E-Issue 07 –– AUH
Winter 2023-24

January 29th, 2024

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in Abu Dhabi/Dubai
  3. Cover Interview: Shaikha Al Ketbi on Darawan
  4. Rapport: Public Art in the Gulf and a Case Study of Manar Abu Dhabi
  5. Hashel Al Lamki’s Survey Exhibition Maqam Reflects on a Decade of Practice in Abu Dhabi
  6. “You Can’t Stand on a Movement”: Michelangelo Pistoletto Interviews Benton Interviewing Pistoletto

Winter/Spring 2024

Curators Interview May 14, 2024
AUH Embracing Change through an Open System: Maya Allison and Duygu Demir on “In Real Time” at NYUAD Art Gallery

About ––

    What We Do
    Editorial Board

Interviews ––

    Selected Archive

Open Call ––

    E-08 Seoul

Newsletter ––

Chronological Archive ––

    Selected Archive

Artist Interview November 18th, 2016
AUH Raed Yassin in Abu Dhabi

Editorial March 1st, 2018
AUH Abu Dhabi Is The New Calabasas

Exhibition Listing May 22nd, 2018
DXB Christopher Benton: If We Don't Reclaim Our History, The Sand Will

Artist Interview June 15th, 2018
TYO An Interview with BIEN, a Rising Japanese Artist

Artist Interview July 17th, 2018
TYO Rintaro Fuse on Selfies and Cave Painting

Artist Interview August 28th, 2018
BER Slavs and Tatars: “Pulling a Thread to Undo The Sweater”

Artist Interview September 1st, 2018
NYC Shirin Neshat In Conversation with Sophie Arni and Ev Zverev

Artist Interview September 1st, 2018
PAR Hottest Spices: Michèle Lamy

E-Issue 01 –– AUH/DXB
Summer 2020

August 1st, 2020

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in the UAE
  3. Pop(Corn): Hashel Al Lamki
  4. Tailoring in Abu Dhabi
  5. Rapport: Dubai
  6. Michael Rakowitz From the Diaspora

Fall/Winter 2020-21

Artist Interview August 23rd, 2020
LHR/MCT Hanan Sultan Rhymes Frankincense with Minimalism

Artist Interview August 24th, 2020
DXB Augustine Paredes Taking Up Space

Artist Interview August 26th, 2020
AUH Sarah Almehairi Initiates Conversations

Market Interview August 28th, 2020
AUH/DXB 101 Pioneers Ethical and Curious Art Collecting

Exhibition September 1st, 2020
DXB Alserkal Arts Foundation Presents Mohamed Melehi

Market Interview September 4th, 2020
DXB Meet Tamila Kochkarova Behind ‘No Boys Allowed’

Artist Interview September 7th, 2020
DXB Taaboogah Infuses Comedy Into Khaleeji Menswear

Artist Interview September 10th, 2020
LHR/CAI Alaa Hindia’s Jewelry Revives Egyptian Nostalgia

Curator Interview September 14th, 2020
UAE Tawahadna Introduces MENA Artists to a Global Community

Exhibition Review September 24th, 2020
MIA a_part Gives Artists 36 Hours to React

Artist Interview September 27th, 2020
AUH BAIT 15 Welcomes New Member Zuhoor Al Sayegh

Market Interview October 14th, 2021
DXB Thaely Kicks Off Sustainable Sneakers

Exhibition Review October 19th, 2020
DXB Do You See Me How I See You?

