The art market in Hong Kong has been blooming vigorously in recent years. An increasing number of exhibitions, auctions and galleries are trying to make their ways to the top. The Value had the privilege to interview Amanda Wei, the founder of Amanda Wei Gallery, on her experience in bidding for Zhou Chunya’s painting with almost HK$10m. Amanda has been a significant collector in the art world, and last year, she opened her own gallery in Central, Hong Kong. Amongst so many galleries, how does Amanda make her own unique?
Amanda Wei, Founder of Amanda Wei Gallery
Q: How does Amanda Wei Gallery distinguish itself from other galleries?
Amanda: My gallery targets young people by offering art with accessible prices. It is a gallery is for everyone. Our artworks are not those that are superior, those you cannot reach or see. Those that only some people can appreciate.
Q: What artists do you like to collaborate with?
Amanda: I like to promote young artists who have potential. In our previous exhibitions, those artists are not internationally known but they are famous locally, like the French artists Ceet Fouad and Kongo Cyril as well as Spanish artist Belin who is currently on show.
Amanda Wei Gallery
Q: What attracts you to their artworks?
Amanda: Their paintings have a common feature – they are all very expressive. Their paintings are so unique that they immediately catch your attention and you want to get to know more about them. Their talents are natural, not nurtured. Their talents and paintings cannot be copied, not even can they replicate their own paintings. It’s the same case for Zhou Chunya’s work, it’s impossible to copy them.
In this year’s Spring Sales, Amanda bought Zhou Chunya’s A Lying Woman, Black Stone with almost HK$10m
In the matter of only a year, Amanda Wei Gallery has gained much recognition and success. As an experienced collector, Amanda is very familiar with artworks and trends in the art industry. What advice can she give to new collectors? What does she think is lacking in the art world?
Q: What advice would you give to new collectors?
Amanda: You have to see more to have a discerning eye. Go to art events like museums, gallery openings, exhibitions. Don’t be impulsive when buying art . After seeing more, choose something that you can afford, something that suits you.
Q: How can we find artworks that suit us?
Amanda: Unlike buying stocks, you don’t need to ask around if the work will increase in value. Art is not like that. Artwork is like music, life, food, sports. It’s what people need spiritually. When buying a piece of art, at least I want to put it up on my wall at home and admire it. It makes me feel positive, looking at it makes me happy. This is the most basic requirement. You are collecting a ‘brand’. Collecting art is not about collecting ‘big names’. It is more about creating your own collection, your own ‘brand’.
Recently, many international galleries have made their ways into Hong Kong, many of which are at H Queen's in Central.
Q: What do you think is lacking in the art world?
Amanda: A lot of people see Hong Kong as a ‘giant cake’, everybody wants a bite. Many international galleries are entering Hong Kong, they bring in the most famous artists and their work, allowing collectors from Hong Kong and mainland China to get in touch with the best work. I hope the art industry in Hong Kong will bloom in all directions. People from different levels can all get in touch with art. The art industry is flourishing in Hong Kong but the collectors’ group is not mature enough. Only a small number of people are engaged. Most people would prefer spending thousands of dollars to buy handbags or furniture instead of spending them on artwork.
Q: What do you think the art industry in Hong Kong will be like in the future?
Amanda: Hong Kong, Macau and Shenzhen will become the art centre of the future. No matter if you are a kid in kindergarten, or a 90-year-old man, you should sound eloquent when you talk about art. People should love to get in touch with art, be willing to invest, to collect art. I hope this would be the atmosphere in Hong Kong, although we are still far from this goal. Exhibitions after exhibitions indeed makes things lively but we need more engagement. This is the thing that we lack.