An art gallery’s success hinges not only on its reputation, but the founder’s philosophies on art is also indispensable to gaining a foothold in the ever-changing art industry.
Located in Ice House Street in Central, Kwai Fung Hin is an art gallery that has strived to promote Chinese and Asian contemporary art for almost three decades. Since its establishment, Kwai Fung Hin has organized over a hundred exhibitions, and has held eleven major art events at museums, and has published and produced over thirty-five art catalogues. Doubtless, Kwai Fung Hin has contributed much to the development of Chinese and Asian contemporary art.
“What is the so-called philosophy of our gallery? The most important factor is that we appreciate artists having a consolidated artistic background, and learn from traditional ideas, and then move on to producing contemporary art,” said Miss Catherine Kwai, the founder of Kwai Fung Hin.
Ms. Kwai undoubtedly plays a pivotal role in the gallery’s success. Ms. Kwai has always led her gallery in accordance to her own philosophies of art. She perceives that to become an extraordinary contemporary artist, one must possess his own unique artistic style, and that having exquisite traditional skills is also essential to embark on contemporary art. She believes that art is a continuation, and artists need to develop from their own historical and cultural backgrounds.
Each gallery has its own positioning or preference for artworks, and Kwai Fung Hin has been focusing on Chinese and Asian contemporary art since its establishment. When we asked about the reason behind, she said that as a Chinese, she feels more passionate about studying her own history and culture. Of course, as an art lover, Ms. Kwai also studied a lot about western art, but she admits that compared to western art, she finds that promoting Asian art has a more profound meaning to her.
“Why could some artists reach higher than others? Without formal archives, there is no clues for research. Therefore, establishing archives for artists has been our focus, and is what we would continue in the future,” said Miss Kwai.
Facing the competitive art market, Ms. Kwai believes that her gallery’s most extraordinary feature is their publications. She believes that having a good record is very important for an artist to stand out. If there is a lack of good records, even if scholars or students want to study the artist’s works, they could not access any information about them. Therefore, Ms. Kwai has always been committed to documenting and studying art, hoping to leave a good archive for the artists in her gallery. Among the numerous publications, she believes that Li Huayi and Zhao Wuji’s albums are the most admirable ones.
Finally, Ms. Kwai said, “Throughout these 28 years, the most interesting thing I notice is that, whenever the market is stable, and sales are growing, I can definitely put things behind and live a carefree life. Despite that, it is an opportunity for me to ponder and contemplate our gallery’s next steps whenever there are major changes or crises in Hong Kong.” Thanks to Miss Kwai’s perseverance, Kwai Fung Hin has successfully gained an exceptional status in the art market of Hong Kong.
Kwai Fung Hin took part in Ink Asia 2019, an international art fair dedicated to contemporary ink. Ink Asia is now acclaimed as a unique international platform for modern and contemporary ink art. The fair presents an impressive array of ink and ink-inspired works, influenced by traditional ink painting but following innovative artistic paths.
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