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JT Art Asset’s Founder Daniel Turriani Interviewed by Half Artist Magazine

2 May 2013

JT Art asset’s Founding director Daniel Turriani had been recently interviewed by HALF artist magazine. HAM is a bilingual (English and Chinese) online media. It concentrates on presenting and transmitting news and insights related to contemporay artists, exhibitions, art industry, subculture and fashion. With a main target of Chinese audience, HALF artist magazine aim at being a contemporary art ambassador, a subculture explorer, and a brand insider across the world

Here the link for the interview: http://www.halfartist.com/magazine/art-industry/jt-art-asset.html

Full Transcript of the interview:

Daniel Turriani在伦敦创立,旨在为印象派,现代艺术和当代艺术作品的买卖提供专业意见及服务,今年夏天JT Art Asset成都的办公室也即将开始营业。HALFartist M很高兴能采访到Daniel本人,和他一起分享他在当代艺术领域的经验和成就。

Founded by Daniel  Turriani, JT Art Asset is providing expert and comprehensive advice on the aquisition and sale of artworks with a focus on Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Art. This summer, JT Art Asset’s Chengdu Office will open, HALFartist M is pleased to interview Daniel, and share his experience, achievement in the contemporary art field.

HALFartist M: 你原先在你父亲的古典音乐公司工作了两年,是什么原因使得你转行来视觉艺术领域? 家庭因素的影响对你的选择大吗?

Daniel: 父亲的公司是我从米兰读艺术史本科结束后的第一份工作,工作很有意思,在我每周和几个不同的来听音乐会的藏家见面交谈之后,让我产生了进入艺术行业的念头。我一直一来都对艺术有着很大的激情。在学校,艺术也是我唯一擅长的功课。我始终记得在我十二、三岁的时候第一次爱上印象派的时候。

我的祖父对我的职业影响很大,他是一个非常强大、勇敢的人。他在二战中赢得了很多荣誉奖章。他热爱艺术。在五六十年代,他曾是一名业余画家,他在1988年去世,那年我16岁。直到现在我依然记得他和我讲述的那些有趣的奇妙的故事,还有关于他的人生和艺术。

HALFartist M: You worked at your father’s classical music company for almost two years.  Why did you quit the music industry to join the fine art industry? Is there any family influence pushing you to work in the art industry?

Daniel: That was my first experience of work shortly after graduating in Art History in Milan.  It was a great experience and curiously got me started in the art business, as I met several collectors who would attend the concerts weekly.  I always had a passion for art.  At school it was the only subject I was good at.  I remember falling in love with the impressionists when I was about 12 or 13 years old.

My grandfather had a huge influence on my choice of career.  He was a strong and brave character.  He fought and won a few honour medals during the second world war.  He had a strong passion for art.  He was an amateur painter who during the fifties and sixties, was a friend to artists such as Piero Manzoni, Lucio Fontana, Giorgio Morandi and Mino Maccari.  He died in 1988 when I was 16 years old.  To this day I still have beautiful memories of him and all the fascinating stories he told me about life and art.

HALFartist M: 在你创建JT Art Asset之前,你涉及过很多不同的艺术领域,比如私人画商和高级顾问,是何种原因促使你自己创业?你之前的工作经历又是如何帮助你的?

Daniel: 一直以来我都是一个非常有野心的并且非常独立的人,我无法想像自己能够给别人从早到晚的工作。我很乐观。虽然说自己创业在最开始会很困难,但对我而言都不是问题。艺术这个行业和其他很多行业一样,丰富的学识和人际关系是非常重要的。我最开始和那些古典音乐藏家们见面的经验让我认识到和对的人建立关系是多么的重要。

你要一直进步和不断的学习,亲自去不同的艺术活动现场,艺术节,展览等等。直到你能够很舒服自信的去面对客户了,你才可以慢慢放慢你的脚步。我希望能够让买家和卖家都能有愉快的经历。每一次成功的合作都像是给我打了一针兴奋剂一样。无论对于任何价格的绘画我都保持着同样的热情,不管它们是几千块钱,或者是几百上千万。

HALFartist M: Before you founded JT Art Asset, you took various roles in the art industry, including being a private art and antique dealer; and senior consultant.  What was the motivation behind starting your own business?  How did your previous working experience help you?

Daniel: I’ve always been an ambitious and independent person.  I could never see myself working from 9am to 5pm for someone else.  I’ve always been optimistic as well.  Failure has never been an option, even though starting all alone in this business was difficult at first.  Knowledge and networking are very important in this business as in many others.  My initial experience of meeting collectors at the classical music company taught me the importance of networking with the right people.

You need to keep moving and learning; travelling a lot to art events, art fairs, exhibitions etc.  Then once you’ve attained a comfortable level of clients, you can slow things down.  My biggest motivation is to make buyers and sellers happy.  It always gives me a special buzz when I successfully place a painting.  The enthusiasm is always the same, regardless of whether the painting is worth few thousand dollars or several million.

