A Trademark Style To Rule
Gallerist, Art Patron, Shanghai and Hong Kong
Being at the forefront of the Chinese contemporary art scene, one needs to own a trademark style to rule. Pearl Lam is one of those significant and high profile gallerists in the Asian art market with idiosyncratic character. Her ‘poufy’ purple hair and thick bangles, along with her exuberant and vibrant personality has rendered her as an unforgettable art expert icon. Her taste in east-meets-west modern art has made her a pioneer in the Chinese art world. Named as ‘Asia’s Art Empress’, Pearl Lam is the founder of Pearl Lam Galleries stationed in Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai; not to mention an art patron and avid collector, having supported and promoted Chinese contemporary art for over 20 years.
Read her style talk with us about her expert advice and guidance on her favourite Chinese artists we should check out and which rising Chinese art movement she is most looking forward to see emerge in the art scene.
What does your ideal working outfit look like?
Wide-legged jeans, either designer or from a Korean market, and a vibrant top.
What’s best: heels or flats? Which brand or style?
Platform sandals/wedges for summer and platform boots for winter by Ferragamo, Louboutin, Prada, or high street. Since I’m petite, flats don’t work for me.
What’s your favorite art-related blog or app?
ArtInfo, The Art Newspaper app, and Randian Online for more Chinese/Asian-related art news.
What is/are your personal style signifier(s)/identifier(s)?
Large chunky bracelets on both hands, and my trademark poufy hair, which can either be red, purple, or some other shade depending on my mood.
What’s your necessary extravagance?
As a shopaholic, everything is a necessary extravagance – in particular, art and fashion.
Three things/products you always need to have in your purse?
Mobile phone, Nars Matte Eyeshadow, and a credit card.
What’s your ultimate beauty secret after long working hours?
Obagi Nu-Derm Exfoderm Forte day cream for brighter, firmer skin.
What’s/are your favourite work(s) of art?
I love Beijing-based artist Zhu Jinshi’s heavy impasto oil paintings, where the vibrant colours appear to drip off the canvas. They are rich in texture and are a prime example of Chinese and Western influences converging together onto the canvas.
What in the art world are you most excited about at the moment?
I’m really excited by Chinese contemporary abstract art, which has so much depth and, in recent years, is finally getting more worldwide recognition. I love how it is rooted in traditional Chinese philosophies like Taoism and Buddhism, and how its origins and intentions are different from Western expressionism.
Most sexiest art person?
Dead or alive? Helmut Newton, whose fashion photography were works of art.
Where are you off to next?
I will be meeting with the exhibition team at my Hong Kong Pedder Building gallery to go over details for Leonardo Drew’s solo exhibition, which will open this month.
Where is your next art trip/travel going to be?
I’ll be heading to Hong Kong for the opening of Leonardo Drew on the 12th November, then Beijing for one of our artists opening in a private museum and Shanghai for ART021.
In your eyes: what is the most arty city?
There are too many to narrow it down to just one; there’s Shanghai, Beijing, London, New York, Paris, etc.
Which artists should we have on our watchlist?
Look out for up-and-coming Chinese artist Ren Ri, who makes geometric sculptures out of beeswax by manipulating bees; Su Dong Ping, who is an older Chinese abstract painter just starting to break out onto the international art scene; and Gatot Pujiarto, an established Indonesian artist working in mixed media who is also exhibiting more internationally now.
Photos: by William Louey