The Luxembourg Freeport: What Should we Expect?

Vastari representatives are attending exciting events in Luxembourg this week. The official opening of the Luxembourg Freeport, an international hub for valuable assets, on September 17th will be followed by the Deloitte 7th Art and Finance conference. The conference will take place in the stunning setting of the Philharmonie Luxembourg and will host Mr. Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg Minister of Finance as guest speaker. The talks will revolve around the launch of the Luxembourg Freeport. We are hoping to learn about the local art ecosystem, Luxembourg Freeport Customs and Tax aspects and more.

Philharmonie Luxembourg

Mr. David Arendt, Managing Director the The Luxembourg Freeport

The launch of the Luxembourg Freeport was announced by Mr. David Arendt, the Managing Director of The Luxembourg Freeport at the Art Business Conference in Westminster on September 4th. It was pitched as a competitive alternative to Geneva, a next generation of Freeport offering a variety of collection management facilities such as art storage, private showrooms, logistic and insurance services for art collectors, investors and galleries. The space is going to maintain high security standards and work closely with the government against any acts of corruption.

Art and Business Conference, Westminster

After Mr. Arendt’s presentation there have been critical voices from the audience that unlike in Geneva, there is no bank secrecy in Luxembourg and so it cannot be presented as an equivalent. The claims of high security, keeping the insurance costs low failed convince the listeners, as premium is based on risk. In the end, storing accumulated works of art in a single location would make Luxembourg Freeport just as pricy as Geneva. The Freeport was pitched as a one stop shop for storage, sales, exhibition and restoration for high net worth individuals, but one could argue that it is simply an elegant warehouse.

We look forward to hearing to what the feedback will be at the Luxembourg conference. Hopefully the presentations will explain how the management is going to live up to the promises given at the Art Business Conference.


Innovation: It’s All A Matter of Time

Bernadine Brocker, CEO Vastari


When we tell people about Vastari, the first response is usually “That’s such a good idea, why hasn’t it been done before?” Reading Steve Blank’s latest post on why founders should know how to code made me remember this comment, and think more about the reason why Vastari is the first – and only, as far as we know – company to be using technology to connect museums and object owners for exhibitions.


Innovation requires coming at a problem from a different perspective, as you can read in Naveen Jian’s post on dreamers versus experts. With Vastari, we weren’t just at the right place at the right time. We were also looking at a problem from a different perspective. We understood HTML, knew what could and couldn’t be done, understood the growing new generation of young collectors and could see where the art world was going, based on other industries.


In the way of what Jian calls ‘dreamers,’ we were naïve about the existing boundaries in a way that ‘experts’ of the industry may not be. We looked at a world where it is normal for a curator to travel miles to see one work of art, just to find that it’s not appropriate for a show, or where is it normal to spend months waiting for a response from an auction house about a past sale – and it was hard to understand why something different would not be possible. But as outsiders, we didn’t see that there are politics behind the museum requests for exhibition: that the most important works are requested so often that it takes real negotiation to secure a loan for an exhibition, that auction houses don’t have time unless it’s one of their top clients and that curators are seen as proponents of the museum’s brand to their most important patrons.


All of these things have indeed come up since we started building our product, and we discovered that it wasn’t as simple as we thought. To be honest, part of the reason why we are the only ones doing what we do is because we were patient. With a typical sales cycle of 4 years, and an industry that needs to take its time to minimise the risk on these multi-million worth loans, there is a lot of waiting. You have to investigate and be inventive on how to make the business move faster.


And, most importantly, we knew how to understand what can and can’t be done in code. At a team scrum last week, Angela and I had a discussion about the new layout of our collector interface (due to be live by November 2014). There were beautiful things we were thinking of doing, but completing them in code would have taken weeks to alter, with very little to show for it. “It’s like taking a brick out of a wall, and saying you want to put it in vertically,” we mused, “Do we really want to do this?”


The ‘brick’ has now become a metaphor for anything that we think we can do, but will require too much time relative to the value it would add. “I want to add more details to this field on the object description – is that a ‘brick’?” Imagine if you built the company from scratch without realising that you are occasionally asking to move a ‘brick.’ It seems from experience and others’ stories that this misunderstanding is likely to be a main reason for web-based innovation to fail.


Understanding what will take a long time is important during the development process, when you are thinking about developing something in the lean way Blank, Eric Ries and their colleagues promote. If you don’t understand that something takes time, and make a demand to your development team, then you can burn a lot of development hours (and cash) on something that will not have an important impact on your product.


