in other words

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#29 The Future of the Museum


From left to right: introductory speaker Kevin Ching; panelists Allan Schwartzman, Michael Govan and Doryun Chong; moderator Charlotte Burns. Photo credit: Wan Ka Man Photography

Art Agency, Partners
#29 The Future of the Museum

BY Charlotte Burns
executive editor of In Other Words

This week we bring you a special episode from Hong Kong, where we staged our first ever live In Other Words event on 29 March, a panel discussion on “The Future of The Museum”. Our guests included Michael Govan, director, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); Doryun Chong, deputy director and chief curator, M+ in Hong Kong; and Allan Schwartzman. The panel was introduced by Kevin Ching, CEO of Sotheby’s Asia and moderated by Charlotte Burns.

Joining us remotely was Budi Tek, the founder of the Yuz Museum and Foundation, Shanghai, who broke the news of an unprecedented collaboration between Yuz and LACMA. This opened a discussion about the increasing willingness of museum directors and private patrons to collaborate and share. Our panelists also spoke about where innovation is taking place geographically; about cultural norms and how they manifest differently region to region; and about new technologies, such as augmented reality, and how they might impact museums and exhibition making. These are, of course, just a few of the topics covered. Tune in for the rest.


Watch the recordings below

The panel discussion in full


Budi Tek announcing the partnership between Yuz Museum and Foundation & Lacma

For the full transcript, click here

“I think there is a little bit of a disease, or started to be, in collecting and collectors and museums that everything started to look the same in contemporary art collections. And I think that’s really outmoded.” —Michael Govan

“If I share more than 1,000 pieces of artworks worth a lot of money, share to dozens of people, actually it means nothing.” —Budi Tek

“What’s exciting about working in this region compared to say, New York, is that you’re not changing or reinventing the rules—because there aren’t really rules established. We’re actually just inventing them.” —Doryun Chong

“I think particularly with destination museums in new locations which are thinking about new paradigms of experience and how to reach out to a public, we’ve not yet begun to explore what the possibilities are.” —Allan Schwartzman


Kevin Ching

CEO, Sotheby's Asia

Kevin Ching joined Sotheby’s in 2006 as CEO of Sotheby’s Asia, responsible for developing the strategic expansion of the company in the region, particularly into mainland China.

He was previously a board executive director and group legal counsel of the public company Dickson Concepts (International) Limited in charge of its legal and general business a airs in the international world of luxury fashion, watches and jewelry. Kevin had special responsibilities for business development and operations of luxury retail in China, and was instrumental in the opening and development of Seibu department stores in China and Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong.

Prior to joining Dickson Concepts (International) Limited, Kevin was a partner in Johnson Stokes & Master, one of the largest law rms in Hong Kong. He was also its chief representative in Beijing. Kevin specialized in the areas of banking, international shipping, commercial law, investments in China, as well as sino-foreign joint ventures and arbitration.

Kevin was educated both in Hong Kong and England, and holds a masters degree in law from London University. He studied English law, Soviet law, Air and Space law as well as Customary and Modern Chinese law. Apart from Hong Kong, Kevin is also quali ed to practice law in Singapore, England and Wales, as well as Victoria, Australia.

Michael Govan

CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Michael Govan joined the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director in 2006. Since his arrival, Govan has transformed not only the museum’s collection but also the way it is experienced by its audience. Currently the museum is in the midst of replacing four aging museum buildings with a single new state of the art gallery building designed by architect Peter Zumthor.

Govan has facilitated new creative interactions between contemporary artists and architects and the museum’s historic collections, commissioning exhibition and gallery designs in collaboration with artists John Baldessari, Jorge Pardo and Franz West, and architects Frank O. Gehry, Fred Fisher, Michael Maltzan, Amy Murphy, Kulapat Yantrasast, and others.

Under Govan’s leadership, Lacma has begun a program to place its collections and exhibitions in underserved communities in Los Angeles County, the first adjacent to MacArthur Park in collaboration with Charles White Elementary School. Today, Lacma operates the largest in-school art education program of any art museum in the US.

From 1994 to 2006, Govan was president and director of Dia Art Foundation where he spearheaded the creation of the critically acclaimed Dia:Beacon in New York’s Hudson Valley. Prior to Dia Art Foundation, Govan served for six years as deputy director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Doryun Chong

deputy director and chief curator, M+

Doryun Chong became the first chief curator of M+, a new museum of visual culture, in September 2013. The museum is expected to open its Herzog and de Meuron-designed building in 2019 in the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong.

