"My whole life is work," he says. "there are no weekends, no vacations. Art is my rest." David Chau spends 25% of his time on art, whether collecting or working in art. For him, the time he switched to work in the arts was his vacation.
The collector, David Chau
"Art history is important."
Since 2003,David Chau has been formally involved in contemporary art collection, and now he has formed a collection system and habits of his own. He has his own collection criteria: first, he will consider whether the artist is in his collection system; Secondly, it will consider whether the future market of artists has a development prospect. Perhaps because of the study of art history, many of David Chau's collections are based on the development of art history. He would consider whether the artist in his collection could be preserved from the perspective of art history; What contribution did the artist make to the history of art? And whether artists can change the history of art in the future.
▲ David Chau's collected works: liu wei's purple spirit
Over the years, David Chau's art collection has grown to 500 or 600 pieces. His collection covers a wide range of subjects, from collecting stamps in the early days to collecting the works of wu dayu, wu guanzhong, zhao wuji and other masters of Asian modernism, to later collecting more avant-garde works of art such as contemporary art and video. We thought zhou dawei's taste in collecting had changed, but it wasn't. "The trajectory of my collection hasn't changed much, and Chinese modernism is still a big part of my research." From beginning to end, zhou dawei's works are based on "finding out the subdivided inheritance of Chinese art history" -- from Chinese modernism to how to influence the development of Chinese contemporary art to the present.
"Wu dayu is very important to me because I think he was one of the founding fathers of what is now the China academy of art (formerly known as the hangzhou national academy of art), and he influenced the development of Chinese modernism up to contemporary art," David Chau said. His openness, for example, led him later to France. Therefore, the inheritance of Chinese art history has a very clear vein. As for the future market, David Chau attaches great importance to the supporting institutions behind the artists. He mentioned that the agency gallery of artists was an important piece. Only high quality galleries can enable artists to have a longer and more sustainable development. "In the art history of this era, the dominance of galleries is very strong, and the financial support behind the galleries is mostly through galleries and collectors. Although collectors are important, elitism and elite culture, mainly guided by galleries and galleries, are driving the development of the most influential contemporary art of this era. After all, collectors also collect according to the opinions of these professionals." While many people have not yet figured out what contemporary art, especially young contemporary artists, should pay attention to, David Chau has clearly realized what he wants -- those artists who can be accepted by high-quality galleries and art museum system will be indispensable in future art history.
Patron of the arts
"I have a collection of things I can't sell." Born in 1985, zhou dawei, with a mature mentality beyond his age, took on social responsibilities that did not belong to this age and that many people could not bear all their lives. "For me, art is half an interest and half a career." Although David Chau knows the market very well, a large part of the money allocated to art is not invested in buying marketable works, but invested annually to support the creation and projects of many artists, and most of these investments are not returned. "Without people like us, the development of the art market in China would be worse than it is now," David Chau said. In his opinion, many things that do not make money, but can enter the art gallery, into the biennale works should be supported, this is the progress of society. So when the gallery didn't have the money to support artists at the Shanghai biennale, David Chau went to great lengths to support many.
▲ David Chau's collection: international hotel by Yang fudong
David Chau says artists like yu deyao, qiao zhibing and liu yiqian, wang wei and his wife, are important figures in the development of Chinese contemporary art. As for why he did not choose to establish an art museum like other collectors, he replied, "what I did was to help build the ecology of the Chinese art market, so what I chose was that the system was not well done. I chose to do ART021 because there was no art fair in Shanghai at that time, and the galleries were not enough at that stage, so I sponsored the antenna space and the LeoXu Project. Now that the gallery has some good ones, I don't have to do them anymore."
"The museum needs to spend a lot of money to operate and maintain a large physical space, so there is no budget to support high-quality Chinese artists and art projects," he added. Therefore, David Chau will never compete with other collectors to buy the things that galleries can sell. Instead, he will buy the works that galleries cannot sell to support the growth of galleries and artists. That's why people who know zhou dawei describe him as a "clean" person.
Even as a collector and also engaged in commercial art activities such as art fairs and galleries, everything he did followed the rules and nature of things. "I do all these things to promote the development of contemporary art, to promote good art to the public. Art fair is one way, and so is the Cc foundation."
▲ David Chau's collection: wu dayu's untitled
Founder of art fair
"We have a little fresh spirit, but we don't use it for 'business.'"
