You were director at Hong Kong’s former Cat Street Gallery from 2008 to 2011. How did it feel being back curating in Hong Kong?

It felt like a homecoming. I was so grateful to be able to get the opportunity to come back and get to know Hong Kong on a different level. After building this collection, I feel I know more about the real Hong Kong, and have gained more of an insight into social and political issues. Artists really help you see the world differently. As a result, Soho House Hong Kong is one of the projects I’m most proud of. 

How do you feel the Hong Kong art scene has changed over time?

Back then, there was no Art Basel Hong Kong. I would go out to New Territories to see small art shows and exhibitions, because I wanted to know about the art being made by people born and living in this city. Hong Kong artists are now being taken more seriously, and the city is a more robust art market, and more high profile internationally. It’s a real trading point for artists, where east meets west. 

Lee Kit ‘22 Celsius degree’ (2018), acrylic, emulsion paint, inkjet ink on wooden photo frame

Lee Kit ‘22 Celsius degree’ (2018), acrylic, emulsion paint, inkjet ink on wooden photo frame

What was your vision for the art collection at Soho House Hong Kong?

I felt passionately that we needed to support Hong Kong artists. Everyone thinks Hong Kong has this stellar art scene, but it neglects local talent. There’s not one place to see Hong Kong artists on mass. So, I wanted to only show the art of people born or based here. That’s a first for Soho House, as we usually show a more international collection.  

How did you source the art?

I come back to Hong Kong regularly to go to Art Basel, and I’ve kept in touch with a lot of the artists and collectors I worked with previously, like Angela Su, Wendy Lee, and Simon Lee Gallery. For the project, we also worked closely with local Hong Kong galleries including Gallery Exit, Edouard Maling Gallery, and Blindspot Gallery. 

Faye Wei Wei ‘Two Boys’ (2018), oil on board

Faye Wei Wei ‘Two Boys’ (2018), oil on board

Tell us a bit about the collection of art on show at Soho House Hong Kong, and how it is displayed?

It’s visually abundant – I wanted to display a lot of art because Hong Kong is an art-loving city, so there are the works of more than 100 different artists, all born or based in Hong Kong. In this way, it’s a comprehensive catalogue of all the great Hong Kong contemporary artists. We really wanted to represent a good scale, combining more established artists such as Lee Kit and Tsang Kin Wah, with those emerging, such as Firenze Lai, South Ho and Stephanie Sin. I wanted to work with artists that tap into the place that they’re from, but that are also part of a global art movement, like Cary Kwok with his provocative works exploring sexual politics. The house also features the biggest neon work we’ve ever had – four Cantonese letters, over two metres wide, by Ko Sin Tung. Quite a few pieces were made exclusively for the house.