Home Arts Taipei Dangdai capitalizes on dedicated local collectors

Taipei Dangdai capitalizes on dedicated local collectors

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“We actually have more Chinese galleries this year than ever before,” says Robin Peckham, co-director of Taipei Dangdai Art & Ideas contemporary and modern art fair, highlighting how the fourth edition launched this week (12-14 May) includes 14 galleries operating space in mainland China, with Spurs Gallery of Beijing among the cohort.

“The fair has worked with the [Taiwanese] Ministry of Culture to obtain visas for staff of all participating galleries who have requested them,” adds Peckham. But he points out that Taipei Dangdai was never a government fair. “This is perhaps our main point of difference with Art Taipei [held in October]the long-running fair run by the Gallery Association which technically falls under the Ministry of Culture.

As the art fair circuit recalibrates after the pandemic, Taipei Dangdai strives to be a major event in the region. “I would say that Taiwan has remained, if not in pole position across Asia, at least somewhere very close. Our thesis behind Taipei Dangdai was based on the idea that the volume [of visitors] going through Hong Kong was too much, and we had to give the galleries the opportunity to come and talk to people [here] in a more precise way,” says Peckham.

The Asian gallery quota is around 70% (the criterion is that galleries must have space in the Asia-Pacific region). “Our selection committee has changed. It’s a two-year process; some people come in, some people leave. This year’s committee and last year’s committee were all about quality,” adds Peckham.

The management of the show is also moving forward with new appointments. Craig Brown, the former fair manager for the now defunct Masterpiece London fair, has been appointed to the newly created position of Gallery Relations (US and Europe) at The Art Assembly, a conglomeration of major international art fairs including Taipei Dangdai, India Art Fair and Sydney Contemporary, among other events.

So who will come to see the 90 galleries, including 30 novices like Ben Brown Fine Arts in London and Nino Mier Gallery in Brussels? (Top-notch big hitters like Gagosian and David Zwirner are back).

“As far as the people who arrive and attend, it’s probably 80% or more Taiwanese, from all over Taiwan,” Peckham says. “The other 20% is from a mix of Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. We’re getting really positive signals from Japan. We have a super group that’s still coming from Korea. These parties tend to be museum-run groups, adds Peckham: “The Chinese diaspora is [also] large and complex, and there are many people, some related either to Taiwan by family or to Taiwan by business, who may be of Chinese descent.

Guy Yanai’s Old Family (2023)

Courtesy of Asian Art Center

Basically, Taiwanese collectors are some of the most dedicated in the region, but that collector base is also changing. “We have all changed and grown in different ways. And I think Taiwan is no exception after the pandemic. It’s the next generation moving forward,” says Peckham.

“Taiwanese are also very specific about what they want from Western galleries, and the access that is possible is so important; for example, they may want to see a certain young painter or [works by] a certain deceased artist,” he adds. The Stems Gallery in Paris will exhibit works by Philadelphia artist Paul Rouphail while Lehmann Maupin in New York will present an “in situ domestic environment” by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm.

Fairs should also organize attractive and relevant public programmes; a key component of Taipei Dangdai is the Ideas Forum, a curatorial summit that focuses this year on the theme of The extraterritorial, discuss “region, place and cultural affiliation”.

Peckham says: “We have 16 major international custodians linked to Asia, based in all of our main territories, so Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea. And we basically offered them a very open invitation in which we want them to come and present their research to each other at the fair. They’ll visit new institutions that have opened in recent years during the pandemic, see alternative spaces and artists’ studios, and “really just to get a sense of what’s been going on in Taiwan in recent years. , when everyone’s gone,” adds Peckham. .

“If Taipei is to become a fixture on the calendar, it must be important for galleries, but also a place for curators to come and talk to each other.”

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