So with Vastari, we had the right perspective to see that museums needed to speak more with collectors, and that the perfect way to link them way using objects. We knew that the Internet was going to grow as a tool for the art world, and that networking is a crucial aspect of it. We knew that it was possible to build something for this… so we did, trying to understand what would take a long time along the way. You waste enough time trying to get the product-market fit right; don’t lose time on things you don’t have to!


Why Do Private Collectors Need Condition Reports?

 Our latest blog post by Annika Erikson, CEO of Articheck.

Articheck v2 Tour Aug-2014 quick from Annika Erikson on Vimeo.

What Are Condition Reports?

Condition Reports document the condition of an artwork at a certain time and place, much like the check done to a rental car or property before liability for damage is handed over.

These important documents serve several purposes, the main one being :

➔ To have a legal record in case of damage to an artwork indicating who is liable, what the damage is and when it took place.

Stop Damage Before It Occurs

Damage to an artwork can be expensive to restore and can have a negative impact on the value even after restoration. Having this type of documentation in place can help prevent damage from occurring at all, because the report itself serves as a very useful reminder to the liable party, i.e. a shipper, framer, storage service or gallery, that they are responsible for the care of the work, that the condition is well documented so even minor damage will be noticed, and that they are accountable should anything go wrong.

Museum Loans & Preservation

For private collectors with museum quality pieces who loan for exhibitions, condition reports are often a requirement of the loan agreement, and this is increasingly the case. Artwork of this calibre should be accompanied by in-depth documentation in any case due to the both the financial value and cultural significance of the work. A condition report will alert the collector or collection manager if there is damage that requires restoration, or an emerging issue that might be solved through better storage conditions. An artwork in poor condition cannot be exhibited and enjoyed, and will be less valuable, often significantly.

Restoration practices cannot deal with all types of damage and will often not bring an artwork back to mint condition. Preservation (protection of the work from major damage occurring in the first place) is by far the best strategy for a collector.

A Smoother Claims Process & Theft Protection

If you do ever need to make an insurance claim for your artwork, having a thorough and up- to- date condition report of the work will make the claims process much smoother. Importantly, if theft should occur, insurance providers warn that recovering an artwork that has not been properly documented is very difficult if not impossible. A condition report provides physical evidence used to help identify stolen artwork.

Condition Reports for Your Collection

If you would like to have condition reports done for your collection, contact Articheck.

We can produce the condition reports for you, by utilising our international network of reputable conservators to send someone local to you, or provide software and training for faster, better condition reports by your in-house team.

Redefining ‘Going Dutch’

Next week is the opening of Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam, an innovative Dutch event that is blazing a trail for the international photography world.

The event has as a mission to exhibit ‘unseen’ photography - either by emerging photographers who are new to the market, or new work by established artists that are also new to the market. Unseen calls itself a ‘photo fair with a festival flair’ - I look forward to seeing this first-hand.

The event is innovative, the concept is new and the work promises to be exciting, but it is the connection between museums, collectors, government and the fair that I find very exciting about this new concept. In general, The Netherlands is innovating in the way that organisations collaborate on initiatives – initiatives that will help the overall craft grow in appeal. This was already clear when in 2012 I found that museums didn’t find it innovative to build bridges between private individuals and themselves (what Vastari was selling at the time); they collaborate with the market frequently and enthusiastically.

Before writing about Unseen’s fantastic programme and giving you a live update from the fair next week, I’d like to highlight another exciting initiative in the south of the Netherlands where these collaborations are clear: Strijp S in Eindhoven. 

Eindhoven is becoming more known in the last few years, not only because of the Ryanair flights coming into their airport but also because of the way they are using resources to support art and design.


Though Eindhoven’s Van Abbemuseum is a strong proponent of contemporary culture in the region, Strijp-S has with a finger on the pulse for developments in the art & tech scene, in what used to be the massive Philips factory and glassblowing facilities, nearly 100 years after Anton Philips set up the factory in 1916.


The area has been re-appropriated and the buildings’ massive spaces now house design boutiques, workshops and exciting events.

I walked into their annual Chilllifest on Saturday, where I got to try amazing sambal, chili sauces, Mexican food and even chili marmalades. What a treat! The idea of craftsmanship that I was expecting from the design boutiques was also to be found in the artisanal spices brought to this location. 