Exhibition October 22nd, 2020
TYO James Jarvis Presents Latest Collages at 3110NZ

Exhibition Review October 22nd, 2020
AUH Ogamdo: Crossing a Cultural Highway between Korea and the UAE

Book Review October 28th, 2020
DAM Investigating the Catalogues of the National Museum of Damascus

Exhibition Review November 13th, 2020
Kanye Says Listen to the Kids: Youth Takeover at Jameel Arts Centre

Exhibition Review November 16th, 2021
DXB Melehi’s Waves Complicate Waving Goodbye

Exhibition Review November 19th, 2020
DXB Spotlight on Dubai Design Week 2020

Exhibition Review November 21st, 2020
DXB 101 Strikes Again with Second Sale at Alserkal Avenue

Exhibition Review
November 23rd, 2020

AUH SEAF Cohort 7 at Warehouse 421

Exhibition Review December 9th, 2020
SHJ Sharjah Art Foundation Jets Ahead on the Flying Saucer

Curator Interview January 25th, 2021
DXB Sa Tahanan Collective Redefines Home for Filipino Artists

Exhibition Review February 21st, 2021
GRV MIA Anywhere Hosts First Virtual Exhibition of Female Chechen Artists  

🎙️GAD Talk Series –– Season 1 2020

November 1st, 2020
1. What is Global Art Daily? 2015 to Now

November 16th, 2020
2. Where is Global Art Daily? An Open Coversation on Migration as Art Practitioners

November 29th, 2020
3. When the Youth Takes Over: Reflecting on the 2020 Jameel Arts Centre Youth Takeover

December 20th, 2020
4. Young Curators in Tokyo: The Making of The 5th Floor

January 27th, 2021
5. How To Create Digital Networks in The Art World?

E-Issue 02 –– NYC
Spring 2021

February 21st, 2021

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in NYC
  3. Pop(Corn): Zeid Jaouni
  4. You Can Take The Girl Out Of The City
  5. Rapport: NYC
  6. Kindergarten Records Discuss The Future of Electronic Music
  7. Sole DXB Brings NY Hip-Hop To Abu Dhabi
  8. Wei Han Finds ‘Home’ In New York
  9. Vikram Divecha: Encounters and Negotiations

Spring/Summer 2021

Exhibition Review March 3rd, 2021
DXB There’s a Hurricane at the Foundry

Exhibition Review March 7th, 2021
AUH Re-viewing Contrasts: Hyphenated Spaces at Warehouse421

Curator Interview March 21st, 2021
DXB Permeability and Regional Nodes: Sohrab Hura on Curating Growing Like a Tree at Ishara Art Foundation

Exhibition March 28th, 2021
DXB Alserkal Art Week Top Picks

Exhibition Review April 1st, 2021
DXB A ‘Menu Poem’ and All That Follows

Exhibition Review April 5th, 2021
DXB A Riot Towards Landscapes

Exhibition April 16th, 2021
RUH Noor Riyadh Shines Light on Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Art Strategy

Artist Interview April 26th, 2021
CTU/AUH/YYZ Sabrina Zhao: Between Abu Dhabi, Sichuan, and Toronto

Exhibition Review April 27th, 2021
TYO BIEN Opens Two Solo Exhibitions in Island Japan and Parcel

Artist Interview April 28th, 2021
DXB Ana Escobar: Objects Revisited

Exhibition May 9th, 2021
LDN Fulfilment Services Ltd. Questions Techno-Capitalism on Billboards in London

Artist Interview May 11th, 2021
BAH Mihrab: Mysticism, Devotion, and Geo-Identity

Curator Interview May 20th, 2021
DXB There Is A You In The Cloud You Can’t Delete: A Review of “Age of You” at Jameel Arts Centre

Market Interview May 26th, 2021
TYO Startbahn, Japan’s Leading Art Blockchain Company, Builds a New Art Infrastructure for the Digital Age

Exhibition June 11th, 2021
TYO “Mimicry of Hollows” Opens at The 5th Floor

Exhibiton Review June 20th, 2021
AUH “Total Landscaping”at Warehouse 421

Artist Interview June 30th, 2021
OSA Rintaro Fuse Curates “Silent Category” at Creative Center Osaka

Exhibition Review August 9th, 2021
DXB “After The Beep”: A Review and Some Reflections

