Insight

I Heart Art Insider – Donna Yuen

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The primary reason for establishing the Art tu: Gallery is to rebalance and restructure the art ecosystem.

成立 Art tu: Gallery 主要的原因是為了重新平衡及重整藝術生態圈。

We spoke to the Hong Kong-based curator and artist Donna Yuen about the art ecosystem, the challenges of being an art curator, and how she came up with an exhibition theme.

我們與香港的策展人及藝術家 Donna Yuen 討論藝術的生態圈,作為藝術策展人的挑戰,與及她如何想到展覽的主題。

  • Can you tell us about your background?
  • 你可以講述自己的背景嗎?

I am an artist and curator and am fond of installation and painting. So after I studied Art Administration, I was looking for a place where I could host exhibitions. But then I found it tricky to turn the place into an exhibition venue on an execution level. So finally, this place has become an art studio and attracted a group of art enthusiasts who are artistically driven and full of passion.

我是一名策展人及藝術家,我亦特別鍾情裝置藝術及繪畫。因此我於完成藝術行政課程後,我嘗試尋找一個地方可以舉辦展覽。但我其後發現於執行層面上,將一個地方轉為舉辦藝術展覽的場地是比較棘手的事情。因此,這個地方最終成為了一個藝術工作室並吸引了一群對藝術充滿熱誠的人。

What I love the most about this studio is the spark between artists with different backgrounds and skills and the ideas connecting and colliding while vision and horizon both widen at the same time.

我最喜愛這個工作室的地方是各個藝術家因為不同的背景、技術、交流意見所碰撞而產生的火花,與此同時廣闊大家的眼界及深度。

  • Why would you establish the Art tu: Gallery?
  • 你為何成立 Art tu: Gallery?

The primary reason is to rebalance and restructure the art ecosystem. I always have a question: Why sometimes can the artist only get the small parts of the profits. I want to make an impact, and I want to try selling our own artworks to earn higher profits. And hence I established Art tu: Gallery. We understand that a gallery’s running cost is enormous, so Art tu: Gallery is an online gallery that sells art pieces online and exhibits at local art fairs like the Affordable Art Fair.

主要的原因是為了重新平衡及重整藝術生態圈。我經常有一個問題: 為什麼藝術家只能夠收取微薄的收益?我想作出改變,我想賣自己的作品以賺取更多的利潤。因此,我創立了 Art tu: Gallery。我們明白營運一間美術館需要龐大的開支,因此 Art tu: Gallery 是一間網上的美術館,除將作品於網上銷售外,亦會將作品於本地藝術博覽會,如 Affordable Art Fair 中展出。

  • What are the challenges of being a curator?
  • 作為策展人的挑戰是甚麼?

Being an artist, we only have to focus on working on our artworks. However, as a curator, I need to find a place for an art exhibition, handle all of the administrative paperwork, ensure the language conveys the message of the art piece, prepare marketing and promotional materials for the exhibition, and so on. The aim is to make sure every visitor can understand the messages that the artists would like to communicate through the artworks, or at least, they can have some learnings or takeaways from the exhibition.

藝術家只需要專注創作藝術作品。但身為一名策展人,我需要尋找地方去作為藝術展覽場地、處理所有行政文件、確保所選用的語言能傳達藝術作品的訊息、預備關係藝術展覽的市場營銷及宣傳品,及其他事項。目的是要讓每個來賓都能明瞭藝術家想透過作品所傳遞的訊息,或至少,他們可以從展覽能學習或有所得著。

  • How do you come up with an exhibition theme?
  • 你怎樣去構思展覽會的主題?

Most of my exhibition themes are always about exploring the relationship between artists and curators inspired by my Master’s research topic. I always regard the whole exhibition as one of the artworks. And the other theme that I work on most is “What is an art exhibition?” I think this is the question that most curators would ask themselves, and I would like to find the answer through working on exhibitions.

我的展覽會主題大多由我碩士的研究課題啟發去探討藝術家與策展人的關係。我經常視整個展覽會是一個藝術品。我另外一個經常籌備的主題是 “甚麼是藝術展覽會?” 我認為這是一個策展人經常問自己的問題,而我會嘗試於策劃展覽中尋找答案。

  • How do photography and other art forms work together and influence each other?
  • 你覺得攝影和形象的藝術如何相互影響?

From a curator’s point of view, photography is an essential tool for documentation. Therefore, it is convenient and vital for us to take photos of the artwork and post them on social media or use them on the marketing materials for promotional purposes.

從策展人的觀點出發,攝影是記錄的一個必需工具。因此,攝影對我們帶來方便及非常重要,因為我們可以用攝影去拍攝藝術作品的照片,再上載到社交媒體或使用照片作為宣傳及營銷用途的宣傳品。

Donna Yuen BIO:
Donna Yuen is an independent curator, artist, illustrator, children’s book author and also the founder of Art tu: Gallery. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2012 and obtained a MVA in Art Administration in 2016. She focuses on participating in the work of curation and exhibition management and considers an exhibition as an art piece, she uses different narrative methods to organize the multiple relationships between people, objects and spaces from the interpreter’s angle. In recent years, she has developed industrial materials such as metal, cement and fiberglass as her creative medium.

Please visit https://www.donna-yuen.com/ and https://www.arttugallery.com/ for Donna’s updates and her work.