And it brought some interesting characters to the area…

All along the eastern-block, 20th century brutalist designed buildings is a new flow of innovative, colourful and inspiring creativity. The Government has agreed to invest money into the re-appropriated buildings and the studios for artists, which has led to many exciting new projects. To think that discussions of reinvigorating the area started in 2000, much has already been achieved in this area, by the government, designers, entrepreneurs and youth working together.

It was truly beautiful to experience beautiful photography scarves, unique flower arrangements, retro curtains by Henri van Nuenen that felt like they’d been taken from the 60s to 2014, and beautiful asymmetrical contemporary porcelain designs.

A subsequent visit to the workshop of Piet Hein Eek showed more ways that Eindhoven is at the forefront of design. Eek reuses wood from a variety of sources - boat rigs, scaffolding, etc and has a distinct style that works brilliantly in the warehouse lofts and brutal modern structures that exist in the ex-Philips buildings.

Closet in Piet Hein Eek style

Eek bought this property from Philips, so the buildings from the industrialist were again a place of innovation. I was also inspired by the work of two young designers, Rene Siebum and Steven Banken who have a studio near Eek. The two were very busily preparing for the Dutch Design Week coming up in Eindhoven in October, and the inspiration was palatable in the air.

“Sheaves” a Reed bench by Steven Banken


Amazing space-saving wardrobe by Rene Siebum

Now on to the Unseen Fair, opening on Wednesday. The VIP programme includes visits to private collectors, the important museums and a government archive collection in the Hague. The fair’s brochure is a design by Lorenzo Vitturi, the same artist who just had a solo exhibition called the Dalston Anatomy at The Photographers Gallery in London.


Dutch collaboration at its best celebrates the designers/photographers/makers by bringing together museums, government, industry, entrepreneurship and galleries, as has been done in Eindhoven’s Strijp-S.

The Unseen fair brings together private collectors, museum curators and galleries in a beautiful symbiotic relationship, unique for photography, innovative in regards to the current divisionism in the art world seen as the status quo for other parts of the world – a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘going Dutch.’

Lights, Camera, Action: Horst P. Horst

The V&A have orchestrated a retrospective spanning over the 60 year career of the photographer, Horst P. Horst. The German-American photographer is best known for his photography of fashion and women. However the V&A exhibition has not limited us in any way, as a wide range of Horst’s work is on show, from fashion to home & garden to male bums.


Horst began his journey with Vogue in the early 1930s. In 1931, Horst had his first photograph published in Vogue France. By the mid 1930’s Horst had bypassed his mentor George Hoyningen-Huene and became Vogue’s primary photographer. By this point his images were appearing in the British, French and American editions of the magazines. Soon enough Horst was rubbing shoulders with acclaimed Coco Chanel. Who he then spent the next three decades working closely with.


Coco Chanel, 1937 by Horst P. Horst

The Horst couture room at the V&A plays host to the vintage prints by Horst from the Vogue archives. A model that strikes out continuously is the Swedish born Lisa Fonssagrives. Horst took a few test shots of Fonssagrives at the French Vogue studio whilst she was working as a teacher. Soon enough she became a star model. Fonssagrives states later on “I became a model because he made me one”. I suppose this a mere insight to the power Horst’s photographs bare.

Below are the vintages prints of Fonssagrives, annotated by Horst.




At the end of the fashion centred room stand 9 mannequins dressed in the finest 1930’s Parisian inspired clothing. A great touch by the V&A.




Later on an array of Horst Vogue colour prints are exhibited. These are rarely exhibited as very few colour vintage prints exist. 


A fasnicating insight into Horsts surrealistic work is given light. The surrealist art movement embarked upon the world of dreams and the unconscious for breaths of inspirations. At this time period Horst created a number of still lifes and collaborated with the father of surrealism Salvador Dali. His work from this period truly shows how great Horst is a photographer, one that is not constrained by an ability to only explore fashion and modelling. He truly is a master of all themes.  




Lisa: Hands with Vase & Flowers, Date unknown by Horst P. Horst

And just before you leave you get a glimpse of an array of male nude photographs.


Male Nude, Back Study 1, 1952 by Horst P. Horst

Overall a great send off.

