Stephanie Poon
Arts PR Specialist


Stephanie Poon is Founder and Director of CdD, a boutique arts communications specialist company based in Hong Kong. Born and bred locally, Stephanie read History of Art at the University of Cambridge and holds a Masters in Contemporary Art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Stephanie brings with her substantial experience as an arts PR, formerly handling high-profile clients in London at a leading cultural communications firm. In her current role, she consults on strategic campaign planning, stakeholder engagement, media relations as well as crisis communications.

Stephanie is actively involved in the local art scene and is a member of the Pearl River Delta Design Council for Design Trust.

June 18, 2015

Art is important in your life, because…

 

It inspires me, it brings colour to my home, my job, my life. Art is not just something pretty to look at, it stimulates the mind, it tells stories, it’s a unique language of its own, a universal one that connects each and every one of us, regardless of age (including my eight month old!), nationality and ethnicity.

 

Art goes best with

Silence

 

Art is valuable, because...

The value of art is priceless. Contrary to the sensationalism of the contemporary art market, I’m one of the idealists who hold on tight to the belief that the true value, the greatest intrinsic value of art is its aesthetic value – the ability of a work of art to move you, to make you think, to make you feel. And this is regardless of the price tag.

 

The three words that first come to your mind when you think about art...

”Texture”, “History”, “Concept”

 

The best museum show/ exhibition you saw in 2014

“Anselm Kiefer” at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. What a monumental retrospective, an artist with such depth of imagination, creativity and vivacity. War, mythology, science, death – swept off my feet.

 

Your favourite museum in the world

With difficulty, it would probably have to be the Hayward Gallery in London’s Southbank. The Brutalist architecture somewhat conceals its very generous exhibition spaces inside, with super high ceilings and such a well curated programme of exhibitions. Their 40th anniversary exhibition Psycho Buildings remains one of my favourite shows I’ve ever visited – where they invited Austrian collective Gelitin to transform the roof into a lake/pond for boat paddling...talk about ambitious!

 

The best city to go for art

New York or London. Equal billing in my books.

 

An artist (dead or alive) you would like to have lunch with...

Richard Serra. I have had a lifelong admiration for his works – they exude all those qualities I mentioned. Perhaps Artshare.com could set it up……..?

 

The artwork you would like to hang in your living room 

will take any Cy Twombly please

 

If you were an artist, who would it be?

Sorry I can't think of one!

 

Can you share with us a work by that artist that you particularly like? 

Japanese artist Katsutoshi Yuasa. He brings a fresh approach to woodcut printing, a technique that requires immense patience, accuracy and effort, particularly at the large sizes he works to. Yuasa’s meticulous translations of photographs into print works actually offer a much deeper commentary of humanity, of nature, of cultural memory, of perception, of disasters. From mundane subject matters like trees and benches, to the sensational like explosions and crashed tankers, the works are subtle and seductive yet the myriad references behind actually allow for deeper reflection on issues ranging from philosophy and ideology to current affairs. Yuasa’s work is also, to me, an important voice in the context of contemporary printmaking, a medium that is often overlooked. His conceptual approach brings the age old, ancient tradition into a modern language, that takes it roots as much from the West as it does from the East.

Here is a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ6YoX5b_IE 2.

 

What is the unmissable art event that you go to every year? Tell us why it is that great.

Frieze Art Fair (London). There are thousands of art fairs globally every year, literally. For me, Frieze Art Fair is my religious activity. Regent’s Park is in itself a draw, plus a marquee full of good art, carefully thought through pieces, and last year’s layout was exceptionally well curated (and systematic) with the added bonus of quality dining (from snacks to drinks, everything is epicurean) – what’s not to love? Oh and you also get Frieze Masters, the concurrent fair that offers a contemporary lens on historical art – with a Bacon next to an Egyptian sculpture. It could go so wrong, yet they got it so on.

 

Describe one of your best art experiences. It could be visiting an artist studio, going to an fabulous art exhibition opening or talking to a great artist in a private gathering, etc...

The Folkestone Triennial in 2008 – Tales of Time and Space, curated by Andrea Schlieker. Now Folkestone is a small port town located in the south of England, in Kent. I vividly remember that it was a cold, windy and slightly drizzly day, typical Brit weather. It took a couple hours to get there, and it wasn’t the most enticing of entrances, but my gosh, this is one of the most ambitious public art projects I’ve been to. A host of artists are invited to use the town as their ‘canvas’ utilizing public spaces to create works that reflect issues affecting both the town and the world. Pieces are installed throughout the town, and as you journey through, taking in the beautiful scenery and listening to the chimes of the sea, you encounter a Christian Boltanski, a Tacita Dean, a Tracey Emin, a Jeremy Deller, a Richard Wentworth, a Pae White among many others. Some are interactive, some are so large scale you can see them from miles back. It’s such an experience, to have art integrated into everyday living, out there for public enjoyment. Can you just imagine if this were to take place in Hong Kong?

Facts

I was atrocious at art in primary school, hated it

 

Anyone considering doing architecture should really reconsider. Seriously

 

None of my friends and family (nor those of my colleagues) understand what we do as Art PRs…

 

Find and do a job that you love. Or if you choose not to, don’t complain about it.

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