Traditionally, the pursuit of ESG performance has been the domain of corporate giants and manufacturing industries. However, in recent years, Taiwan’s cultural sector has embraced the values of sustainable investment. In this feature, we delve into an interview with the second-generation proprietor of Cloud Gallery, Yi-Chou Gary Lee, to explore how a cultural arts professional has harnessed their artistic passion to generate ESG performance.
Within Taiwan’s art landscape, the venerable Cloud Gallery stands as a symbol of academic excellence and quality. It has earned recognition as an active and well-regarded gallery. Yi-Chou Gary Lee himself has been featured in Prestige Taiwan’s 40 Under 40 list. With nearly three decades of operation, the gallery has borne witness to market cycles and the rise of masters. Leveraging its influence within the art industry, the gallery has extended the values of cultural care to every corner.
Conducting Experimental and Philanthropic Exhibitions
Annually, Cloud Gallery hosts 1-2 time slots for avant-garde and forward-thinking contemporary artists, providing an experimental exhibition space and academic platform. Through curation, publications, online columns, audiovisual interviews, forums, and opening receptions, the gallery serves as both a showcase platform and an observatory for contemporary art. This approach examines the impact of present art trends on the current art environment and Taiwanese society. The gallery’s two generations of proprietors perceive societal care as an intrinsic duty of cultural practitioners. Hence, they have established a long-standing partnership with the “South-Link Medical Foundation,” dedicated to healthcare development in remote regions of Taitung. The gallery arranges charity exhibitions and donates all proceeds to rural medical infrastructure.
Monthly Art Lectures and Regular Art-related Courses
Cloud Gallery’s main focus lies in domestic and international curation (50%), artist agent (30%), and art consulting (20%). These facets not only impact the gallery’s revenue but also contribute to its cultural history. Lee believes, “Within the art industry, galleries play a significant role, much like an unseen hand regulating artwork valuations in the art market. Continuous value creation in the industry is the key to wielding influence.” The gallery hosts free art lectures regularly and engages with various domestic organizations and cultural initiatives. Collaborating with the Ruentex Cultural and Educational Foundation, Cloud Gallery has introduced the “Art Spotlight Project,” integrating art and culture into rural primary schools. This initiative offers art-related activities to children who otherwise wouldn’t have access to such experiences.
In the realm of adult education, the gallery has established longstanding partnerships with renowned domestic art education institutions. They offer both physical and online courses, along with gallery and art fair visitation programs. Currently, they are also developing immersive art experience courses and international art travel packages.
Establishing an Internal Research Center: Balancing Market and Academic Research
In recent years, contemporary culture has inspired new artistic styles and trends. To better comprehend market dynamics and academic trends, Cloud Gallery set up an internal research center focusing on market analysis and academic research. Research topics encompass “Observations on the Development of Art History Context,” “Auction and Market Index Analysis,” and “Market Information.” This research aims to accurately predict the direction of art history and market developments, aiding artists in maintaining creative vitality within a dynamic environment. It also assists in providing qualitative and quantitative analyses of collections, advising top collectors.
Building Art Appreciation and Collection Groups: Supporting Artists as Pillars
Proactively, Cloud Gallery establishes art appreciation and collection groups, encouraging greater participation in art appreciation and investment. These groups become essential pillars of support for artists. The gallery promotes the value of art investment, making art a more attractive long-term investment option. This effort enhances artists’ professional development by providing more opportunities for showcasing their work. A core tenet of the gallery’s strategy involves growth alongside artists, emphasizing the pivotal role collectors, galleries, and artists play in the art market.
The roles of collectors, galleries, and artists constitute the core “Golden Triangle” of the art market. Interaction among these three entities is pivotal, fueling various business models and roles in the secondary art market. Although collectors are clients of galleries, cooperation with key collectors can help compensate for any gallery resource deficiencies. Through private foundations and resources, collectors can support artists’ exhibitions and acquisitions using incentives such as tax benefits, corporate social responsibility, elevated societal status, and VIP collection privileges.
Promoting Exclusive Broker Artists through Brand Collaborations
Cloud Gallery proactively collaborates with major fashion, food, beverage, and automotive brands, using brand influence to promote their artists and enhance their visibility. Partnerships with brands extend to philanthropic activities, enhancing artists’ brand associations and societal responsibilities. These collaborations bring increased business opportunities to gallery artists while expanding the reach and impact of art, thus propelling the prosperity of the art industry.
In this exclusive interview, Cloud Gallery’s proprietors share their passion for art and their dedication to the industry, showcasing their ongoing efforts towards ESG performance within the art sector. Through innovative practices and social engagement, Cloud Gallery demonstrates the critical role of the cultural sector in sustainable development and stands as a shining example in Taiwan’s art scene.
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