HALFartist M: 你有着很国际化的背景,来自意大利,后来到英国,然后又涉足中国。你从何时,为什么开始对中国和中国当代艺术感兴趣?为什么在成都设立办公室,而不是选择像北京、上海这样的城市?

Daniel: 九年前我在伦敦遇到我的妻子,她是一名成都人。我们开始旅行整个中国。我觉得成都是一个非常迷人的城市,有一千五百万人口并且还在增长。在那儿一切发展都很快。所有的奢侈品牌都进驻城市,并且一年比一年多。我喜欢远离喧嚣。每个人都在香港,北京或者上海开画廊,但是我很喜欢成都的艺术圈,喜欢整个四川省。我觉得自己像个先锋人士,周围都没有太多的外国人。总之我很喜欢这个国家,这里的人,文化以及饮食。每一次我造访中国,都会有一些新的发现和体会。

HALFartist M: You have an international background; from Italy, to the United Kingdom and as far afield as China.  It’s easy to see, with their European ties, how one can make the leap between Italy and the UK, but how and when did you get interested in China and Chinese contemporary art?  And what made you open an office in Chengdu?  Why not choose a city like Beijing and Shanghai?

Daniel: I met my wife 9 years ago in London.  She is Chinese and from Chengdu.   We started travelling together all around China.  I find Chengdu a very fascinating town; 15 million people and growing.  Things are moving really fast there.  All the luxury brands have already moved in and every year I go I can see and feel this growing force.  I like to be different from the crowd.  Everyone opens galleries in Hong Kong, Beijing or Shangai.  I really like the contemporary art scene in Chengdu and in all the Sichuan region.  I feel somehow like a pioneer in the area, as no other westerners are around.  Needless to say, I’m totally in love with the country, its people, culture, food.  Each time I visit China is a new discovery.

HALFartist M: 在JT Art Asset的网站上,我们不难发现很多中国艺术家的名字,比如曾梵志,严培明还有赵无极。你是如何和他们建立联系的?今后你会继续和更多的中国艺术家合作吗?在你寻找新的艺术家的时候,你的标准是什么?

Daniel: 我和你所提到的这些艺术家见过面,但是没有到非常了解彼此的地步。总体来说我喜欢参观造访艺术家的工作室。我和我的妻子一起收集当代艺术。在收藏之前,和艺术家建立好联系,参观他们的工作室,和他们一同进餐都是非常重要的,你可以了解他们的思想,他们对于艺术的热情和初衷,这能够帮助我们更好的了解他们作品背后的意义。在四川地区,我已经去参观过上百个艺术家的工作室了。

什么样的艺术家是我寻找的?富有激情,有独特个性和原创精神。

HALFartist M: Looking through the JT Art Asset website, we notice you have famous Chinese artists like Zeng Fanzhi, Yan Peiming and Zhao Wouki on your artist list.  How did you get to know them and build connections?  Do you plan to include more Chinese artists in the future?  And what are your criteria when searching for a new artist?

Daniel: I met the artists you mentioned, but don’t know them very well on a personal level.  Generally speaking I love visiting artists’ studios.  I collect Chinese contemporary with my wife.  Before buying, it is extremely important for us to create a bond with the artist; visiting their studio; having lunch together; feeling their desire and passion for art; seeing their motivations, so that we can better understand the meanings behind their artwork.  I have access to hundreds of artists’ studios in the Sichuan area. What am I looking for in an artist?  Passion, strong personality and originality.

HALFartist M: 另外我们在你的网站上发现,你在新闻那一栏还会更新你在寻找的艺术作品类型,这是一个非常好的方法吗?

Daniel: 我们生活在数码时代,越来越多的人利用网络在全球范围内买卖。一直以来我都通过网站联系卖家,然后他们提供给我可以收藏购买的艺术作品。

HALFartist M: Also, on the website, we see you post news about what you would like to buy for your clients, do you think this is a useful approach?

Daniel: We live in a digital era.  More and more people worldwide are using the internet every day for buying and selling a wide range of products.  From time to time I got contacted by sellers, through my website, offering me artworks to sell on their behalf.

HALFartist M: 你一直对原创作品,年轻人和新生艺术家的作品做为收藏兴趣,能否进一步介绍一下你的个人收藏?另外,对于现在很多年轻艺术家所面临的艺术销售以及进入市场的困境,你有什么好的建议给他们吗?

Daniel: 中国的当代艺术正在经历着很大的变化。意识形态和政治符号正在消失。中国的艺术越来越都市化和国际化。社会变化很快,有很多非常有才华的新兴艺术家。我可以列举一些我认为不错的:廉学铭,李柯南,张文荣,师进滇,曹敬平,何森,洪磊,李超,李锐,刘玉洁,那危,杨冕,杨勋等等。

我给年轻艺术家最好的建议就是保持他们的激情。梵高在他短短十年的创作生涯中,画了超过两千多张作品,这当然是抱着强大的激情才能够做到,尽管他遇到那么多困境。不停的创作,抱着积极主动的态度和热情。热情的态度是能够传染人的,这种感染力是能够渗透给观看者的。

HALFartist M: You stated that you were always interested in original, young and emerging artists for your personal collection.  Could you tell us more about your personal collection? Also, considering the fact that young artists now struggle to get attention and sales in the market, what’s your advice?

