第二屆水墨藝博即將於12月16日至18日於香港舉辦,Barnebys特別榮幸親自專訪了主席及總監許劍龍先生(Calvin Hui)。訪談間,Calvin無不展露出對水墨畫的熱愛和積極想讓世界各地藝術愛好者認識及欣賞這門源自東方的藝術。Calvin帶我們走進水墨藝博的世界,它的過去與未來並不互相抵觸而是環環相扣。他也道出創展的初衷和提出水墨藝術的獨到見解。Calvin不光只是追求水墨的商業藝術的層面,並積極追求學術教育和專業藝術家的認可和大眾們對水墨的好奇與接受。

Calvin形容:「Ink Asia 是一個專業而且開放的藝術交流及藝術品交易平台,我期望聯繫來自各地的藝術家、美術館、學術 機構、畫廊、收藏家及基金會,更自由地進行交流,探索文化傳承,拓展水墨精神,同時研討水墨 的當代性與未來性,理解東西方在世界觀和文化價格觀上的同與異,給藝術市場提供另一個選擇和可能。」

水墨藝博雖然是非常新穎的藝術展類,但它博大精深的文化與歷史根源卻是處處含學問也絕對不容小覷。 你絕對料想不到傳統宣紙上的中國水墨竟然可以如此變化多端,不但融入裝置藝術概念也積極的追求突破與創新。

Director of Ink Asia - Mr. Calvin Hui (photo courtesy Ink Asia) Director of Ink Asia - Mr. Calvin Hui (photo courtesy Ink Asia)

How did you become the director of INK ASIA 2016? Tell us about your background.    

I am the co-chairman and director of Ink Asia art fair and Art & Antique International Fair Ltd is the company that organises the event. Andy Hei, the director of Fine Art Asia, is also the co-chair and we run the company together. There are three fairs organised by us, including Fine Art Asia, Ink Asia and Guardian Fine Art Asia.

You may have already heard about Fine Art Asia. The Ink Asia was founded last year by me and Guardian Fine Art Asia is in Beijing as the partnership with China Guardian Auction House. We bring Fine Art Asia to Beijing as our side of the partnership. Apart from Ink Asia, I have been also involved in Fine Art Asia for the last five years and it was only last year we decided to launch a new fair, called Ink Asia. You can describe me as more of a post art person. I have become passionate about Ink Art and would like to introduce it to the world, whilst Andy Hei can focus on Fine Art Asia. I think it’s good in terms of branding and strategy as we have different knowledge and expertise to promote to our gallery partners as well as the markets.

Ink Asia in 2015 Ink Asia in 2015

What inspired you to create Ink Asia?

There are two main reasons. First of all, I see the business opportunities in this area for an art fair. A lot of people have asked me whether this move is too risky or brave to create an art fair specialising in only one category. But I have completely the opposite view as I see Ink Art as an important oriental language in the history and culture of China or Chinese-Asian regions. Besides, there are a great deal of supplies and resources of Ink Art, from artists, collectors, galleries to art lovers. To me, Ink Art is part of my Chinese DNA. Ink is spirituality or philosophy, quite intangible but I feel strongly connected with it. So in this context, I ask myself why don’t we start to promote Ink and create a platform, just like how Barnebys creates a platform bringing people together. I hope this fair can let people talk about Ink, collect Ink, share experience and also create a dialogue with the world. I believe there is a huge potential.

沈愛其大型裝置 -《水墨里程》 沈愛其大型裝置 -《水墨里程》

Secondly, it’s about my ambition and cultural. I am very passionate about Ink and I believe promoting Ink or set up a related fair should be done. We know our history and share the culture and understanding in this region. More importantly, we have seen China emerging rapidly in the last few years, particularly from a financial perspective. What comes next is the emphasis on culture, hence we start to talk about art, interact with the world and even offer to the world. After brainstorming for what type of arts to offer to China population, the answer is definitely Ink Art, because Ink belongs to Chinese oriental culture. It would be nice to have such platform in Hong Kong, an open and an international city. I welcome all kinds of galleries and collectors to learn and know more about Ink.

What type of visitors does the fair attract?

I categorise the collectors into two tiers. One is the general art lovers and another is professional collectors. The market is so big and growing, so I want to engage everybody. The fair also aims to attract professionals and get recognition by the academic and the commercial world. Two types of Ink art will be introduced at the fair. The first type is the artists who apply ink as a medium and want to use this medium to create art work. Another type is the artists who understand the history and development of ink culture.

