ART HK Give Glimpse Into VIP World Of Private Gallery Owners

Unprecedented public session to complement exclusive invitation-only Private Museum Forum in which VIP private museum owners discuss shared goals

Back for its fifth year, ART HK 12 (Hong Kong International Art Fair) will take place 17-20 May 2012 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). And this year, as with last year, there will be an exclusive, by invitation-only Private Museum Forum in which influential private museum owners and directors from across the world come together in a unique moment to discuss shared goals and concerns. But this time, the fair have revealed that this VIP event will be complemented by a public session, in the hope of bringing the importance of the private museum to a wider audience.

The Private Museum Forum debuted last year at ART HK. 30 owners and directors of private museums and galleries were invited to participate in a round table discussion, jointly chaired by the major US collectors Don and Mera Rubell and by Li Bing, owner of Beijing He Jing Yuan Art Museum.

The ambition of the Forum was to develop a network among private museums as strong as the network among public museums and to underline the increasingly important role of the private museum in offering the art world and the wider public access to the latest developments in Contemporary Art. This is especially the case in the Asia Pacific region where, despite significant growth of interest in Contemporary Art in recent years, a strong network of publicly funded institutions has been lacking. Therefore the role of the private museum in these territories is vital. Private museums are developing at a significant rate in all territories across the Asia Pacific, from Australia to China, India, Japan and Indonesia. Private museums in Asia are platforms for the most cutting edge Contemporary Art across the region. The number of Asian private museums and the presence of those from the West makes this closed seminar a genuinely global forum.

Participants from across the Asia Pacific region included important Chinese museum owners such as Thomas Ou of the Rockbund Museum in Shanghai and Li Bing, owner of Beijing He Jing Yuan Art Museum. Other notable participants were Tan Guobin, collector and director of Tan Guobin Contemporary Art Museum, Dr. Oei Hong Djien, owner of the OHD Museum in Indonesia, Monique Burger, founder of The Burger Collection, Hong Kong, and Judith Neilson of the White Rabbit Foundation, a Chinese Contemporary Art museum in Sydney. Further participants at this year’s Fair will include Budi Tek, owner of the Yuz Museum in Jakarta, Dai Zhi Kang, founder of the Himalayas Art Museum in Shanghai, Wang Wei, owner of the Dragon Museum, also in Shanghai, Zhu Tong, Director of the Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing, Guy Ullens, founder of the UCCA, Beijing, and Ginevra Elkann, President of the Pinacoteca Agnelli, Turin.

The Private Museum Forum at ART HK 12 will consolidate its role as a unique network, uniting high level owners and directors of private museums from around the world and chaired by Philip Dodd, former Director of the ICA and ART HK Advisory Group member. This year’s exclusive private Forum will enable private museum owners and directors from across Asia and across the world to meet in a private seminar to explore how to make such institutions sustainable – in programming, financial and educational terms – and how they might develop shared programmes in the same way that public museums frequently do. The Forum will focus on the practical aspects of running a private museum, encompassing important topics such as how to source funding, how to successfully curate exhibitions, and crucially how to develop both local and international audiences. Working not through speeches and presentations but sustained private conversations, the Forum will be a place in which the practical issues of developing a global private museum ecology can be discussed.

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