Now ART021 has become the benchmark of Shanghai art fair and one of the core forces to promote the development of Shanghai contemporary art market. Speaking of the original intention, David Chau did not expect that the art market in Shanghai would develop so quickly. He just wanted to cover the operating costs and make a contribution to the art ecology in Shanghai. Zhou dawei said.
When asked whether he would consider losses, David Chau admitted that he is a businessman, if losses would not be done year after year. Art fair is, after all, a business, and zhou dawei knows exactly what he has to do to keep it from losing money. No matter the first session of ART021, the first session of JINGART, or every session since then, there is no loss in zhoudawei. Because as a businessman, he knew exactly what business was all about.
"From a macro point of view, what can we achieve in terms of annual turnover? After we have a general idea of the trend of turnover, we can do a lot of micro-regulation, such as whether the number of galleries needs to increase or decrease... That's all there is on the market, how much is left over if you split it up with everybody... So we are more concerned about whether our clients can make money by coming to us, because if they can make money, you can make money. As for the rapid development of the west coast art fair, zhou dawei said calmly, "this is the comparison of the outside world to us, we never consider these, just do the most essential things."
In our conversation with Mr. Zhou, we learned an interesting fact: many people assume that big galleries will sell better than smaller ones. But the ART021 performed surprisingly well -- "we found that sales around the perimeter tended to sell better than at the center of the floor." Since large galleries bring mostly large works with higher prices, buyers are generally those who know the big collectors, galleries and so on. As a result, it is the local galleries in the neighborhood that sell better and attract many new collectors.
Mr. Zhou said ART021 has been promoting more people to access art and consume art. "I'm proud to say how many new collectors we've produced today, young people and Internet gurus." The art market needs blood, and zhou dawei is very excited and sincerely hopes that more people can join the blood team.
Collectors need services and content
"There is no shortage of collectors in China. What is missing is quality services and professional content."
"I think service is very important. "As art is an extreme luxury, it has to be an extreme way to give consumers the experience they deserve." David Chau believes that the most indispensable service in the field of art is to provide professional knowledge, and to turn complex things into simple things, to help buyers who are interested in art but do not understand art to understand and accept art. "It takes professionalism to impress his knowledge structure, to make him feel that the work is worth paying so much to collect, to buy a knowledge."
In David Chau's view, China is not short of collectors, but not carefully cultivate the market. "China is such a big market, so many rich people, why not come in. Some rich people actually come, but get cheated, buy the wrong things or buy fake things. There are a lot of new platforms out there that are trying to make money by organizing collectors to buy the work of young artists and hurting them. Instead, during the financial crisis, there were a number of artists who had been beaten down by the market and who were important in art history, so why not revive their careers?"
Now many art institutions do not do the most essential content and services well. David Chau said that there are many ways for galleries to attract new collectors. Some people may really like culture and have no money now; Others don't have much money now but still like culture and art. You can recommend different works to them, the most important is to let them buy first. Because only the person who buys it will pay attention to it, and it will affect his friends." David Chau always believes and emphasizes that the core and essence of the art market is content. If you want to say the way, it is to grasp the elite culture of the ideas and ideas, with a happy way to promote.
David Chau × art market newsletter
Q1: as a millennial, what is the biggest difference between you and the older generation of collectors in collecting philosophy?
I don't like to define collectors by terms like "millennial" or "older", just as older people buy contemporary art and younger people buy ancient art. I think it's more of a change in the collection system. From the previous must experience "hands down" to the way to hide, to now really is to buy art to collect. Even now, young people buying art may start with KAWS, murakami and even derivatives.
Q2: what are your plans after collection?
My collection is clear. I am not a person who likes to buy a lot of artists' works. I will keep an eye on a few artists and continue to support them in their career. New artists will be based on my global network. I am a trustee and member of many art galleries, including Tate, guggenheim, ullens, fosun art center, M+, etc. I will get a lot of information, they will recommend, and I will do my own research.
Q3: can you share with us some of your Suggestions on art collection?
It's fine to invest in stocks if you're just trying to make money, but if you want to preserve your value over the long term and make a good return on your thoughts and culture, buy art. My advice for these years is to go back and explore our local artists. In particular, the work of artists who had skyrocketed in the past, and whose academic value was high, was now low. In recent years, many people have been buying western products and ignoring Chinese artists. Buffett said to look for things with good fundamentals. In the art market, academic value is fundamental, so art collections should look for things with high academic value but not very good prices.
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