Ink Asia View 5

What is Ink Culture? What is the reception for Chinese (Contemporary) Ink Art from Chinese or non-Chinese collectors?

Ink culture always talks about spirituality and connection with nature. We have a lot of artists in China or this region would really like to share their passions to make the public understand the heritage and history. Some of them also try to innovate Ink art by adopting new concepts or reinterpreting the traditional aesthetic.

On one hand, Ink carries the aesthetic beauty of Chinese culture; on the other hand, it is a very exciting medium for artists who want to break through. Last year many visitors described they were amazed and surprised by the Ink fair as they saw Ink art from a new dimension, beyond the traditional perception. Ink is often associated with paper scrolls. So this is part of the perception we have as Chinese. Last year, I defined five pillars for the context of Ink Asia. These five pillars are fundamental, but I try to develop it every year without setting boundaries. In the beginning, I set up the five pillars because nobody understood this abstract concept: "Ink Art, what is that?" In the end, the fair was presented to the public with a contemporary setting exhibiting photographs, installations and traditional paper scrolls! I think both Chinese or non-Chinese audiences felt very impressed because this fair brought a new possibility to the market.

Ink Asia View 2 (1)

What is new and what are highlight for the 2016 edition of INK ASIA?

This year I set up a session called "SPOTLIGHT" featuring solo artists exhibitions and another program called "HIGHLIGHT". Thsi year, we haven’t used the five pillars concept to promote the fair, as we did last year. 「HIGHLIGHT」 will feature 12 galleries, which have invested a lot of effort into promoting ink art. They are established galleries who have the muscles to stretch. From these 12 galleries, you may find some hints of future trend. In the "SPOTLIGHT" section, I encourage the galleries to nominate one single artist to host their solo exhibition in the fair. So now we have a group of booths called individual booth.

In the first year, it was pretty difficult to convey the concept of ink art as it is new. That’s why I set up five pillars to describe what ink fair is. I am very impressed that the recognition came very fast after our first fair. That’s why this year I've created and developed the new themes, including「SPOTLIGHT」and 「HIGHLIGHT」. Apart from installations, this year we have academic programme presented by Ink Society.

See the fundamental concept of five pillars behind Ink Asia, click here.

Ink Asia View 3

What advice would you give to the new collectors?

You need to know what you like. Setting the budget, doing homework/research, browsing the Internet to see new things, attending a variety of exhibitions or fairs and meeting artists is very useful. When your collection is purely for pleasure, don’t put too much stress on it. Go collect it! Don’t ask how much it is or what it will be worth in a few years time as your first questions. Unless you are collection to invest, in which case then you do not need to care about your taste. Investment in art is another board game and a different interesting topic.

How has the art market, particularly Ink Art, changed since you started?

It has been four years since the real boom of Ink Art, 2011-2012. I see the Ink Art market, or the development of the Chinese art market in large, is still quite primitive. The market started in 2006-2007 and since then we experienced the financial crisis as well as political turmoil. The Chinese art market is strongly dominated and greatly influenced by auction markets. Hence I believe the eco systems of Ink Art, or general art market is still under development. There are a lot of areas in this system that need to be set up or nurtured, such as museums. We do not have the scale of such museums as the Tate modern in the UK and the academic support is comparatively thin.

Despite my mention of the dominance of the auction market causing the unstableness, they do create the awareness and need for art. It is good to see they make galleries and art lovers participate. I see a lot of opportunities in this developing market. Most importantly, this market is so big because of the large Chinese population and a growing number of collectors and artists.

I hope Ink Asia will become a professional and recognised platform to benchmark the Ink development or to create an opportunity allowing people to discuss and shape the future trend together.

What do you think about Barnebys, an online search engine brining all the arts in one place?

It is a very important and useful platform to make art information become easy access and transparent. The search engine helps to promote and educate the collectors and general public. I think this is good to see more websites specialised in art, and this enhances knowledge sharing. I am hoping to see a more specialised art portal with art expertise and strength and I believe this is the future trend.

管偉邦大型裝置-《松碧森森》 管偉邦大型裝置-《松碧森森》

Barnebys 搜尋有關水墨藝術作品

更多有關水墨藝博的資訊:www.inkasia.com.hk

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