Sylvain Levy insieme a sua moglie Dominique, hanno realizzato, nel tempo, una vasta collezione, dslcollection, che è sempre in evoluzione sull’arte contemporanea di artisti cinesi.
E’proprio nel viaggiare che i loro occhi si sono fermati su artisti che vivono su questa terra, dove la tradizione estetica ha capovolto assiomi di composizione formali e del disegno e pittura. La grande immagine che non ha forma, come è stato scritto in un saggio intenso di François Jullien, influenzò questo popolo e poi il pensiero europeo, soprattutto sul modo di vedere la natura e lo scorrere della vita in questi luoghi dove è ammantata una sospensione di sensazioni che non sono sempre è circoscrivibile ad un unico concetto.
Questo fascino, questa curiosità verso un’estetica, a volte ancora cruda nel crescere e manifestarsi, ha catturato Sylvain e Dominique Levy, che hanno voluto, nel tempo, avere nuovi occhi per guardare i paesaggi di ricerca degli artisti incontrati.
The collection is focused on Chinese artists and other important aspects of art, the latest technologies.Tools such as internet, interactive programs, virtual exhibitions and electronic books.
Paola Ricci: In 2005, when you arrived in Shanghai, you met a Chinise artist Ding Yi. This painter uses a symbol “+” as a sign which he repeats with different colors and rotations. This sign covers the entire surface of large canvases.
What did you feel when you saw these works for the first time? Do you believe in the importance of creating a contact with the artists who will be part of your collection?
Sylvain Levy: My visit at Ding Yi ‘s studio happened at the end of a ten days trip in Shanghai. It was our first trip in China. We were absolutely amazed by the discovery of the City and we decided to begin a collection of Chinese contemporary art because we wanted to find in the Chinese contemporary art the energy that we were experiencing. One should not forget that art is one of the mirror of a society. We decided to collect Din Yi ‘s work because naturally we liked it but because we were impressed by the artist himself.
Paola Ricci: Do you think that your passion for Chinese artists is also captured by Chinese photography , as an other aspect of the culture of the people ?
Sylvain Levy: I do believe that Chinese artists are very creative in all types of mediums and especially in photography. One of the firsts works that we have collected were photos from Zhang Huan.
Paola Ricci: Miao Xiaochun, is renowned for his photographs of contemporary China. He creates some conceptual photographs which are now more like paintings than photos. Some works are experiments with 3D software as an artistic medium, which led to the creation of The Last Judgment in Cyberspace; somebody describes it as a reminder of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel fresco as territory for similar provocation.
Do you think that this technique and this subject could be considered a provocation or a leap that goes beyond ancient art?
Sylvain Levy: I think that technology create new types of experiences and allow an extension of the tools that can be used by artists.
Paola Ricci: Art Fairs are places where a person can see so many artists and works together.
What do you think about these places so full of crowds and works of art together, are they really places where a collector can discover new works or are they places where he sees how the market is going?
Sylvain Levy: Fairs are becoming crucial in the art ecosystem. Personally I do not feel comfortable to buy in a fair. I like to take my time when I collect.
Paola Ricci: When you chose to start your kind of collection, what was the first thing you thought about regarding your choice? Did you think about the period of art or investment of the collection ? Did you buy what you like or do you prefer to choose what you think will be a challenge in the future?
Sylvain Levy: Collecting for my wife and myself is a style of life and not just about amassing artworks. I do not believe that art is the best investment tool because the size of the market makes it quite illiquid.We collect what create an aesthetic emotion and what is relevant with the rest of the collection.
Paola Ricci: Do you think it is important to confront your opinion of a new artist with the opinion of a curator before choosing to buy something for your collection?
Sylvain Levy: No I do not think to confront my opinion with one of a curator but before collecting we make our homework on the artist that we intend to buy.
Paola Ricci: What will the prospects for your Collection be in the future?
Do you think the importance of publishing books of different projects or exhibitions of the artists in your collection, has changed? And if it has changed how do you imagine it in the future?
Sylvain Levy: We would like the collection to be more then just amassing objects but also a platform of ideas. A collection that is constantly standing the test of it s time. A timely and timeless collection.
Sylvain Levy rimane sui passi che compie, tra l’incontro e la visione delle opere e non fa altro che rimane ad ascoltare le voci che arrivano.
“It is important for artists to speak for the time in which they are living.”
Sylvain Levy, co–Founder, dslcollection