Biennale des Antiquaires: Bienvenue a Paris

Who: Biennale des Antiquaires

What: Jewels 

Where: Grand Palais

When: 11-21 September 2014

“to create an event where the beauty of the objects displayed would rival that of the women who would visit the exhibition’’


This coming week plays host to the 27th Biennale des Antiquaires. Set in Paris under the extraordinary glass roofs of the Grand Palais where the finest jewellery will be exhibited.

Grand Palais, Paris 

The 2012 26th Biennale Des Antiquaires saw the first Asian Jewellery house to be invited, Wallace Chan, and the first appearance of Bulgari at the event. This year expect to see all the houses come together: Boucheron, Cartier, Chanel, Harry Winston, Piaget, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, Chaumet, Dior, and Wallace Chan. With each house given the opportunity to create their own personal jewelling mecca within a mini maison. Prepare for a breeze of New York at Harry Winston and chic interior at Chanel.

Harry Winston at Biennale des Antiquaires 

Houses such as Harry Winston have been present at the Biennale since 1974. Frédéric de Narp, President and CEO says “At Harry Winston, we share in the same values of authenticity, exclusivity and a quest for the exceptional. We look forward to sharing a selection of our rarest and most spectacular designs with all the devotees of fine jewellery and art who will attend.”

Wave necklace with 534 brilliant-cut diamonds and a single 60.14 carat pear-cut diamond, in a platinum setting. 

Above all, the exhibition is like no other, the dealers are eager to discuss their pieces and ‘do not touch’ signs are nowhere to be seen.

ArtRio 2014: International Fair

Who: Art Rio

What: International Fair

Where: Rio de Janerio 

When: 11-14.09.14


Photo courtsey of ArtRio

This Thursday sees the beginning of the fourth Art Rio International Fair. Art enthusiasts from far and wide will flock to Rio till the 14th September to see a combination of works by greatly known artists and the up and coming.


Mozart Guerra


Photo courtsey of  Alexandre Macieira

Last year the International Fair attracted over 50,000 visitors and over 100 galleries, including our local White Cube!


Photo courtsey of Azure Azure

So if you’re around give it a visit! 

Brooklyn Bridge makeover

These German born artists have literally shaken up the US through their art these last couple of months. Wermke and Leinkauf focus on urban environment through performances, this is all captured and exhibited by video installations. 

Photo courtesy of Iris Ranzinge

They also do some dangerously risky stuff.


Wermke and Leinkauf’s similar upbringing in East Berlin and hunger for a rich graffiti scene brought them together. With Wermke having studied Fine Art and Leinnkauf having pursued Film Studies the two make a dynamic duo. But dynamic duos aren’t anything new, Gilbert and George, D&G, Bonnie and Clyde etc. What makes these two different are the daredevil techniques employed to capture the niche beauty of public space that grab the public eye. That and sometimes you cannot avoid Wermke swinging from an architectural landmark.

Photo courtesy of Wermke and Leinkauf 

The duo have often been referenced to Philippe Petit. The tightrope daredevil who graciously walked between the Twin Towers in 1974. Coincidently Petit is stated to be one of the duos early inspirations.

In the late hours of July 21st the artists replaced the iconic American flags of the Brooklyn Bridge for white replicas. The following morning the work of art was spotted by commuters and hell broke lose. Some were speculating potential terrorist threats and anti-americanist acts whilst others were debating whether Brooklyn had “finally surrendered to Manhattan”.

Photo courtesy of Wermke and Leinkauf and Wikimedia

Officials began their search for the mysterious culprits. The process included many discoveries. At one point a Californian based ‘pro-pot’ activist surrendered. The alleged culprit, “I came up with the idea. We’re trying to shake people up. Nobody else has the balls to do this,” claimed the member of the so-called POT Party (People Opposing Tyranny). It is safe to say Wermke and Leinkauf had different intentions.

Photo courtesy of Paul Martinka

Although the young artists often attract fans because of their reckless behaviour, it is important to establish what they are trying to achieve is not a collaboration of stunts but a collaboration of celebrations of beautiful public spaces brought together via video.


The Brooklyn Bridge was engineered by German born John Roebling, who recognised the beauty of public spaces. Wermke has spoken about Roebling who “moved to the States because he couldn’t realize his dreams here in Germany, and the bridge for us is a symbol of freedom and creative opportunity.” Roebling died on July 22nd, 1869. Wermke and Leinkauf intended for the flags to make an appearance on the 145th anniversary of his death.


To be honest they have offered us more of an explanation as to why they are pulling these stunts in the face of art than Philippe Petit. Petit when asked why he did Tightrope, responded with that there is no why in the face of art.  


