BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

Platform China – Beijing/Hongkong, China

This shows how much prejudgment there still is

Exhibition view of the solo show ’How’ by Chinese artist Zhao Zhao, 2014
Exhibition view of the solo show ’How’ by Chinese artist Zhao Zhao, 2014

As the only Chinese gallery participating in this year's LISTE in Basel, Platform China does not have an easy task: to regain the trust of Western collectors after the bubble of Chinese contemporary art. "Western collectors are curious about Chinese contemporary art but have difficulties in believing in it," gallery co-founder Claudia Albertini explains. "Often they are prejudiced and think that Chinese artists are overpriced, or that their success is temporary. We have to overcome these barriers and show that today this is no longer the case."

At LISTE the gallery presented Song Yuanyuan's paintings, in which the artist depicts interiors of imaginary Western houses as they were presented in China when he was a child. Born in 1981, Song Yuanyuan is currently participating in the IAAB artist-in-residence program in Basel and this is his first exhibition in Switzerland.

Platform China, entrance of their location in Hongkong, China
Platform China, entrance of their location in Hongkong, China

"We mainly represent Chinese emergent art," Claudia Albertini says. "Often people tell me that our artists do not seem Chinese, and this shows how much prejudgment there still is."

Platform China was founded by Ms. Sun Ning and Mr. Chen Haitao, two fine arts professors, in 2005. Initially it was not a commercial space, but a non-profit platform to launch young artists - hence the name. The choice of the location was pioneering: a 1 300-square-meter space in the area of Caochangdi, which at the time was still considered as a derelict and rural suburb, while today it is one of Beijing's main art and design hubs. At the end of 2006 it was transformed into a commercial gallery to correspond with the growth of interest of collectors and buyers for the exhibited artists. In 2009 the two founders were joined by Italian Claudia Albertini, who was in charge of the international relations. The gallery's development led the owners to consider a second space, which opened in Hong Kong in 2012. "Hong Kong is very international and it represents for us a window on the world," Claudia Albertini explains. "We have the chance to reach an international public and international collectors who can inform themselves on the development of Chinese emergent art."

Mr. Chen Haitao, co-founder of Platform China
Mr. Chen Haitao, co-founder of Platform China
Ms. Sun Ning, co-founder of Platform China
Ms. Sun Ning, co-founder of Platform China

The space in Hong Kong is much smaller than the one in Beijing (about 120 square meter), but it is also located in a new peripheral area of the city which is becoming an art hub: Chai Wan, on Hong Kong Island. "When someone comes to visit the gallery it is not by chance," Claudia Albertini says, "you have to come deliberately, or make an effort to come because you are interested in discovering the gallery and its artists and engaging in a dialog."

The gallery's clients are mainly young collectors. "We accompany them in their discovery of the young scene and they grow together with the gallery and with its artists." The next chance to see the gallery in the West will be at ABC in Berlin in September. There the gallery will present Ma Ke (1970), a very introspective painter who applies layers of dark and primary colors directly on the canvas not to tell stories but to communicate emotions. Currently he is showing in Los Angeles at the Marc Selwyn Fine Arts gallery.

by Silvia Anna Barrilà

Claudia Albertini, co-founder of Platform China
Claudia Albertini, co-founder of Platform China

The freelance journalist Silvia Anna Barrilà is specialized in the art market. Since 2008 she has been writing for the Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore and for international media covering art, including Damn, Auction Central News, Artinvestor, and Monopol.

All images via Platform China, portrait of Claudia Albertini by Alessandro Digaetano

More Information on Platform China

Galleries (40)

Futura Art Gallery — Pietrasanta, Italy

A gallery that unites established and emerging artists

Gianni Manhattan - Vienna, Austria

Young, International and Critically Astute

Misako & Rosen — Tokyo, Japan

Redefining the Conversation Around Aesthetics

Tiwani Contemporary – London, Great Britain

The London Gallery Promoting African Self-definition

Frutta Gallery — Rome, Italy

Understanding Tradition Without Hesitating to Break It

Contemporary Fine Arts – Berlin, Germany

From West to East and Back Again: a Berlin Institution That’s Made Its Mark

Bo Bjerggaard – Copenhagen, Denmark

Showcasing Figurative Painting With a Side of Communal Spirit

Pierre-Yves Caër Gallery – Paris, France

The Parisian gallery creating a home for Japanese artists in the European art market.

Blindspot Gallery — Hong Kong, China

Throwing a Spotlight on Local Artists

Vane – Newcastle upon Tyne, Great Britain

The Not-for-profit Space Offering Context And Critique In Newcastle

H’art Gallery — Bucharest, Romania

One of Bucharest’s Oldest Private-Run Galleries

LambdaLambda Lambda – Pristina, Kosovo

Mastering the Language in the Kosovan Capital

Deák Erika Galéria – Budapest, Hungary

Beyond Budapest’s Baths

The Breeder Gallery – Athens, Greece

Breeding New Forms in Athens

Tim Van Laere Gallery – Antwerp, Belgium

An autonomous gallery representing both upcoming and well-established artists

Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler – Berlin, Germany

One of the most cutting-edge galleries in Berlin

Galerie Fons Welters – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A Doorway to Amsterdam’s Contemporary Art

Bosse & Baum – London, United Kingdom

Ambitious perspectives in Peckham

TM51 – Oslo, Norway

Three Galleries in One – Oslo’s Most Accessible Space

mfc-michèle didier – Paris, France

A Space that Reflects the Artistic Discipline

V1 Gallery – Copenhagen, Denmark

Challenging the Boundaries of Art

Upstream Gallery – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Tackling the Shift Between the Analog and Digital in a Post Internet World

Galerie Forsblom – Helsinki, Finland

Bringing international contemporary art to the Finnish capital

The Journal Gallery – New York, USA

Saving New York from Becoming a Sale-Focused Gallery Wasteland

Peres Projects – Berlin, Germany

Bridging the Gap Between Los Angeles and Berlin

Galeria OMR – Mexico City

Mexico City’s advocate for modern artistic tendencies and international contemporary art

LOYAL – Stockholm, Sweden

A Gallery that Pushes the Dialogue Around Young and International Art in Sweden’s Capital

Chimera-Project — Budapest, Hungary

Post-contemporary interest in aesthetics while eagerly re-constructing and defining traditions

La New Gallery — Madrid, Spain

Celebrating contemporary art in all its multi-faceted forms

Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery – Sydney, Australia

Her uncanny ability to recognize unique Pacific Rim talent

Take Ninagawa Gallery – Tokyo, Japan

Promoting emerging Japanese artists within a cross-generational, international framework

RaebervonStenglin – Zurich, Switzerland

It is much more about concepts, long conversations and long-term commitment

Galerie Emanuel Layr – Vienna, Austria

Finding the right chord among the various artists

Fluxia – Milan, Italy

Strive to discover new approaches in contemporary art

Gaudel de Stampa – Paris, France

“Discreet” seems to be the perfect adjective

NON – Istanbul, Turkey

The dawn of an era of collaboration

Vermelho – São Paulo, Brazil

There were no galleries open to a new generation of artists working in a nontraditional way

Eleven Rivington – New York, USA

Newfound talent and rediscovers international artists for a new audience

Ibid. – London, Great Britain

Rather than listing names