E-Issue 03 ––TYO
Fall 2021

October 1st, 2022

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in TYO
  3. Pop(Corn): Nimyu
  4. Ahmad The Japanese: Bady Dalloul on Japan and Belonging
  5. Rapport: Tokyo
  6. Alexandre Taalba Redefines Virtuality at The 5th Floor
  7. Imagining Distant Ecologies in Hypersonic Tokyo: A Review of “Floating Between the Tropical and Glacial Zones”
  8. Ruba Al-Sweel Curates “Garden of e-arthly Delights” at SUMAC Space
  9. Salwa Mikdadi Reflects on the Opening of NYU Abu Dhabi’s Arab Center for the Study of Art

Fall/Winter 2021-22

Market Interview October 6th, 2021
RUH HH Prince Fahad Al Saud Discusses Saudi Arabia’s Artistic Renaissance

Exhibition October 7th, 2021
RUH Misk Art Institute’s Annual Flagship Exhibition Explores the Universality of Identity

Curator Interview October 15th, 2021
IST “Once Upon a Time Inconceivable”: A Review and a Conversation

Exhibition Review October 16th, 2021
AUH Woman as a Noun, and a Practice: “As We Gaze Upon Her” at Warehouse421

Exhibition Review February 11th, 2022

Artist Interview February 26th, 2022
TYO Akira Takayama on McDonald’s Radio University, Heterotopia, and Wagner Project

Artist Interview March 10th, 2022
DXB Prepare The Ingredients and Let The Rest Flow: Miramar and Zaid’s “Pure Data” Premieres at Satellite for Quoz Arts Fest 2022

Exhibition March 11th, 2022
DXB Must-See Exhibitions in Dubai - Art Week Edition 2022

Exhibition Review March 14th, 2022
DXB Art Dubai Digital, An Alternative Art World?

E-Issue 04 –– IST
Spring 2022

March 15th, 2022

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in IST
  3. Pop(Corn): Refik Anadol
  4. Rapport: Istanbul
  5. Independent Spaces in Istanbul: Sarp Özer on Operating AVTO

Spring/Summer 2022

Curator Interview March 21st, 2022

Market Interview March 28th, 2022
DXB Dubai's Postmodern Architecture: Constructing the Future with 3dr Models

Exhibition April 23rd, 2022
HK Startbahn Presents “Made in Japan 3.0: Defining a New Phy-gital Reality”, an NFT Pop-Up at K11 Art Mall

Exhibition May 6th, 2022
Istanbul’s 5533 Presents Nazlı Khoshkhabar’s “Around and Round”

Artist Interview May 13th, 2022
“We Are Witnessing History”: Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian On Their Retrospective Exhibition at NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery

Artist Interview June 13th, 2022
DXB “Geometry is Everywhere”: An Interview and Walking Tour of Order of Magnitude, Jitish Kallat’s Solo Exhibition at Dubai’s Ishara Art Foundation

Exhibition June 21st, 2022
DXB Art Jameel Joins The World Weather Network in a Groundbreaking Response to Global Climate Crisis

Exhibition June 27th, 2022
What’s On in the UAE: Our Top Summer Picks

Curator Interview July 9th, 2022
IST Creating an Artist Books Library in Istanbul: Aslı Özdoyuran on BAS

E-Issue 05 –– VCE
Fall 2022

September 5th, 2022

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in VCE
  3. Pop(Corn): UAE National Pavilion
  4. Rapport: Venice
  5. Zeitgeist of our Time: Füsun Onur for the Turkish Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale
  6. GAD’s Top Picks: National Pavilions
  7. Strangers to the Museum Wall: Kehinde Wiley’s Venice Exhibition Speaks of Violence and Portraiture
  8. Questioning Everyday Life: Alluvium by Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian at OGR Torino in Venice

Fall/Winter 2022-23

Market Interview June 28th, 2022
How Pearl Lam Built Her Gallery Between China and Europe

Exhibition November 11th, 2022
“Atami Blues” Brings Together UAE-Based and Japanese Artists in HOTEL ACAO ANNEX

Exhibition December 2nd, 2022
TYO Wetland Lab Proposes Sustainable Cement Alternative in Tokyo

Artist Interview December 9th, 2022
DXB Navjot Altaf Unpacks Eco-Feminism and Post-Pandemic Reality at Ishara Art Foundation

