The most influential collectors and patrons in history collected in an eclectic way, building collections based on their own artistic vision and mission, informed by a broad and deep understanding of art and civilization.
The Medici Family commissioned art of their time, but also surrounded themselves with Greek and Roman antiquities. Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty assembled art produced throughout China, but also perfected art from his own time in his imperial workshops, and embraced western art and curiosities. In the Rockefeller family, while some were devoted to classical European art, some champion the avant-garde and built one of the world’s most impressive modern art collection.
In today’s global art market, long gone are the geographical, time and cultural boundaries. More and more collectors are able to strategically build their collections based on their own understanding of aesthetics, culture and the art market. Connecting the dots between the east and the west, or juxtaposing the past and the present, they bring objects into context and giving them new life. Their collections are an expression of their own artistic and creative identity.
This 6-week online programme broadens the horizon of art appreciation and collecting by introducing a comparative approach to art history. We will learn about the encyclopedic collection of the Rockefeller family, as well as how Belgium interior designer and art dealer Axel Vervoordt made his name as a tastemaker and pioneer of cross-cultural buying. We will also investigate a few cross-category themes, “Chinese ink and Western Oil Paintings”, “Chinese Classical Paintings and the Contemporary Eye”, and “Chinese Contemporary Art and Western Art”, serving as reference points for collectors to formulate their own cross-buying strategies.
Watch here an introduction of the programme by Programme Lead Yi Gao:
Selection of pieces from The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, by interior designer Frank de Biasi.
Dr. Elaine Yin Ning Kwok Part-time Lecturer The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Kwok, Yin Ning (Elaine) obtained her PhD, MPhil degree, and BA degree (double majors) from the University of Hong Kong. Currently, she teaches three MA courses on Western and Chinese art history at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The two MA courses on Chinese art history (before and after 1900) have been taught by her since 2014. She also taught four survey and thematic courses on contemporary Western art history for a BA program at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (offshore campus in Hong Kong) during 2014-2017. For Christie’s Education (Asia) she has taught Western art history on various topics since 2014. Her research interests embrace art history and aesthetics (Western and Chinese), and cross-cultural interaction history between Europe and China. On these subjects, her publications appear in academic journals and publishing institutes including Grove Dictionary of Art, Grove Art Online, Oxford Art Online, Oxford University Press.
Elaine Kwok Director, Chairman's Office
Christie’s Asia Pacific
As Director, Chairman’s Office and Auctioneer, Elaine Kwok is responsible for business development and top client relationships in Asia. Before joining the Chairman’s Office, Elaine ran Christie’s Education in Asia, a program she started in 2010 to inspire collectors and enthusiasts to engage with the art world. Elaine is a key auctioneer for the region, and in 2015 became the first Christie’s auctioneer to pass the China auctioneer license exam. Elaine serves on the art museum advisory committee of Hong Kong’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department, and has been honoured as 40 Under 40 Asia Pacific by Apollo Magazine in 2016.
Before joining the auction industry, Elaine worked at Goldman Sachs and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. A Hong Kong native, she holds a BA from Harvard University, an MA from School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and an MBA from Stanford University.
Dylan Shuai Art Advisor and Press Manager
Axel Vervoordt Gallery
Dylan Shuai joined Axel Vervoordt Gallery in February 2020 as Art Advisor and Press Manager, to strengthen the gallery’s commitment to promote its artists in Asia, and bridge artistic expressions between the East and the West. Dylan was previously Account Director at Sutton PR, before joining David Zwirner gallery’s new Hong Kong space in 2018.
Yi Gao Programme Lead
Christie’s Education Asia Pacific
As Programme Lead of Christie’s Education Asia Pacific, Yi is responsible for developing course curricula and programme content, as well as supporting teaching, studying and recruitment. Prior to joining Christie’s, she completed her M.A. in Art, Law and Business, awarded jointly by Christie’s Education London and University of Glasgow College of Arts.
Yi is a qualified attorney licensed to practice in New York and practiced corporate and capital markets law at the global law firm of Kirkland & Ellis. She holds a B.A. in Law from Beijing Foreign Studies University and L.L.M. from New York University School of Law. Yi has studied and worked in Beijing, Hong Kong, New York, Washington D.C. and London, and is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.