An art collection says a lot about its owner, whether it is composed of Old Masters paintings or an eclectic selection of contemporary pieces. A new online exhibition offers unprecedented access to the private collections of six art connoisseurs from Switzerland and Asia.
2021: Leap of Faith is organised as part of this year's IMPART Collectors' Show, which is now in its fourth edition. This novel format is a result of the pandemic, which pushed organiser Art Outreach Singapore to take advantage of the digital space to show pieces that are physically challenging to transport and showcase.
These artworks are usually displayed in the homes, offices and dedicated art spaces of six private collectors from Switzerland and the Asian continent, including Jim Amberson, Dr Woffles Wu and Sangita Jindal.
The virtual exhibition includes video interviews of all of them, giving viewers insight into their interests and inspirations, as well as advice on how to start their own private collection.
According to Art Outreach, 2021: Leap Of Faith will not only provide a chance to see rarely-before-seen works, but "showcases a class of collectors who go above and beyond in their collecting ethos and willingness to acquire works that require not only living with art, but shaping their places of living around art."
That is the case of Lito and Kim Camacho, two collectors based in Singapore and Manila who have accumulated one of the most important collections of modern and contemporary art in the Asia Pacific region.
The couple purposely rebuilt their house in Manila with the help of architect Anton Mendoza in order to showcase some important pieces of their collection.
"For example, at the entrance of the house you are greeted by Kusama's Statue Of Venus Obliterated By Infinity Nets No. 2 (1998). The glass wall behind it was done specifically to display that piece. We also created a pedestal nearby to allow us to exhibit a work, and this is where our gigantic Kusama pumpkin sculpture sits now," they explain.
In addition to encouraging art appreciators to think seriously about how to exhibit their collection, these conversations reveal much about the strategies of the participating collectors.
For Wiyu Wahono, meeting the artist before purchasing an artwork is not an essential part of his collecting process.
"I always focus on the question of zeitgeist: whether this artwork will be perceived as being significant in the future and whether it will strengthen my collection. I don't need to see the artist's biodata because even if the artist only produced one strong artwork, it's fine with me. Often times people will try to meet an artist and find out whether the artist is intellectual enough, good enough, or if they have a personality fit for being successful in the future. But successful often means that the price will grow. To me collecting art is not about making money. It has to do with preserving our culture," he points out.
The video interviews can be viewed on the dedicated website for 2021: Leap Of Faith until Jan 30. - AFP