In January 2016, Chong was promoted to deputy director and chief curator. He oversees all curatorial activities and programs including acquisitions, exhibitions, learning and public programs, and digital initiatives encompassing the three main disciplinary areas of design and architecture, moving image and visual art.

The most recent exhibitions he co-curated include “Mobile M+: Live Art”, “Tsang Kin-Wah: The In nite Nothing” and “Samson Young: Songs for Disaster Relief” (consulting curator), Hong Kong’s participations in the Venice Biennale in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

Prior to joining M+, Chong was associate curator of painting and sculpture at MoMA, where he organized projects including the critically acclaimed exhibition, “Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde” (2012), and acquired a diverse range of works, many of them non-Western, for the museum’s collection. From 2003 to 2009, Chong held various positions as curator in the visual arts department at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

Budi Tek

founder of the Yuz Museum and Foundation

Budi Tek is a Chinese-Indonesian entrepreneur, philanthropist and collector. Born in Jakarta, Tek grew up in Singapore and became a successful entrepreneur specializing in the food industry. Following his passion for Contemporary art, Tek began collecting in 2004. He went on to build the Yuz Collection of art from the East and West, comprising some of the most signi cant examples of Chinese Contemporary art to be found anywhere in the world, particularly focused on art made between the early 1980s and the late 1990s. The Western art holdings range from large-scale installations to German postwar paintings as well as work by young artists interested in public engagement. The collection re ects Tek’s belief that art is more important as a sensory experience than as a simple object.

The Yuz Foundation aims to popularize international Contemporary art through its ideas, collections, museums, sponsorship and academic projects.

The Yuz Museum, a non-pro t organization under the umbrella of the Yuz Foundation, is located along the West Bund in Xuhui District in Shanghai. The 9,000 sq. m museum, which was once an aircraft hangar, has staged ambitious exhibitions of international Contemporary artists including Yang Fudong, Huang Yuxing, Liu Shiyuan, Random International, Andy Warhol and Alberto Giacometti since its opening in May 2014.

Allan Schwartzman

Allan Schwartzman was a Founder and Principal of AAP. He brought to the company more than 20 years’ experience in advising some of the world’s most influential and sophisticated collectors in forming their holdings of contemporary art, both individually and in conjunction with their stewardship of major museums.

Schwartzman is also widely respected as an independent curator, most notably for Instituto Inhotim, the visionary contemporary art park set within a 5,000-acre botanical garden in Brazil. As creative director and chief curator of Inhotim, he has been central to developing the collection of the renowned institution and commissioning its signature site-specific works by artists including Chris Burden, Giuseppe Penone, Matthew Barney, Doris Salcedo, Doug Aitken, Rivane Neuenschwander, Olafur Eliasson and Rirkrit Tiravanija, including projects that could not have been realized anywhere else.

Known equally as a tastemaker in contemporary art and an authority on the art market, Schwartzman is a frequent guest speaker and panelist at the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, Art Basel and notable events around the world.

Schwartzman was a founding staff member of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City and served as curator from 1977 to 1980. He has written extensively about art for publications including The New Yorker, the New York Times, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Artforum and Art in America and was a contributing editor of Connoisseur. He served as a board member of Franklin Furnace from 1980 to 2000 and currently serves on the Board of Artists Space, one of New York’s premier alternative spaces, having also served as the board’s president.

Charlotte Burns

executive editor of In Other Words

Charlotte Burns is the editor of In Other Words, our weekly newsletters and podcasts. She was previously the US news and market editor for The Art Newspaper, as well as a regular correspondent for publications such as the Guardian and Monocle. Previously, she worked with the London dealer Anthony d’Offay on special projects. For several years, she was a consultant at the cultural communications agency, Bolton & Quinn. She also worked at Hauser & Wirth in London.

Burns received a Masters degree (with Merit) from the Courtauld Institute in Art and Cultural Politics in Germany, 1890-1945, as well as a first-class B.A. honors degree in English and History of Art from Birmingham University. She moved to New York in 2010.

The live record

Photos from the Panel Discussion

16 Images

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