Contemporaries: Voices from East and West

A special panel discussion featuring respected art collectors Adrian Cheng and Robert Tsao, and Christie’s specialist Barrett White

A special panel during our Hong Kong Spring 2017 season saw the respected art collectors Adrian Cheng and Robert Tsao, and Barrett White, Deputy Chairman, Post-War & Contemporary Art at Christie’s in discussion with host Rebecca Wei, President of Christie’s, Asia.

In a wide-ranging talk, the panellists explored Western and Eastern artistic traditions of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and the cultural backgrounds that have informed artists’ work. They also discussed the market, collecting, and how approaches are changing in both East and West.

‘So many people will buy with their ears,’ commented Barrett White, ‘meaning what’s hot, what their friends have, and what they’re being told they should buy. Where everyone should start collecting is with their eyes… Never buy art as an investment. Always buy art as a passion. The investment follows because you followed your heart.’

Adrian Cheng, who founded the K11 Art Foundation, admitted that his ‘first impression is that international collectors do not know much about Asian art as they seldom have the chance to explore it.’ He went on talk about the Ink Art exhibition at the Met, which traced the roots of contemporary ink paintings. ‘People wondered why so many young people enjoyed that exhibition,’ he said, ’To [them] it was like graffiti art.’

For his part, Robert Tsao believes the ‘boundary between the East and West’ no longer exists. This, he insists, is due to the ‘globalized transportation network’ and the fact that ‘Oriental artists are fully aware of the development of Western art, while the West is also interested in the East.’

For more, see our interview with Specialist Han-I Wang and Eric Chang, Deputy Chairman on the inaugural Contemporaries: Voices from East and West sale.