Artist Interview January 8th, 2023
TYO Shu Yonezawa and the Art of Animation

Artist Interview January 19th, 2023
NYC Reflecting on Her Southwestern Chinese Bai Roots, Peishan Huang Captures Human Traces on Objects and Spaces

Exhibition Review February 9th, 2023
DXB Augustine Paredes Builds His Paradise Home at Gulf Photo Plus

Artist Interview February 22nd, 2023
DXB Persia Beheshti Shares Thoughts on Virtual Worlds and the State of Video Art in Dubai Ahead of Her Screening at Bayt Al Mamzar

E-Issue 06 –– DXB/SHJ
Spring 2023

April 12th, 2023

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in the UAE
  3. Pop(Corn): Jumairy
  4. Rapport: Art Dubai 2023
  5. Highlights from Sharjah Biennial 15
  6. Is Time Just an Illusion? A Review of "Notations on Time" at Ishara Art Foundation
  7. Saif Mhaisen and His Community at Bayt AlMamzar

DXB Christopher Joshua Benton to Debut Mubeen, City as Archive at The Third Line Shop in Collaboration with Global Art Daily

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How Pearl Lam Built Her Gallery Between China and Europe

By Sophie Arni

Published on June 28, 2022

        In the thriving Asian contemporary art market, Pearl Lam is a force to be reckoned with. Owner and founder of Pearl Lam Galleries, she started organizing exhibitions in her early twenties in Shanghai and Hong Kong, new to the exciting world of post-1989 Chinese Contemporary Art. After a difficult start, she realized it took her 10 years to fully grasp her Chinese heritage, helped by discovering the intricacies and context of contemporary Chinese art history. The gallery has two active outposts, one in Shanghai and the other in Hong Kong, with a client base spanning the globe. She is also the founder of China Art Foundation, with which she created avenues for more dialogue between Europe and China, to enhance the understanding of Chinese art and create a more interconnected art world.

We caught up with Pearl Lam via Zoom call in London, and asked her about her start in the art world, recent exhibitions, and current curatorial visions.

1.Pearl Lam Galleries booth at Art Basel Hong Kong 2022. Courtesy of Pearl Lam Galleries. 2.Portrait of Pearl Lam, courtesy of Pearl Lam Galleries.

Sophie Arni: Could you let us know how you got started in the art world? When did you first think about opening your gallery?

Pearl Lam: I wanted to go into a field that my family could not touch, and my only solution was art. My family knew nothing about art, so I proposed to open an art gallery. My father said no, that building an art gallery was frivolous. After my studies, I went back to Hong Kong, where I joined my father in his property development business. Thankfully, my salary was high enough to buy the said-frivolous things. With the first salary I got, I bought a Chinese artist’s work in Hong Kong, at my friend’s gallery. That’s how I started. I would do three pop-up shows a year, with works that would come from my own collection, and lived between Shanghai and Hong Kong. The pop-up shows were completely interdisciplinary, and quite ahead of their time. I would show it all together, from Chinese literati to calligraphy, music, painting, and design. This was 1993, and the art crowd in Hong Kong did not understand. Showing contemporary paintings, ancient art, and design together was not seen as serious at the time.

With the first salary I got, I bought a Chinese artist’s work in Hong Kong, at my friend’s gallery. That’s how I started.

Going to Shanghai was very difficult. I couldn’t speak Mandarin at first. I had the level of an eleven-years-old Shanghainese. You know, conversational Chinese is very different than academic Chinese. I would first come to these artist meetings with my assistant, who was translating and taking notes.

The learning curve was steep. It took me 10 years before I told people I was Chinese. I felt superior coming from Hong Kong and came with this know-it-all attitude, which I didn’t realize at the time. I first thought that all this talk about Daoism and Confucianism was not so exciting. You know, in the West, art is very much about street culture and politics. But it took me some time to realize how avant-garde it is to talk about these ancient teachings from Confucius. It is anti-revolutionary. It is even more conceptual than Western neoconceptualism, as the picture and poetry are interlinked. The image always emerges from text.