Daniel: Contemporary art in China is undergoing changes.  Ideological and political symbols are disappearing rapidly.  Art in China is becoming more cosmopolitan and more international.  Society is changing fast and lots of talented artist are emerging.  Among some of my favourite: Lian Xueming, Li Kenan, Zhang Wenrong, Shi Jindian, Cao Jingping, He Sen, Hong Lei, Li Chao, Li Rui, Liu Yujie, Na Wei, Yang Mian, Yang Xun etc.

The advice I can give to young artists is to do their job with great passion.  Van Gogh in his short 10 year career as an artist produced more then 2000 artworks.  He was certainly working with passion despite all the adversities he faced.  Be productive, very proactive and full of enthusiasm.  Enthusiasm is contagious and if you have enthusiasm for your art, you will transmit it to the viewers.

HALFartist M: 你和非常多的客户合作,包括藏家,个人,博物馆,画廊,基金会,银行等等。哪一类是你合作起来觉得最有挑战性的?对于一些客户,他们可能对作品的投资价值的兴趣远远超过于作品本身的艺术价值,你有遇到过这样的客户吗?你是如何和他们合作的?

Daniel: 这份工作的魅力之处就在于你可以和不同的客户打交道。没有任何两桩生意是一样的,并且很多时候都具有挑战性。相信我,在这一行你永远不会觉得无聊!现在外面有很多有钱的年轻人,但是他们对艺术所知甚少。你需要向他们解释每一个细节,从放置保存,保险,运输等等。有一些人开始购买一些印象派作品,然后转向收藏现代和当代作品。还有一些人只是关注于两三个特定的艺术家。常常他们脑海里有艺术家的名字,但是对艺术家本身缺乏了解。我的任务就是传授教育。

有经验的藏家有时候会很难伺候。他们对作品的质量要求很高,他们寻求特殊时期的作品,他们知道如何理解一笔一划。为他们的收藏寻找一副完美的作品有的时候非常有挑战性。你必须阅览无数作品才能够从中找出他们想要的。

越来越多的客户把购买艺术作品做为一种投资,所以这种情况下你需要由一个非常严密的公式,我自己就做了很多研究,并提取很多变量形成了我自己的公式,而且事实验证目前为止是成功的,因为我有一些客户在短期内得到了非常不错的收成。

HALFartist M: As the website shows, you work with a wide variety of clients, such as collectors, individuals, museums, galleries, foundations, banks and so on.  What kind of people do you feel are the most challenging to work with?  And for some clients, art may be valued purely on its investment potential rather than its aesthetic value.  Have you met such clients and how did you deal with this?

Daniel: The beauty of this job is that you work with a great variety of clients.  No two deals are ever the same, and sometime there are challenging situations.  Trust me, you’ll never get bored in this business!  There are plenty of young new buyers out there who have money to spend, but know very little about art.  They want advise on how to start a collection or how to buy art as investment.  You need to explain everything in detail to them; from storage, insurance, shipping etc.  Some people start buying impressionists, then switch to modern or contemporary.  Others just stick with 2 to 3 artists that they like.  Often they have an artist in mind, but know little about him.  My task is to educate them.

Experienced collectors on the other hand are often very picky.  They go for excellent quality.  They are looking for certain periods.  They know how to read the brush strokes etc.  To find the perfect work for their collection is sometimes a very challenging task.  You need to locate and view several artworks before you find the one they like.

More and more client are looking to buy art as an investment, so in this case you need to follow a certain strict criteria.  I have a special formula which takes into account lots of research and numerous variables.  It is proving to be successful so far, as I have several clients who have made a great return in a short period of time.

HALFartist M:你对于自己包括整个公司在未来的五年有什么期待呢?

Daniel: 我会关注于中国艺术市场,在成都的办公室在今年夏天就可以使用了。也许我们会在某个地方开一个自己的艺术空间,去展出我们的藏品,当然同时我也会非常积极的寻找客户。我喜欢帮助人们,而且我认为我有一双懂得审美的双眼,至少我是一直这么被被人讲的。

HALFartist M: How do you see yourself and your organization in the next five years?

Daniel: I’ll be more involved in the Chinese market.  The office space in Chengdu will be ready at the end of the summer.  At some point we may open an art centre where we can showcase our collection, but of course I will always be very active in advising clients.  I like helping people and I think I have a good eye for beauty, at least that is what I have always been told.

HALFartist M: 最后一个问题,你是如何定义成功的?

Daniel: 成功就是做你喜欢的工作,晚上能够按时睡觉,然后期待第二天得到来,期待第二天的工作。对你自己,你的生活和你的选择保持乐观的态度。

HALFartist M: Last question!  What is your definition of success?

Daniel: Success is doing a job you love, going to bed at night and looking forward to the next day of work…Being happy with yourself, your life and your choices.