Joyce Tam is an executive director at Goldman Sachs within its Private Wealth Management division. She’s also the co-founder of the Design Trust and sits on its board of directors
What does art mean to you?
Art is a way of expression and a reflection of the artist’s mindset, and his or her time and surroundings.
Is there such a thing as good art or bad art?
There really is no such thing – it’s whether I get what the artist is trying to communicate or I don’t. No such thing as “bad art” … in my opinion.
Are you an art collector? Tell us about your favourite piece and why you love it.
A favourite piece that I own is a piece by King of Kowloon, mostly because it was a journey trying to acquire the piece and it’s a piece from my childhood growing up in Hong Kong.
If we walked into your home, what would we find on the walls?
Work by Melike Kara, Brent Wadden, T’ang Haywen, Troika, Harland Miller, King of Kowloon and Chow Chun Fai.
Is there any piece that you’ve set eyes on that you’d like to own?
Not at the moment.
When was the last time you entered a venue and were mesmerised by the works of art?
Does the artist have to impress you as much as the artwork itself?
Of course, because it helps me understand what he or she is trying to convey, where he or she is coming from…
Were you surprised by the success of Art Basel or did you think it would be a viable endeavour in a city like Hong Kong?
No, I wasn’t surprised. If you look at all the international cities in the world, be it New York, London or Tokyo, they all have a much deeper cultural component. It was actually strange that Hong Kong didn’t have more art and cultural events 10 years ago.
Do you see a greater appreciation of art in Hong Kong in recent years – especially since the arrival of Art Basel and the numerous art fairs that crop up annually?
I think the fact that Hong Kong people are starting to acknowledge the importance of design is in a way noting that aesthetic appreciation can go beyond a painting, a sculpture or a medium. It can be in our everyday lives, in practical usage of our daily tools and spaces. Art doesn’t have to be big, does it? Art is supposed to be an artist’s expression of his or her creativity and imagination, so it’s a medium. Its form is technically limitless.
Artists fall into two categories: the poor, long-suffering artist and Damien Hirst. Have you seen art and thought: wow that’s ridiculous and it’s ridiculously priced?!
Ha ha, sure. But usually, when I think it’s ridiculous, someone else thinks it’s brilliant!
Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said, “Every artist was first an amateur.” What are your thoughts on rising local artists?
Local artists are great, if only they can build more patronage to enable to them to expand their horizons and techniques.
What are five of your favourite galleries around the world?
Lehmann Maupin, Peres Projects, Hauser & Wirth, Edouard Malingue and the streets of New York.