Prestige Hong Kong - - FEATURE -

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?

At MoMA.

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.

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