by David Baverez
Author of ‘Paris-Pekin Express’.
The greatest art collectors around the world love to say: “You don’t inherit culture, you conquer it.”
No words can better describe today’s Asian art scene. Asia is firmly on the move to conquer the new XXIst century, not only on the economic and political, but also on the cultural front.
This is the main underlying message of this exhibition ‘Asia: light, hope, and dynamism’. A diversity of artists of different nationalities have expressed, with their own sensitivities, how light in Asia transforms the way we look at surroundings, how Asia’s youth brings to this region an irresistible sense of hope at the very roots of the continent’s rise, and how the resulting dynamism becomes a reference for the rest of the world.
" Many pieces of art exhibited today will, likewise, conquer your hearts. "
Beyond the diversity of all the pieces of art you will discover today lies a common thread: the urge for each artist to go beyond their original cultural heritage to testify how Asia, and notably Hong Kong, has conquered their lives over time. It is from this natural fusion that the artworks on display draw their originality. In that sense, they are a unique reminder that the cross-roads where ‘East meets West’ are all the more fertile when they pay tribute to millennial cultural backgrounds.
Mark Twain impacted on all future generations when he declared: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why”. All the pieces on display already experienced a wonderful birth, being the fortunate fruits of the minds of a few very talented artists. Today, they are gaining an incremental dimension through finding a second raison d’être: all the artists present today have expressed the willingness to give back to Asia what Asia has given to their own lives. As testimony to the way Asia has enriched their experience, they have asked for all the proceeds made from the sales at the exhibition to be contributed to the work of ‘Enfants du Mekong’. This non-profit organisation focuses on helping underprivileged Asian children escape their unfortunate fate at birth and conquer the wonderful life they deserve.
I have no doubt many pieces of art exhibited today will, likewise, conquer your hearts.
It is now your turn to go on and conquer these pieces, to the greatest benefit of the hearts of many children across Asia.