Leading Collectors of Asian Art is an independent legacy project that I initiated to advance discourse on art and art collecting between the international and the Asian art world via the lens of art patronage. Through a series of short films and books that detail “closed-door conversations” with the personalities behind some of the world’s finest contemporary Asian contemporary and modern art collections, i hope to be able to bring comparative accounts of Asian art on a single ‘virtual’ platform.
FUNDING & PROCESS
In order to have a neutral and independent editorial free hand to deal with a variety of topics, I have opted for a combination of personal and government funding as well as institutional support.
In the beginning, broadcasting and publishing formats were only broadly-set so as to allow the quality of the interview “data” to determine the best format to tell the stories. Along the way, outline scripts guide the shoot. All interviews (whether deemed immediately applicable for short film or not) are recorded in digital HD format, involving professional camera, light and sound crew so archival footage are of broadcast quality.
This approach ensures that the research “data” gathered is not prematurely funneled to suit committed timelines and formats of the different broadcasters and/or publishers at the expense of quality. This approach also means that interviews and travel for research have to be self-funded at initial stages. Show reels are in the works.
Many, including international publishers I have spoken to, have suggested that this is the more ‘painful’ way of going about the project as the nominated collectors could easily have funded the project. These well-meaning suggestions come from assumptions that art today is so much associated with wealth anyway, the collectors themselves can more than afford the expense and the art market is so opaque, so why not ride on it ?
To agree to that mode of funding is to discredit the project. This is not a publicity campaign, neither are the books and short films promotional in nature though sometimes “putting the collectors on pedestals” is unavoidable by nature of the choice of a select few. The approach to the project is primarily journalistic and the questions do not skirt difficult and critical content. The project merely provides an accessible platform for these perspectives to be collectively brought to the table so that alternative narratives to Asia and its art scene can be accessed. The selection of the collectors go on a strict set of criteria which the book will detail.
The collectors who have been invited to the project committed with the understanding that full funding has yet been secured and interviews as well as the resulting productions can only be progressively completed as and when personal and/or institutional funds for travel research, production, post production and publishing are available.
Fundraising activities are still on-going and interests from corporates and institutions are welcome.