One of the great privileges of membership in the Inter-national Council of the Louvre is to participate in the annual overseas trips. No matter whether we are visiting cities great or small, in Europe, Asia, the Middle East or the Americas, the Louvre is a key which opens doors to collections – private, public and commercial - that is unrivaled.
The trip this past May to Hong Kong and Macau was no exception. In addition to dining surrounded by master-pieces by Andy Warhol and enjoying a private viewing of a retrospective of late master, Qi Baishi (whose works sell at auction for sums rivaling those of Pablo Picasso), we also had the opportunity of discovering emerging new talents as well. Particularly exciting was a visit one rainy morning to the 3812 Contemporary Arts Project founded by Calvin Hui and Mark Peaker. The warehouse space could have been anywhere but the works on show could have only been produced by an artist with a sensitivity to a tradition of Chinese brush painting millennia old and a brilliance and bravura entirely of today.
Meeting Chloe Ho and discovering her work was trans-formative for all of us present. Quite without precedent, three members acquired paintings on the spot – and this, notwithstanding, the temptations of Art Basel Hong Kong and access to all the artists represented by the doyenne of the contemporary Chinese art scene and International Council member, Pearl Lam.
It seems wonderfully apt that the last exhibition that we open here in the “old” Forbes Building should be devoted to one of Asia’s most exciting “new” artists. Already a decade and a half old the 21st century holds great promise for all of us who appreciate the past and revel in the future.
Vice Chairman, Forbes