The Story Of An Art Gallerist






I have never formally learned arts, nor have I performed arts; I am not an artist in the conventional sense. But I opened an art gallery.

I’m providing a little background information to put into context the ‘unprofessional’ art stories that unfold. Isn’t it wonderful to begin a new year with the hopeful message that an amateur can also become a professional?

Fortunately, I have always had the drive to push ahead with what I wanted to do, no matter what it is. Most of my energy was spent on my passion in life, ‘what I love to do,’ which was ‘arts’ and ‘people’.

Because I was neither a fine arts major nor a professional curator, I surely couldn’t, and actually didn’t want to run an art gallery like the other galleries around me.

The gallery space itself was completely different and didn’t fit all the conceptions we have about conventional galleries. I rented out a shabby house at a very low price – even the landlord had almost abandoned it – and I created a space by remodeling and decorating the maze-like rooms and hall all by myself (as I didn’t have a budget).

The space was ready, so I set off in search of artists. The only thing I had going for me was my particular taste: the pieces must show something fresh, unlike those trite pieces, something be revealed to the world for the first time.

Interestingly, most of the artists I discovered have never learned arts, nor have they even gone near art schools.

However, their pieces portrayed their own spirit and I felt some kind of fresh hope in them.

The hope was that these artistic works would move others’ hearts and minds just as they moved my mine.

Amateur artists who cannot easily step into the existing art market…I wanted to show their pieces to the world.

I made up my mind that I would earn my livelihood from other work and forgo profits from the gallery.

In the beginning, I started the gallery for fun, but once I really decided to forget about the money, my mind became at ease.

What freedom it was! I felt like I could do whatever I really wanted to do…

From that point forth, I spared no effort in supporting the artists and the pieces I felt good about, and carried them forward to exhibitions.

I, who have never learned or trained to be a curator, started to succeed in various jobs such as exhibition planning, installation, PR, opening receptions, and even as a dealer selling pieces.

Indeed, during the course of having to learn continuously, I underwent many trials and errors. But above all of that, my true enthusiasm for this gallery surged every single day.

Surprisingly, the pieces by an artist who opened at the first private exhibition were mostly sold. By word-of-mouth, the gallery also began to receive recognition and respect.

As I started to make a profit, I was temporarily affected by a little greed. But I managed to get a hold of the situation and reverse the greed; I gave most of the profit from the pieces back to the artists.

I was able to do this since I actually received more energy and happiness from helping the artists, not the money.

As I served out more and more to the artists and customers, without any thoughts of possession, the gallery’s reputation continued to grow; it was always packed with people, and I really started to profit.

When other galleries turned to me for advice on how to run a successful gallery, I couldn’t exactly come up with an answer. I didn’t know how to add any professional knowledge or eloquent words, so I could only say, ‘I just enjoy doing it.’

And so I worked diligently, always with my actions and not just my thoughts. I always tried to think outside the box to make every exhibition better, fresher. For instance, one day while visiting a painter, I noticed a mobile she had made for fun hanging from the ceiling. Immediately, I suggested she should open an exhibition with mobiles of this style. A few months later, those mobiles transformed the gallery into a splendid exhibition.

The Story Of An Art Gallerist - Wisdom's Webzine

The Story Of An Art Gallerist - Wisdom's Webzine

I had always dreamed to live life as an artist. But then at some point in time, I found myself involved in creative activities called ‘exhibition management’.

The artists who were discovered in this way went out to the world to show it what they had to offer, and one by one, they began to become famous artists.

Later on, they became too famous to hold exhibitions at my small gallery.

The hope I saw in the beginning was proven by these artists and their pieces that started to see the light of the world.

These artists still remain my friends. The reason it was possible for me to succeed was because instead of just being a curator, I had connected with these artists and had become their friend. I was able to understand their minds, their thoughts, their inspirations, thus their pieces. I could open a proper exhibition once I breathed with them, empathized with them, and experienced the happiness and sadness in their lives with them.

After running the gallery for two years, I moved on to other work. But even now, people call me and joke around asking me to be a manager. Through this job, I didn’t become rich financially, but rather in friends, friends who are more valuable to me than money and who still remain with me.

Plus, the great lesson I learned and the power I gained from understanding that I can truly become successful when I do work that I enjoy was priceless.

I now work in a completely different profession. But from time to time, I still recall the passion I had. Reminiscing on those times reminds me that work becomes easier, more satisfying, and more successful if I enjoy it and pour my everything into others, just as I did back then.

In this way, I’ll never be afraid to try new work or take on challenges, no matter what they are.

Fear comes along when you keep your old conceptions and habits…But I always try to find ways to break them.

If you slightly modify what others take for granted then that small thought becomes a shoot of hope, which is already changing the world, even without us consciously realizing that.

The pieces I’m going to introduce you to every month are the pieces by ‘friends’ whom I got to meet in this way.

I write with the hope that you will discover hope in these pieces at this tiny ‘exhibition’ going on.

And with the anticipation that a message of hope could be delivered to everyone and anyone who is longing to challenge the old to achieve something completely fresh.

P.S. I would like to exhibit the countless hands of my artist friends, which I drew while meeting them.

This piece is dedicated to these devoted hands that are creating beautiful arts even at this moment, and changing the world…

The Story Of An Art Gallerist - Wisdom's Webzine

The Story Of An Art Gallerist - Wisdom's Webzine

The Story Of An Art Gallerist - Wisdom's Webzine

The Story Of An Art Gallerist - Wisdom's Webzine

The Story Of An Art Gallerist - Wisdom's Webzine

The Story Of An Art Gallerist - Wisdom's Webzine

The Story Of An Art Gallerist - Wisdom's Webzine

The Story Of An Art Gallerist - Wisdom's Webzine

*Gallerist : a person who owns or runs an art gallery

[reference: The Free Dictionary, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/gallerist]