Founder of VINS
◆ Could you introduce your brand VINS, and your motive behind entering the URBART industry?
“VINS” is the brand that I founded last year from the perspective of artists, the art collectors, and of course, the brand and galleries. We hope to create a more solid team and focus on the so-called “Art Toy.” I started my collection back in the 2000s, and my first collection was Art Toys. About 10 years ago, I noticed that the quality, the materials, and the craftsmanship of the works in the market are not very ideal. So, I decided to devote myself to this new field, which was completely unfamiliar to me.
Back when I founded the brand, “VTSS,” 10 years ago, it was during the aftermath of the financial crisis so the whole market was actually in a slump. However, to me, those setbacks were actually a sort of nourishment since they let me realize how this market functions, so these are probably my motivations to enter this industry.
◆ URBART has become much more popular nowadays, what does “URBART” mean to you?
“Art Toys” have indeed played an important role in the “URBART” culture. It has developed for almost 20 years and includes the well-known graffiti art that belongs to the “Lowbrow Art.” This culture has already taken shape and has developed at a very fast pace. You can notice that the participation from numerous graffiti and lowbrow artists makes this “URBART' culture all the more diverse, allowing us to engage in the further discussion from all perspectives. It is an intergenerational and shared memory. People over 40 or 50 have gradually grown acceptance of this culture, so I feel that this intergenerational memory is also very important nourishment. "URBART” has a rather broad connection with life as well, like the collaboration with fashion brands. Some of our artists also collaborated with a few famous rappers, so I truly think that it’s the trend in the future.
◆ Art Toys have emerged rapidly in the art market recently, what is your view on this?
To me, this is an inevitable phenomenon. The “limited edition” is a very important factor for the art toys as it creates discrepancies within the supply and demand chain. Throughout the changes in these 20 years, "URBART" represents not only a simple object since it involves lots of business operations. And with the advance of social media, many artists are used to and are good at using social media to express and share their artworks. With the artworks being “limited edition”, it will endow the action of collection with a new purpose. The shared memory in this generation motivates the collectors from the younger generation to further engage in the art collection. The existence of social media will indeed push this industry to grow faster.
◆ Under the “Consumer Era” in the 21st century, what are the changes in the art industry, and what do they mean to you?
The connection between "art" and “life” has become much more common. The artworks have developed new functions as decorations, which can be easily seen on social media’s platforms. Some KOLs and celebrities use artworks as their home decoration. This will hence drive the force of other consumption behavior. As for the combination of art and fashion brands, it also brings these two unrelated fields a whole new connection. Many young collectors are willing to collect artworks, therefore making their first step into the knowledgeable world of art collection. This may become their long-term habit, and pave the way for the much more refined consumption behavior. The collaboration with fashion brands brings art into all aspects of our lives. And the subsequent consumption behavior will definitely become the mainstream in the future.
◆ What are the advantages of hotel art fairs such as “ONE ART Taipei” for the galleries, collectors, and the public in Taiwan?
"ONE ART Taipei" is an amazing opportunity for the collectors. Within a certain space, they are able to view a series of works specially selected by the galleries. On the other hand, we can discover some emerging artists, which is the main advantage of the hotel art fair. As for art education, it also serves as a tool for promoting aesthetics education. I think It’s wonderful for the collectors or the public, since it’s a good way to view the artworks that are normally inaccessible to many. The hotel art fairs in Taiwan held in these years still play an important role, and bring great advantages to the whole art environment.
◆ Your favorite (recently followed) artist/artwork?
I consider Barry McGee a very promising new artist. And Kenny Scharf is worth noticing as well. Both of them have a strong connection with “Lowbrow Art,” so the current collectors might be fond of the works of these kinds of artists. There’s also a Japanese artist called Teiji Hayama. The structure of his artworks consists of greatly-done perspective shadows. Therefore, I think he will also be the next rising star.