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Affordable Art Fair
Interviews - 06 September 2018

Meet Mariken and Michael van Ommeren

Name: Mariken and Michael van Ommeren

Location: Hong Kong

Year started collecting: 2015

Number of artworks in collection: 15


MARIKEN AND MICHAEL VAN OMMERENMariken and Michael van Ommeren are Dutch expats living in Hong Kong. Both work in the world of international banking – and while this would suggest that they might purchase art as an investment, in reality it’s wonderful to know that they buy art for purely personal reasons. Mariken and Michael have an eclectic taste, which has seen them purchase many different types of work, building a collection of 15 pieces to date. As luck would have it, while visiting Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong, Mariken and Michael fell in love with the works of Dutch photographer Daan Oude Elferink, who also happened to be at the fair; and so a friendship was born. We caught up with Michael who talked us through their collecting journey.


Interview with art collectors Mariken and Michael van Ommeren:


What is the very first item you purchased/wanted to purchase? What drew you to it?

Corneille Guillaume Beverloo It must have been around 1999, that I bought a lithograph from Corneille Guillaume Beverloo. He has a very particular style that is easily recognisable. The piece is of a colourful fish. We still have it in our house. My wife has an artwork that she got for her birthday, which is still back in the Netherlands at her parents’ house. She was drawn too it because of the colours, there was a certain blue in the artwork she particularly liked.

The first piece we bought together was a work called ‘Grobbel’ which we came across in Amsterdam. It is by a Dutch artist named Raymond Hoogendorp and we bought it for the then, future baby room.


What styles/mediums are you most attracted to? 

Most of our works are lithographs and photographs. My wife particularly likes photography and ceramics.


Would you call yourself a collector or a passionate owner?

Ceramic statueI would say we are passionate owners. We have no particular strategy or focus when we purchase art, so far we have just bought what we both like. Buying a piece of art is done with the heart, it needs to give you a certain feeling.


Is there a piece in your collection you can’t live without?

One piece of art which I don’t want to loose is by a Dutch artist called Titus Nolte and was a gift from my dad. My wife has a treasured ceramic statue which she was given by her parents when she was pregnant.


Are you drawn to up-and-coming artists or established names?

Most of the works that we own are from fairly unknown artists, often from the Netherlands, that is except the works we own by photographer Daan Oude Elferink.


How has your taste changed since you started collecting?

Daan Oude ElferinkOur taste has moved towards realistic photographic pieces. My wife has always liked photography, as her dad is an avid photographer. There were always photographs in her childhood house and her dad taught her what makes a great picture. A friend of the family is a ceramic artist (Chris de Graaf), hence the love for ceramics. We own a few works created by him as well!



In your opinion, what is the role of an art collector in the career of artists?

Nowadays mass produced images, such as posters, can easily been sold anonymously on-line, but knowing the artist and providing feedback and encouragement a collector may help him or her to further build their career. Art collectors can help boost the career of an artist, put him in the spotlight and provide the artist with a means of living.


What will you do when your walls are full?

Chris de Graaf ceramicsWe will have to rotate our artworks every now and then!


Any top tips for new collectors?

Buy art that you love. But don't forget to do some research beforehand to understand a bit about the background of the artist and his or her work.


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Main Image:
Photograph by Daan Oude Elferink, Mariken and Michael van Ommeren's private collection.

Featured images from first to last:
Mariken and Michael van Ommeren on a balloon ride.
Artwork by Corneille Guillaume Beverloo, lithograph, Mariken and Michael van Ommeren's private collection.
Ceramic sculpture, Mariken and Michael van Ommeren's private collection.
Photograph by Daan Oude Elferink, Mariken and Michael van Ommeren's private collection.
Ceramic toadstools by Chris de Graaf, Mariken and Michael van Ommeren's private collection.


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