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Art for All, and All for Art

Edouard Malingue Gallery aims to establish a cultural dialogue between East and West

Edouard Malingue spent six years working with his father in his gallery in Paris and a further five years in London as an art dealer. In 2009, he considered it the right time to open his own gallery to show contemporary art and chose Hong Kong, the best art platform in Asia, as a place to import works of art and from which to explore the rest of the region. To his delight, the immigration and business facilitation procedures were straightforward and within a month or so he had completed the process and started his own gallery in Hong Kong. Based on the success of the Hong Kong gallery, Malingue opened a second space in Shanghai in 2016, creating a wider platform of exchange for its roster of artists.

Art for All, and All for Art

Malingue attaches great importance to cultivating an open and trustworthy relationship with his customers. In addition to the local market, he travels frequently within the region, including to Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Mainland China, Korea and Japan to meet his clients. In this respect, Hong Kong is a convenient city as every key market in the region is within four hours’ flight time.

The gallery showcases emerging and established contemporary artists from around the world. Notable exhibitions held in the city include Hong Kong rising star Kwan Sheung Chi, established Chinese painter Yuan Yuan, French conceptual artist Laurent Grasso and Indonesian collective Tromarama. The gallery places an emphasis on creating a dialogue between artists in the region and internationally that combines aesthetic appeal with conceptual enquiry and work across different disciplines from video and installation to painting and sound.

According to Malingue, the local art market is growing in depth and breadth. Asian collectors are beginning to collect works of art from around the world. They have also gained self-confidence and aesthetic appreciation in the sense that they are willing to collect works of art which delight them, rather than simply collecting works by famous artists. In Malingue’s view, art collection should go beyond the investment perspective and establish a cultural dialogue between the artist and the collector.

The gallery organises around 12 shows a year across both exhibition spaces, participates in art fairs and publishes catalogues to let people know more about its works and artists. While rent is not cheap, Malingue finds costs in Hong Kong reasonable as compared to other jurisdictions which levy heavy taxes. “Eventually there is a limit to cost here, but there is no limit to what you can achieve,” he said.

Presenting Public Art

The gallery has gained recognition for installing large-scale public sculptures in the city, including the sculpture Three Heads, Six Arms at 1881 Heritage in Tsim Sha Tsui, Laurent Grasso’s Anechoic Pavilion on the rooftop of Pier 4 in Central, and recently, Fabien Mérelle’s life-size sculpture “Pentateuque” in Statue Square.

Malingue appreciates the help from InvestHK in making these works of art accessible to the Hong Kong public through providing the contacts of various companies and government departments. He also welcomes art students to visit his gallery and start a dialogue.

Friday, December 29, 2017

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Fast Facts

  • Founded in Hong Kong in 2010 to showcase established and emerging contemporary artists

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