Indonesia and Switzerland
Originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, curator Mona Liem today lives and works in Baden, Switzerland. With an education and working experience in visual communication, design and management, her passion for art became one of the reasons to study art courses at ZHdK, Oxford University and Node Centre Berlin.
Since obtaining a master’s degree in Curating (MAS) at the Zurich University of Arts in 2016, she has focused on art research projects, managing international artists, conceptualizing and curating a variety of exhibitions in Indonesia, Luxembourg and Switzerland, and working as a freelance journalist for art magazines in Asia.
Mona is fascinated by New Media Art, Identity and Technology in a curatorial sense.
"Instead of using the traditional white cube, I would exhibited this art work in glass space: Gianni Moretti's work on one side, Kim Anna Smith's on the other wall. In the middle and across the room is the the Blue Nude series of Carla Cascales. The visitor's attention will first be drawn by the Neon sculpture by Smith, then, their eyes will be directed towards the figurative series by Cascales to finally find the huge beautiful artwork by Moretti." - Mona Liem
Mona, what is Art for you?
Art is the statement and way of living.
Art is the language to communicate in a global world.
When did you get in touch fort he first time with art?
When I was kid, I used to love to go to the Museum. I felt these place were like my sanctuary. Since childhood, I always observed my grandma who is a collector of Asian artworks and antiques.
Why did you decide to become a curator? What do you like most about the profession?
I decided to work as curator during my travels in many cities or countries, I met artists, and their listened to their stories, which are often similar: many very talented artists are not have not found recognition yet, that is why I like to work as a Curator, because I can connect people and ideas.
You are a multi-tasking professional, representing artists from different countries, creating and executing concepts for exhibitions and working for international art education and you are also an artist and artistic investigator and journalist. Where does your passion and energy come from? ☺
Thank you☺. It's a good questions, I haven't realized it before. …I enjoy challenge in my life but at the same time I love to share with people. So, I believe that you can only share with people if you don't only think about yourself. You can always find beautiful life in a flowing river. This means that our lives should be balanced and full of giving.
My passion is, that I like to acquire new knowledge
And my energy comes from my desire to share. I just want to share with society what I already have and got from others.
Do you think art education is important for children?
Yes. Art education for children can give them freedom of creativity & a basic structure of thinking.
You also organize cultural tours between Asia and Europe, why do you think so many people are interested in participating in your educational excursions? Because in the 21st century where globalization is not only a slogan, people want to explore other cultures more than before.
Do you think the internet is important for art today? In which way has the digital era influenced the way we see and consume art today?
Yes it is. In the simplest way, artists are now able to show their works through social media, which has been huge for artists since the turn of the Millenium until today.
What is different between the Asian and the European Art Market?
The Asian art market is more dynamic. The Asian market has loyal collectors for established artists, who are usually looking for a good investment, and new collectors also keep hunting the fresh and talented artists, usually for their prestige beside the investment. According to the global market trends, the Asian Market is gaining more and more influence.
The European art market is not an easy market. Established collectors usually have their private curators and are part of a closed society. The number of young collectors or people who only occasionally buy art has only been increasing lately, as the new generation of galleries & curators are developing new attractive strategies to support the artists, such as pop up exhibitions. As I know, it is common for artists who have had an artistic education in Europe, to use their art as means against "capitalism", which in turn can mean that they don't want to "sell" their art in art exhibitions, but prefer to express "statements and critique" through their works. And these kind of works are not yet accepted by most of the public or market.
Which emerging artist has impressed you lately?
Boedi Widjaya, a media artist, and Seungmo Park, a 21st century sculptor.
Which artistic trends or art trends have you noticed this year?
There has been a trend I call "hard-core situation", where everyone showed their artwork through video and called it as “video art/installation”. Thank God this is over and since 2017 we can see more alternative artwork, like combinations of 2D, motion pictures, digital and design artwork.
Do you collect art?
Yes, I do.
Any tip you can give an emerging artist?
Be yourself. Be original.
Any tip you can give someone who wants to start their own art collection?
If you are looking for an investment, do check the background of the artists and see how consistent the artist is with their work. But if you are looking for collection, just believe your intuition.
Please tell us about your curated choice of Artig Gallery artworks
What has inspired you for the selection?
Which concept did you have in mind?
Instead of using the traditional white cube as an exhibition background, I would exhibited this art work in glass space: Gianni Moretti's work on one side, Kim Anna Smith's on the other wall. In the middle and across the room is the the Blue Nude series of Carla Cascales. The visitor's attention will first be drawn by the Neon sculpture by Smith, then, their eyes will be directed towards the figurative series by Cascales to finally find the huge beautiful artwork by Moretti.
And “curiosity to find the Oasis” ;)
Who do you think is this selection made for?
Young collectors/New collectors. Urban People.
Thank you for your time.