The artists currently face an uncertain fate as to whether they will be able to ever return to the States.

Photo courtesy of Paul Martinka

Check out more of their work including Berlin metro stations and Japanesse skyscrapers at: http://www.wermke-leinkauf.com/en/


Important Events: Chinese Century



Zhao Yao, Wonderlands

HARMONIOUS SOCIETY – A major exhibition of new commissions and UK premieres shown across Manchester city centre

27 September to 23 November 2014

 A key strand of Asia Triennial Manchester 2014, Harmonious Society will feature over 30 major artists from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong exhibited across six key spaces in Manchester: Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, ArtWork, The John Rylands Library, Manchester Cathedral, Museum of Science & Industry and National Football Museum.

Responding to the ATM14 theme of Conflict and Compassion, CFCCA’s curatorial team led by Jiang Jiehong, Professor of Chinese Art at Birmingham City University and a former curator of Guangzhou Triennial, has focused on the current socio-economic vision presented by the government of mainland China, which seemingly presents ‘no conflict’ but rather, almost poetically, 天下無事, a ‘Harmonious Society’. Artists from Hong Kong and Taiwan also reflect their own socio-political situations that respond to the curatorial theme extensively. Simultaneously the era has been discussed as an increasingly destabilised and challenging world and one that has already transformed in the early years of the 21st century – in terms of space, identity and communication.

Artists from Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China, including major figures such as China’s Zhang Peili, Taiwan’s Chen Chieh-Jen and Hong Kong’s Leung Chi Wo, have been invited to show work for the first time in the UK or to develop new work in response to this era of unprecedented social, ideological and cultural transformation through their individual memories, personal reflections and imaginations.

CHEN Chieh-Jen, Objects of Reverberation

Artists confirmed for Harmonious Society are CHANG Huei-Ming (Taipei), CHEN Chieh-Jen (Taipei), CHEN Wenbo (Beijing), CHENG Ching-Yuan (Taipei), HE An (Beijing), JIN Feng (Shanghai), KAN Xuan (Beijing), KAO Jun-Honn (Taipei), LEUNG Chi Wo (Hong Kong), LEE Kit (Hong Kong), LI Wei (Beijing), LIU Jianhua (Shanghai), LIU Xiaodong (Beijing), Luxury LOGICO (Taipei), PAK Sheung-Chuen (Hong Kong), TOF (JIN Feng and DING Li) (Shanghai), WAN Lai-Kuen (Hong Kong), WANG Sishun (Beijing), WANG Yin (Beijing), WANG Yuyang (Beijing), XU Qu (Beijing), YANG Zhenzhong (Shanghai), YAO Jui-Chung (Taipei), Samson YOUNG (Hong Kong), ZHANG Peili (Hangzhou), ZHAO Yao (Beijing), ZHENG Guogu (Yangjiang), ZHOU Xiaohu (Shanghai), YAN Bing (Beijing), YUAN Gong (Shanghai), ZHUANG Hui and DAN’er (Beijing).

Over half the works are new commissions; most are site specific made in response to the artists’ recent visits to Manchester. The remainder are UK premieres.  The following is a small selection of the ambitious works being shown in Harmonious Society:

New Manchester venue ArtWork will be showing a specially created site-specific kinetic commission from Zhang Peili, a towering installation of six un-identifiable flags waving in unison, sweeping the concrete floors of the warehouse exhibition space gently as they sway. The large warehouse space will also host new work by WANG Sishun,a beautiful large-scale bronze column sculpture that seems to defy the laws of gravity. While ZHOU Xiaohucreates an immersive tunnel installation, allowing the viewer to walk through the space, which will be filled with sandbags and screens showing footage of current conflicts.

Museum of Science & Industry will present theUK premiere of CHEN Chieh-Jen’s major new 4 screen video work,Realm of Reverberations. This new worklooks at the deconstruction of Losheng Sanitarium, the first medical institution for leprosy patients in Taiwan and whose demolition became a cause célèbre in the country.Chen Chieh-Jen is one of Taiwan’s foremost artists, exhibiting widely internationally, including at Venice Biennale, Biennale de Lyon, São Paulo Art Biennial, Liverpool Biennial, Taipei Biennial, Gwangju Biennale, and Shanghai Biennale.

