What do you col­lect and why?

Neue Luxury - - Front Page -

Doesn’t ev­ery­one col­lect some­thing? In an age of ephemeral dig­i­tal ex­change and par­al­lax so­cial en­gage­ment, it’s al­ways in­ter­est­ing to pause for a mo­ment and un­der­stand if peo­ple still col­lect and why. Surely, we could as­sume by now that the no­tion of col­lect­ing has evolved in keep­ing with other pat­terns of con­sump­tion and so­cial dogma? Or is it still pos­si­ble that the deeper, more la­tent cul­tural, spir­i­tual and emo­tional un­der­pin­nings associated with ones iden­tity, mem­ory, legacy or mor­tal­ity still cap­ture our at­ten­tion and gov­ern our de­sires? Neue Lux­ury asked the ques­tion of seven cul­tural in­flu­encers from around the globe and was re­as­sured by the re­sponses.


I col­lect rings. I love to cu­rate them on my hands and they be­come a part of me. It has to be a ring that screams out at me. It’s a col­lec­tion over­time that I en­joy. When­ever I lose a ring, I don’t get a re­place­ment. It just means that it wasn’t meant to be. Rings are also part of my iden­tity, with­out them I feel naked!


Ties are like sem­a­phore: a hoist­ing of coloured fab­ric to com­mu­ni­cate with­out words. I have a lot of them and keep adding to the col­lec­tion. There are ties to com­mu­ni­cate cheer­ful­ness or so­bri­ety, ap­proach­a­bil­ity or re­straint, provo­ca­tion or re­spect, for­mal­ity or in­ti­macy. Whether or not these nu­ances are as leg­i­ble to the out­side world as I imag­ine, they cer­tainly help put me in the right frame of mind for the day’s chal­lenges. While a nice new tie can cost as much as a good pair of trousers, when­ever I am com­pli­mented for my tie, it is usu­ally an old piece of polyester from the ‘70s that I pinched from my dad’s wardrobe.


It could be said that I col­lect vin­tage per­fumes. I col­lect more so for the sense of what the scent rep­re­sents at the time, what the scent is, how it’s worn, how it’s pack­aged and just the over­all feel­ing associated with that scent. I col­lect to use, not to keep. There is some­thing quite ro­man­tic about the idea of open­ing a fra­grance cre­ated forty or fifty or sixty years ago and wear­ing it to­day. The dif­fer­ence in the feel­ing associated with the name given to the scent, how it was bot­tled and pack­aged. I also love the aura associated with it, the time, the clothes that ac­com­pa­nied it, the im­agery and the sen­ti­ment it brings when I put it on.


I turned what I col­lect into a ca­reer. I be­gan my arts ca­reer at Sotheby’s - ev­ery­one in the auc­tion busi­ness is a col­lec­tor of some sort. Open­ing up my own gallery has al­lowed me to pass on a love of col­lect­ing art to oth­ers. My art col­lec­tion at home tracks my per­sonal his­tory. I can see my taste and in­ter­est change by look­ing at the chronol­ogy of my col­lec­tion. There are pieces in my col­lec­tion that are still in bub­ble wrap and boxes be­cause I don’t have room to dis­play them. But I keep on col­lect­ing – the de­sire to col­lect en­dures.


For me, it started with drink­ing straws and pat­terned shoelaces. For my hus­band Peter, stamps and cricket books. Af­ter get­ting to­gether, our col­lect­ing im­pulse found its way ul­ti­mately to non-ob­jec­tive art, specif­i­cally geo­met­ric ab­stract paint­ing, con­tem­po­rary jew­ellery and artist’s books. These stim­u­late us both in­tel­lec­tu­ally and emo­tion­ally. We both love find­ing con­nec­tions be­tween things, the con­stant learn­ing in­volved and the ex­cite­ment of the chase and the cap­ture. Col­lect­ing has also con­nected us to lovely peo­ple we wouldn’t oth­er­wise know, not least the artists them­selves, who in­spire us to look more closely and care­fully at every­thing. Now we are start­ing to share our col­lec­tion and knowl­edge with oth­ers through our in-house gallery Spare Room 33.


I do not col­lect any one type of item, but I do have a swelling com­pi­la­tion of ob­jects – books, art, and cloth­ing – that are uni­fied by a cen­tral theme, re­flect­ing my over­all aes­thetic palate; a study in the realm of style. With no real pat­tern of assem­bly, this col­lec­tion traces the jour­ney of my float­ing mind. This glimpse of the past also en­cap­su­lates my hope for the fu­ture: in­fi­nite chal­lenges and ex­per­i­ments to dis­man­tle the sta­tus quo on the way to a new vi­sion and the build­ing of a cre­ative em­pire. The most re­cent focus is my own fash­ion la­bel KAIMIN.


I love and col­lect films. So many in fact, that I no longer have any­where to store them. Stacked in as­sorted piles and in no par­tic­u­lar or dis­ci­plined or­der, they rep­re­sent a body of work much as fleet­ing, cin­e­matic mo­ments for me. I also have an in­ter­est in col­lect­ing in­di­vid­ual scenes and shots that may in­ter­est me from a com­po­si­tion, light­ing or di­a­logue per­spec­tive. I love the serendip­ity of re-dis­cov­er­ing these mo­ments for in­spi­ra­tion and the de­vel­op­ment of my craft.

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