ArtBlitz LA had the opportunity to speak with Susanne Vielmetter, owner of Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects prior to the gallery’s departure for Hong Kong Art Basel. Though it is the fair’s second rendition in Hong Kong this will be Susanne Vielmetter’s first time participating. We are eager to see how the LA gallery is received. Watch for our follow-up post featuring the gallery’s booth.
Tell me about your program at Hong Kong Art Basel. Who are you bringing?
We will have a focused presentation. We are taking two artists, Yunhee Min and Tam Van Tram, who have Asian roots, they’re not from Hong Kong specifically though. Yunhee Min is from Korea and Tam Van Tram is from Vietnam, although they both live and work in Los Angeles. This is our first time doing the fair, so we don’t know that much yet. It’s a little tricky to access how the audience will interpret our program, but we felt these artists offer a good point of entry. They both focus on painting and we are bringing relatively small work. Whenever we do a fair for the first time and don’t know the audience we bring smaller works because our artists might be completely new to the collectors and it’s always easier to make a first purchase of a smaller work. We also know these artists well, we’ve worked with them for a long time, but their work is still in a good price range because they are both early/ mid-career artists.
We are also bringing two new Mickalene Thomas paintings with higher prices. We feel confident that we will place these paintings, even if it’s here in LA, but we’d like to show them in Hong Kong to see if we can find new collectors and a new market for her work. So even if they don’t sell there we will place them, they’ll just go on a little vacation.
Why do you feel it was important to have a presence at Hong Kong this year?
We do the other Art Basel fairs, we’re doing the big Art Basel for the first time this year, but have been to Miami for many years. These fairs are very well run, the fair management goes out of their way to make it a good experience for the galleries and we felt it would be good for us to add this to our schedule and expand our client base. We have a positive attitude about it. It’s very difficult to gauge what the response will be, as I mentioned, and that response will determine whether we do it again, but Asia is an important market, I’m not sure it is for my gallery specifically, but we’re about to find out.
Is there anything you’re looking forward to either in, or outside the fair?
Food. Everyone says it’s exceptional. We don’t have enough time really to do other things. Which isn’t true for just this fair, we go straight to set up and we’re there to work. Not there for a vacation.