‘My interest in art really comes from two main inspirations,’ explains Johnson Chang, who founded the Hanart TZ Gallery in 1983 and has collaborated closely with artists from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. ‘One is the lineage — traditional art. The other is the new contemporary creativity — things that seem to have a vital link to our living experience today.’
Here, the collector talks about his early collecting in the 1980s and ‘90s, recounts his memorable first meetings with renowned artists such as Zeng Fanzhi, Zhang Xiaogang and Liu Wei, and discusses curating landmark exhibitions such as The Stars: 10 Years (1989), New Art from China: Post-1989 (1993), Chinese Contemporary art exhibition at São Paulo Art Biennial (1994), and the Chinese Exhibition at the Venice Biennale (1995).
Offered in the Spring 2016 Hong Kong Auctions, a collection of 30 works from The Collection of Johnson Chang offers a unique cultural perspective on the prevailing artistic ideologies of these two pivotal decades in Chinese Contemporary Art, and features works by the period’s greatest artists.
‘I have always looked at artists in relation to their whole historical context and their own histories,’ the collector and curator states. ‘For me it is not really about a philosophy of collecting things. It is about getting to live with things you like, and also about making relations. Chinese will call it Yuan Fen.’