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CHAMBERS FINE ART | BEIJING, CHINA

ARTISTS: Ai Weiwei, GAMA, Taca Sui, Wu Jian’an, Zhao Zhao
ESTABLISHED: 2000
INTERNATIONAL LOCATIONS: New York, U.S.

CONTACT: chambersfineart.com bj@chambersfineart.com +86 10 5127 3298

CHRISTOPHE W. MAO, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR

How did you get your start as a gallerist?

During the 1990s, as I began my career in the financial world, I became increasingly interested in the visual arts. At the end of the decade I felt that the time had come to open a gallery in New York devoted to contem- porary Chinese art. There was increasing international interest [in Chinese art] but no outlet for it in the U.S.A. I was taking a risk, but from the beginning the response was very good. 

How have you generally discovered new artists?

Very often through the recommendation of other artists. However, it can also happen serendipitously when a work by a young artist stands out in an exhibition and I immediately feel that he or she belongs in my gallery!

Are there any new discoveries for the gallery whom you’re especially excited about?

I am excited about Fu Xiaotong, a young Chinese artist who creates extraordinary works using only handmade paper and a needle.
What was your biggest show of the past year? Ai Weiwei in New York at the end of last year.

What’s one show you loved in the past year at a gallery other than your own?

Richard Serra at Gagosian in New York.

What trend do you see happening in your region right now?

It would certainly be the emergence of new collectors and institutions in China, neither of which existed 15 years ago when I opened the gallery.

What might you be doing if you weren’t a gallerist?

In different circumstances I would like to be a collector. Ideally, an artist!

Name the last great book you read, art-related or otherwise. 

Penelope Fitzgerald, The Blue Flower.

If cost were no object, what work of art would you have in your bedroom?

Paul Gauguin’s Nevermore in the Courtauld Institute. 

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