Hong Kong-based architect William Lim compares collecting art to writing a novel with a gripping storyline. “It’s really a process. You can always work on the theme and build it up”
Maybe it’s just because we’re writers, but we love this analogy. A collection is not just a grouping of multiple inanimate objects, whatever they may be, but a collection functions as an organic being that grows and changes with you as you go through life. Every collection is made up of all the experiences you’ve had, the people you’ve known, the places you’ve traveled. That’s why people love collections: it’s a story, a memory.
Art collector William Lin is telling the story of Hong Kong through his collection. As an architect and artist himself, he’s grown an immense collection in his 5,300 square-foot warehouse studio. After traveling to the United States for college, he returned back home to Hong Kong and noticed that Chinese artists were quickly gaining in popularity – but artists from his native Hong Kong remained hidden by obscurity. Lin’s solution? Quietly supporting local artists and purchasing the best pieces from all over Hong Kong. He now has over 200 works by Hong Kong artists in his personal collection in his home.
This year he wrote a book on his collection to document “the rise of contemporary art in Hong Kong”, which is largely due to his support. Since the contemporary art scene in Hong Kong is still growing, Lim’s personal collection has “become a magnet for visiting curators, collectors, and museums groups”.
We have a feeling the novel of his collection is nowhere near complete.