Taking inspiration from the historical site of the Museum – that of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station - KAO Jun-Honn plans to use an aboriginal Taiwanese folk song Malan Girl as his contribution to ATM14. A love song about the railroad, the last verse describes using the “train” as way to die for love. Luxury LOGICO will present new site-specific work as part of the Solar series. This work combines computer technology and recycled Manchester lamps to create a mesmerising artificial sun. In this new iteration of a series the artists aim to convey the optimism reflected by recycling and a high-tech future. CHEN Ching-Yuan’s recent work flare-s, (2013) is a looped 5 minute screened animation. The film depicts men on boats sending rescue signals into the sky. As more and more signals are ignited, desperate calls for help are transformed into celebratory fireworks.

Visitors to National Football Museum will be greeted by YANG Zhenzhong magnificent sculptural pieceLong Live the Great Union (2011). Tiananmen Square is no longer unique in China with many mock-ups being built by local governments all across the country. They no longer carry with them the original sense of imperial dignity or the monumental revolutionary significance of 1949, but rather act merely as theatrical sets and tourist attractions. Yang Zhenzhong plays with this idea deconstructing the familiar architectural body of Tiananmen into nine pieces, with the separate components scattered in a seemingly disorderly manner. Only through one specially designed viewpoint can this complex mass, marked with such recognisable signs, be ‘reassembled’ visually into a whole ‘harmonious’ image.

Yan Zhenzong

A work that simultaneously looks at China and Manchester, LEUNG Chi Wo‘stwo part installation No Politics Todayexplores the history of civil struggles, including the IRA bombing of Manchester and the closure of the original Free Trade Hall.  “No politics today!” was the shout issued by Mainland Chinese students when Taiwanese singer-songwriter Deserts Chang held up the Republic of China flag on stage during her live concert at the University of Manchester in November 2013.

LIU Xiaodong explores the vastly juxtaposing environments of two conflicting states. In its UK premier, this series of 17 paintings entitled In Between Israel and Palestine will be shown at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art. During four weeks living in Tel Aviv, Liu Xiaodong travelled throughout the Holy Land to witness and research the implications of religion, nationality, and cultural diversity.

Responding to the impressive architecture of Manchester Cathedral, LI Wei will produce a double-sided mirror sculpture, resembling a traditional full-length dressing mirror with intricate decoration. The frame will be decorated all over by images of animals, some real and some half-human-half-animal hybrids, providing a literal reflection on humanity and human instinct and behaviour. 

Samson YOUNG‘s sound installationChamber Music II: Silent Scores & Non-Events explores the cultural construction of deaf people as disabled, in both its current and historical dimensions. Shown in the Gothic splendour of The John Rylands Library, the work draws extensively from the Henry Baker papers and the deaf-mute education collection at the Library, the largest collection of such materials in the UK. The work will feature a series of small, low volume, sound making objects, installed at various locations within the Library’s atrium area. An equally intimate work of seemingly breathing books by WANG Yuyang will also intrigue and captivate visitors to the Library.

ZHUANG Hui and DAN’er have created a movable sculpture in the form of a shipping crate, made of brass disguised as wood. The crate will be sent around the world, collecting customs stamps and stickers, creating its own global story.

A full pack of information on all the artists appearing in Harmonious Society will be available.

For further information, images or interviews please contact Catharine Braithwaite on 07947 644 110 or cat@we-r-lethal.com


Important to Know:

Harmonious Society is produced in collaboration with Tang Contemporary Art (Beijing), Taiwanese Ministry of Culture and University of Salford for ATM14, with support from Capital Properties, T Museum and Manchester City Council.

Led by Jiang Jiehong, the project is curated by a curatorial team including Yu-Ling Chou, Ying Kwok, Lori Luo, Paul Stanley, Ying Tan and Lindsay Taylor.

Centre of Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester (CFCCA)

The Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art has a 28-year history of showcasing Chinese artists from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the diaspora. It is now working nationally to extend knowledge about Chinese contemporary art within the context of the ‘Chinese Century’ and the global shift east. Ongoing projects include working with University of Salford to develop a new collection of Chinese Contemporary Art, and with a range of partners to develop both exhibitions across the country and the knowledge sharing Curating Chinese Contemporary Network.

Asia Triennial Manchester 2014 (ATM14), the only Asian Art Triennial outside the Asia Pacific region, returns to Manchester, UK for a third time on 27 September to 23 November 2014, with a vibrant and stimulating showcase of the foremost contemporary visual art from across the globe.

