At our recent Hong Kong fair we spoke to Sarah Greene of AO Vertical Art Space to find out more about the gallery and what she loves about taking part in art fairs.
What does a typical day involve?
It’s hard to define a typical day, every day is quite different and it depends on what’s coming up. In the morning I tend to reply to emails, the afternoons are reserved for meeting clients and speaking to new customers, whilst in the early evening, when it becomes dark and quiet, I tend to focus on matters that need my concentration like writing a press release, accounting, working out ideas…
Pivotal moment for your gallery?
The first exhibition I organised for AO Vertical Art Space – a major solo show with Ho Fan. It was the first important photography exhibition I staged and it struck a chord in Hong Kong. His beautiful imagery of Hong Kong in a bygone era attracted well over 1,000 visitors.
And on a personal level, the exhibition opened up a fascinating world of wonderful imagery and story telling to me and I totally fell in love with the medium of photography. I’m slowly working my way through every photography book I can find and this summer I am doing a course in photography at Sotheby’s in London. So you could say this exhibition changed my life!
Favourite part of your job?
I love to unleash my creativity when putting shows together – thinking about how best to bring the story forward and hang the artwork in an exciting way for the audience. I tend to organise exhibitions a year in advance and then spend months thinking about how to present them.
How do you find new artists?
It’s very personal and each case is unique, it can happen in many different ways. I discovered Anton Kusters one morning listening to an interview he was giving on the radio, I got out of bed and sent him an email straight away. Ho Fan’s work I encountered at an art fair in the US and I chased him and his agents for over a year. KC Kwan just walked into the bookshop one day and started telling me his story…the next day we started working on his book ‘Homebound’!
Hardest part of your job?
Administration! I don’t like spreadsheets but it’s part of the job…
Best thing about doing an art fair?
It’s a rollercoaster and gets the adrenaline going. I’m totally exhausted after a fair, but I love the madness and buzz a fair creates. You get to meet so many new people!
Most memorable moment of your career?
Every time I feel my efforts are being rewarded for all the hard work of promoting an artist – so this could be a sale, a nice review, or even just people coming far and wide to see an exhibition.
Artist you would most like to work with?
Oh there are many I’m looking forward to working with, but you’ll have to stay tuned to find out who!