Melbourne Art Fair


Stand E114

Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens

9 Nicholson Street, Carlton, VIC, 3053, Australia


image001Zhu Jinshi b. 1954, Yellow Yulan Magnolia Spread on the Floor (2013), Oil on canvas, 180 x 160 cm

Su Xiaobai b. 1949, Concave—Green Sash (2012), Oil, lacquer, linen and wood, 120 x 130 cm

Director Pearl Lam

Exhibition Dates

14–17 August, 2014

Vernissage: 13 August, 6–8pm

MELBOURNE— Pearl Lam Galleries, one of Asia’s preeminent contemporary art gallery groups, this week unveils a major presence at the Melbourne Art Fair, presented from 14 until 17 August at the iconic Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton, Victoria.

Pearl Lam Galleries, which has bases in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore, will be a highlight of the Melbourne Art Fair on its first foray into the Australian market.  The booth will feature works by leading contemporary artists from around the world including notable Chinese artists Zhu Jinshi, Qin Yufen, Su Xiaobai, and Michael Chow (aka Zhou Yinghua ~O-O~), alongside new works by acclaimed Australian painter Ben Quilty; English painter Loreta Sáez Franco; Japanese artist Sayaka Ishizuka; Tibeten-born artist Gonkar Gyatso; American artist Carlos Rolon; and Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos.

Pearl Lam, Director and Founder of Pearl Lam Galleries commented: “At the Melbourne Art Fair, we’re looking to provide guests with an introduction to the range of international artists that Pearl Lam Galleries are intent on supporting. The Fair represents a new platform for our artists and we are looking forward to engaging with Australian and international collectors in Melbourne,” added Ms Lam.

Pearl Lam, Founder and Director of Pearl Lam Galleries will also deliver the respected Melbourne Art Foundation Keynote Address on Monday 11 August at 630pm at the National Gallery of Victoria. The Keynote Address marks the official opening of the Melbourne Art Fair program of lectures and forums.

Ms Lam has been at the forefront of reimagining China’s cultural place in the world for more than ten years, having established one of Asia’s most culturally ambitious contemporary art galleries with bases in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore. Lam is also known for her work as an active arts patron, collector and curator, as well as for founding the China Art Foundation in 2008.

Influential Chinese artist Zhu Jinshi, whose works synthesize Chinese sensibilities with an international visual language, is set be a highlight at the Pearl Lam Galleries booth. Using traditional Chinese aesthetics, Zhu will present a series of ‘mind images’ emphasizing the harmony between human beings and the natural world. Each image is mapped with thick, layered oil paint to create highly textured surfaces that represent inner spirituality, the experience of migration and the perception of world phenomenon.

Pearl Lam Galleries will also present a selection of mystical works combining sculpture and painting by one of China’s most distinctive painters, Su Xiaobai. Ranging from shell-like finishes to sensuous, curved profiles and abraded textures, they exist entirely on their own terms, possessing a history, character and independent existence.

Other artists being presented at the Pearl Lam Galleries booth include American artist Carlos Rolon is recognised for his elaborately crafted paintings, ornate sculptures and works based on Kustom Kulture, which references punk culture of the late 1970s and old punk rockabilly. Rolon’s practice stems from his Puerto Rican heritage and upbringing in the United States, exploring the relationship between conspicuous consumption and urban identity.

Two artists presented at the Pearl Lam Galleries booth exploring Western culture, identity and assigning new meanings to familiar objects, words and iconographies include Tibetan-born, British artist Gonkar Gyatso and Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos. Gonkar’s current practice combines traditional calligraphy and the iconography of Buddhist thank, with collages of colourful stickers, cut-out text and mass-media imagery, subverting typecast notions of Tibetan culture while considering the popularisation of Buddhism in the West.  Joana Vasconcelos’ work explores Western mythologies, iconographies and customs, often appropriating familiar objects affiliated with female labour and incorporating craft-related materials such as textiles and tin-glazed ceramic tiles.

Media Contact

For further information about Pearl Lam Galleries and to request press imagery and interviews, please contact Kym Elphinstone,, 0421 106 139.