A major initiative of MIRIAD, Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University, Asia Triennial Manchester 2014 is a festival of visual culture that features a series of powerful exhibitions, commissions, and creative interventions by artists who live in, work in or address issues surrounding Asia.

Vastari Summer Guest Bloggers

As September creeps upon us, we’d like to introduce you to Vastari’s Summer Guest Bloggers. This wonderful group of girls have given us thought-provoking articles as well as photographs of the most interesting happenings in the art world these past three months. 

Now it is time to learn a bit more about them…



Born and bred in London, but I like to think I fit in with Vastari’s brand of multiculturalism! I’m French and German, fluent in French but still working on the German…

Having just graduated with a History of Art degree from Cambridge, I’m happy to be back in a big city with a thriving, living art world. At Cambridge I specialised in academic art on the one hand, including 18th century British painting, and Imperial Russian painting, while pursuing the hugely rich 20th century through Surrealism and Postmodern movements on the other. I wrote a dissertation on Egon Schiele but through a postructuralist lens, using the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze to uncover how the Austrian Expressionist’s work has lasting power to this day.

But I promise not to bore readers with the pretentiously niche and overcomplicated as suggested above..!

My interests in the arts are not limited to the visual. I am a classical and jazz singer but am interested in a broad range of styles. I just came back from Beijing where I had a go at their notoriously popular brand of karaoke, definitely worth the trip!

Read some of my pieces:

Do You Want to See the Fantastically Rare, Winged Goat-Dear? Or the Extremely Venomous 12- Legged Snake? Or the Semi- Human Centaur Gorilla?!

The Hayward Gallery Presents ‘The Human Factor’



I am originally from Chile, but had a truly international upbringing having lived in Argentina, Venezuela, Russia, Italy, Egypt and Mexico. This lifestyle gave me the unique opportunity to meet people, experience cultures and develop into an observant, curious individual… and to fall in love with the chaotic, big city life. This is probably why I moved to London, out of all cities, 3 years ago to pursue my BA in Interior and Spatial Design at Chelsea College of Art and Design. It is a city that has provided me with the tools and opportunities to develop in the area that I love: the arts.

While I study a design degree, I am completely absorbed by contemporary art theory, specifically from Latin America.

I consider art to be a big aspect of my life, but I thrive on the little things as well: morning runs, food, yoga, memorable conversations, sunny days, nice wine, nice people and chocolate… just to name a few :)

Read some of my pieces:

Discover South American Abstraction at the Royal Academy of Arts

Furniture Design from the 21st Century: A Critical Survey Presented by the Geffrye Museum.



I grew up in the south of England but moved to London four years ago to study art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and now I cannot imagine ever leaving the city!

I have just graduated from the Courtauld’s MA programme, where I specialised in twentieth-century avant-garde art — particularly surrealism — and completed a thesis on the literary undercurrent of Balthus’ pen and ink drawings from the 1930s, and the convergences between these and certain texts by Antonin Artaud and Georges Bataille.

My love of art is matched only by my love of literature, especially nouveaux romans; but I also enjoy: the theatre, travelling, cooking, sewing, swimming, yoga, tennis and craft beer.

Read some of my pieces:

Victoria and Albert Museum Curator’s Talk: French Art Pottery

Digital Revolution at the Barbican



​Bulgarian born who has traded Sofia in for London.

I am about to embark on my final year at Durham University studying Sociology and History of Art. I intend on conducting my third year dissertation on the topic area of The Sociology of Art. A branch of sociology concerned with the social worlds of art and aesthetics. In particular I intend explore the question of whether the majority encounters art in life. This is the idea that regardless of the popularization of art in our society today, we as a society are unable to construct rapport towards art, restraining us in conclusion to understanding it. So naturally I am counting down the days to kick starting this..  

Whilst at Durham I have had the opportunity to focus and develop my interest of the visual arts in Russia with specific emphasis placed upon Constructivism and Soviet Social Realisim. Popular favourites I know.. My Russian affair at Durham has also included attempting to master the language. Attempting being the key word in the previous statement.

I also have other interests, I promise. I was once an extra for an advert and have also walked in a college fashion show, so I also consider myself as an aspiring model/actress.

Read some of my pieces:

Marina Abramovic Tried to Take Me To Bed. 512 Hours at the Serpentine. 

Kenneth Clark: Looking for Civilisation