July started in Amsterdam with a busy schedule focused to monitor the progress of the private residence presently under construction there. One of the key challenges has become the central staircase of white titanium concrete. This spiral designed stair will link all 4 levels of the house through a central atrium. The challenge lays in the development of the proper mold to be able to pour each section in its entirety. To be continued…
In New York the next week I had a chance to attend Belgian theater directors Ivo van Hove’s brilliant rendition of Luchino Visconti’s film The Damned (1969) at the Armory on Park Avenue. This theater production with the Comèdie-Française was all the more gripping because of its minimalist raw setting.
Van Hoven choose to convey the drama in the absence of any seductive contexts, intensified the focus on the acting with a gigantic screen overhead on which real-time closeups of the actors were projected. His rendition proved all the more how seamlessly Visconti’s story fits in the powerful history of Greek drama, fused with hunger for power and money and (self) destruction. How befitting for the times we find ourselves in.
Later that month I travelled to Seoul after first finalizing some business details in Hong Kong for my new company TETTERO HK based there. Very exited to start operating this third branch of the TETTERO family as of next year.
The Hong Kong visit afforded me to see some dear colleagues, amongst them Leo Xu, the new director of David Zwirner‘ s recently opened gallery there, and Magnus Renfrew, who eminently plays a key role in developing Asia as a force all its own in the international contemporary art market. His latest venture is the xxxxxx art fair in Taipei Taiwan, opening for the first time in January 2019.
The reason I visited Seoul was to attend the long awaited opening of the retrospective of Korean artist Yun Hyong-keun (1928-2007) at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. On behalf of a client I had lend one of Yun’s large canvases, of which there are only 3 in the world, to the exhibition and I was very happy to see what an impressive show curator Kim In-hyu put together.
A fantastic dinner of rediscovered ancient Korean dishes hosted by Ms. Park Kyung-mee followed the opening, where I had a chance to meet well known Korean actor Ji Jin-hee.
August afforded me a brief break in Turkey and Greece and a break within this break to visit the island of Patmos at the suggestion of Karla Otto to find a very appealing art science with many friends and dear people flocking to this beautiful island every summer.
The latter part of August and early September were consumed by the preparations for the opening of my exhibition The Life of the Buddha in the Nieuwe Kerk museum in Amsterdam. This 13th century cathedral, transformed into a Protestant church during the Reformation is nowadays only used in its original function for services for the Dutch royal family, and in its brilliant mix of Catholic grandeur and Protestant restraint was the perfect setting for the exhibition I co-curated with Birgit Boelens of the museum and for which I developed the design. This double role afforded me to include 12 contemporary artist, amongst them Yoko Ono and Ai Weiwei, amongst the 60 artifacts to focus on the story of the life of the Buddha. The highlight of this entire endeavor, 3 years in the making, and on which so many people worked so hard for so long, was the opening on 15 September by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. In the opening ceremony, which included a very compelling symposium on technology and compassion, I had the unimaginable opportunity to lead His Holiness through my exhibition and discus some of the works, including a precious Tibetan paintng (tanka) for his private collection. An experience impossible to convey, encompassing everything as it unfolded and treasured forever.
Stay tuned for the final quarter of 2018.