in a way I think it’s a good lesson to learn for the Hong Kong artists. I do feel that good artist doesn’t necessarily need overnight success. I think it is a career, so it’s something that you should slowly develop over the years. I think a lot of Hong Kong artists are probably still the contemporary artists. It didn’t really start until maybe 10 years ago, so a lot of them are still in their early or mid-thirties, so they still have a long career to go.

What is the idea behind your new book ‘The No Colors’?
Now it is probably a transitional time between private collection, and also the institutions are coming in very quickly to start a collection on Hong Kong art. So I find that moving forward, I think some of the major work probably will start to go to museums, and maybe this was a very good time for me to introduce some Hong Kong artists to the world, and then based on that I think more and more people are starting to have interest in Hong Kong art.

 


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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