 Melbourne Art Fair Information

Melbourne Art Fair is presented in the Royal Exhibition Building, located at 9 Nicholson Street, Carlton, Victoria. Public opening dates are Thursday 14 August until Sunday 17 August 2014, with an opening night Vernissage event being presented from 6pm until 10pm on Wednesday 13 August. Tickets for the Fair and Vernissage are available at

Pearl Lam Keynote Address Information

The Keynote Address featuring Pearl Lam will be presented on Monday 11 August, from 6:30pm-8:30pm

at the National Gallery of Victoria, Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, Ground Level, NGV International (enter via Arts Centre forecourt). Tickets and further information at

About Pearl Lam Galleries

Founded by Pearl Lam, Pearl Lam Galleries are a driving force within Asia’s contemporary art scene. With over 20 years’ experience exhibiting Asian and Western art and design they are one of the leading and most established contemporary art galleries to be launched out of China. Playing a vital role stimulating international dialogue on Chinese and Asian contemporary art, the Galleries are dedicated to championing artists who re-evaluate and challenge perceptions of cultural practice from the region. The Galleries in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore collaborate with renowned curators, each presenting distinct programming from major solo exhibitions, special projects and installations to conceptually rigorous group shows. Based on the philosophy of Chinese Literati where art forms have no hierarchy, the Galleries are dedicated to breaking down boundaries between different disciplines, with a unique gallery model committed to encouraging cross-cultural exchange.

Contemporary Chinese Abstract art is heavily represented in the Galleries’ roster. Influential Chinese artists Zhu Jinshi and Su Xiaobai who synthesize Chinese sensibilities with an international visual language are presented internationally with work now included in major private and public collections worldwide. The Galleries have also introduced leading international artists such as Jenny Holzer, Jim Lambie and Yinka Shonibare MBE to markets in the region, providing opportunities for new audiences in Asia to encounter their work. Pearl Lam Galleries encourages international artists to create new work, which engages specifically with the region – collaborating to produce thought-provoking and culturally relevant work.

Pearl Lam Design shows works by established and emerging international designers in design fairs around the world including Maarten Baas, Mattia Bonetti, André Dubreuil, and Studio Makkink & Bey. They are invited to push the boundaries of traditional Chinese art and craft techniques and create new works that reflect their experiences in China. A fourth gallery and concept store devoted solely to design will open shortly in Shanghai.

About Pearl Lam

Pearl Lam has been at the forefront of reimagining China’s cultural place in the world for more than ten years, both through her work as gallerist ( and through the trust that she founded in 2008, the China Art Foundation (, whose advisory board members include the Directors of the Pompidou and Guggenheim museums. Her partners include major institutions from the BBC to the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Chinese Academy of Fine Art, Beijing; and her proven influence extends from Shanghai through London to Singapore (where she opened a new gallery in January 2014 to complement her galleries in Shanghai and Hong Kong).

In Asia, where the cultural infrastructure is developing fast and in innovative ways, Pearl Lam’s gallery stands out for its intellectual and cultural ambition. As the New York Times said of the opening exhibition of her gallery in Hong Kong: “Ms. Lam put on a subdued, nuanced group show of Chinese abstract works, a breath of fresh air in a city where galleries usually go for the eye-popping…The opening had an intellectual air that has been missing from the Hong Kong scene.”

Pearl Lam is also a collector, patron and curator. As a curator, among many other exhibitions, she conceived and organized the critically acclaimed ‘Awakening: La France Mandarine’, an exhibition on the French influence on Chinese art, which was a central part of the 2004 French Year in China. As a patron, she has donated works to museums as various as the V&A, London; the Asia Art Society Museum, New York; the KW Institute, Berlin; the Museum of Art and Design, New York; and the Peabody Museum, Boston.

Her long-term commitment to design as well as art, and her new endeavor in Singapore, taken together with her existing networks in China and New York and London, are all part of a strategy to build an art brand in Asia that can act as a global platform to showcase art and design from Asia to the world and art and design from the rest of the world to Asia. This is something already happening: “Lam is also a provocateur whose gallery […] has pushed people to think about not just the distance separating East and West, past and present, design and art, but each of the bridges connecting these concepts…” [Art and Auction]

About the Melbourne Art Fair

Presented by the Melbourne Art Foundation, a not for profit organisation, Melbourne Art Fair is Australasia’s leading fair for contemporary art, showcasing the prominent galleries from around Australia and beyond. In 2014, the Melbourne Art Fair will be presented to the public from Thursday 14 August until Sunday 17 August, with a Vernissage on Wednesday 13 August, in the Royal Exhibition Building, one of the world’s oldest exhibition pavilions located in Carlton Gardens in Melbourne. Over its 25 year history, the Fair has been instrumental in stimulating critical and commercial attention for galleries and their artists, presenting a rich and diverse cross-section of the region’s visual art scene and directly contributing to the livelihood of living artists.

Press Enquiries

Kym Elphinstone / [art]iculate / +61 (0)421 106 139