The learning curve was steep. It took me 10 years before I told people I was Chinese.

I’m very grateful for the artists who started to take me around the Chinese art world. This was the early 90s, there was not any market at all for this new contemporary art. I loved that spirit. Artists were making art for the art’s sake. 

S.A.: One of the main premises your curatorial vision has been to act as an international bridge for Asian art, particularly between Chinese artists and Europe. One of the prime examples is Awakening: La France Mandarine (2004), an exhibition you curated on the French influence on Chinese art. Could you tell us more about this traveling exhibition?

P.L.: The French really supported me in my early career. Jack Lang was quite a big supporter. The French consulate general would come to visit my exhibitions in Hong Kong, and connect me with French designers and artists. That’s how the relationship started. I would travel to France, and my style of curating was seen as a serious endeavor. I curated this large exhibition in France in 2004, all based on Chinese literati.

The idea of cross-disciplinarity and not fitting into a neatly defined box was quite intuitive to me. I was not doing anything new, it all started with the Bauhaus movement. I was putting in context design and fine art in the late 20th century. There has always been a hierarchy between fine art and decorative art. We would not even put sculptures next to paintings in the classical museum codes.

2. Danful Yang’s installation at Pearl Lam Galleries booth, Art Basel Hong Kong, 2022. Courtesy of Pearl Lam Galleries.

S.A.: You participated in this year’s Art Basel Hong Kong. After the pandemic, particularly affecting Hong Kong, what are your thoughts on Hong Kong’s future as the main hub for the Asian Contemporary Art market?

P.L.: The pandemic has been a hard hit on Hong Kong’s art scene. Many artists have moved abroad. I hope the situation will change after the borders open again. I have personally been working out of London since the pandemic started.

Our exhibitions continue in Hong Kong though, and we are currently showing an exciting exhibition of Ma Kelu, a historical figure of Chinese modern and contemporary art, and one of the founding members of the avant-garde artist collective “No Name Group” during the 1970s. When you look at his paintings, you might think it’s very traditional. But in the context of what happened in China, it’s revolutionary and quite avant-garde. You have to remember that artists at a point in time were not allowed to paint anything but portraits of Mao Tse Tung. They were not able to paint still lives. You will understand, through the artist's journey, how the notion of avant-garde itself has evolved. His paintings are collected by all the world’s leading museums, and I thought it was important to showcase a thread in his works and show them chronologically, as we did in this exhibition. You are not just looking at a solo exhibition but the evolution of Chinese openness to new ideas, and the history of contemporary art in China through the lens of one artist.

For Art Basel Hong Kong, we had an exciting booth showcasing British and Chinese artists in dialogue with one another.

3. Wilderness: A Solo Exhibition by Ma Kelu. Installation views. Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong, May 24 - July 30, 2022. Courtesy of Pearl Lam Galleries. 

You are not just looking at a solo exhibition but the evolution of Chinese openness to new ideas, and the history of contemporary art in China through the lens of one artist.

S.A.: Who are some of the key artists represented by Pearl Lam Gallery we should look out for?

P.L.: I’ve discovered many artists in London, not only from Chinese descent. I never believed that art is limited to a passport. Many artists from the gallery are working on exciting projects, like Mr. Doodle. The fantastic thing about the art world is discovery. The feeling of discovering a new artist is very precious.

Learn more about Pearl Lam Galleries.
Visit Wilderness: A Solo Exhibition by Ma Kelu in Hong Kong until July 30, or access it online.

Pearl Lam is a gallerist, collector, patron, and curator with over 20 years of experience and who is at the forefront of reimagining China’s cultural place in the world. Lam is a leading authority on Asian art, design and the international contemporary art market with a network spanning China, UK, and USA. Lam’s long-term commitment to art and design is rooted in her mission to develop and promote cultural exchange between East Asia and the world, while also presenting Asia’s contributions to both traditions to a global audience.

Sophie Arni is the founder of Global Art Daily and works as a curator between Japan and the UAE. 

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