From Paris flat to Central gallery - art dealer Emmanuel Perrotin spreads his wings

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 May, 2012, 12:00am

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Two decades ago, when Emmanuel Perrotin was 21, he began exhibiting work by aspiring artists in his Paris apartment. 'I managed to hide my bed in the closet, and took it out at night in the middle of the exhibits,' he said.

Now an established dealer, the owner of the two-storey Galerie Perrotin in Paris' historic Marais district has opened a branch at 50 Connaught Road Central. The 8,000 sq ft space was designed by Andre Fu of AFSO and is headed by directors Alice Lung and Etsuko Nakajima.

The gallery held its grand opening on Tuesday with a solo exhibition by American contemporary artist Kaws, titled 'The Nature of Need'.

'Kaws [real name Brian Donnelly] was ready because I told him one year before the opening to prepare for the opening. He's a good artist and already appreciated in Hong Kong,' Perrotin said.

Japanese artist Takshi Murakami also attended the opening, alongside celebrities including Edison Chen Koon-hei, Daniel Wu Yin-cho, Janice Man Wing-shan and Gilbert Yeung Kei-lung.

'Don't be intimidated because our gallery is on the 17th floor. It's important for us to have this gallery not just for 50 rich people, but for the community as well,' Perrotin said. He said he would now have more access to aspiring artists in Hong Kong and the rest of China.

'For sure, I'm interested in what I've seen. But I would only [exhibit] if the artist is interesting. I don't want to do it just for economic reasons,' he said. 'Many galleries discover new talent, but maintaining their success is much more difficult.'

The crowd continued celebrating with an after-party at Dragon-i.