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Biography of a collection

Author: Eloisa Haudenschild 2003

As a collector I look to connect with emerging artists from developing parts of the world.

My husband and I started collecting contemporary Latin American Art in the early 90's. Collecting offered us the opportunity to support young artists working in precarious political and economic environments. It became a most rewarding experience,

We began traveling to China in the late 90's. China's explosive growth and the lack of infrastructure for contemporary art offered me the perfect opportunity to experience the adventure once more.

After a few years of searching, in Shanghai we found the first group of works and friends.
It was not my goal to develop a collection solely of photography and video, but I soon realized that it was the most intriguing medium to me.

Some of the first artists of the collection were Yang Fudong, Shi Yong, Yang Zhenzhong, Xu Zhen, Xiang Liqing.  Later on I traveled to Guangzhou to meet Zheng Guogu and Chen Shaoxiong. I also traveled to Shenzhen to meet Yang Yong.
Artists from Beijing, Shenzhen and Haikou: Cao Fei, Feng Mengbo, Hong Hao, Weng Fen, Yang Yong, Zhao Bandi, Song Tao and works from artists Yang Jiechang, Gu Dexin, Wang Jin, Wang Youshen, Zhou Thiehai, Hai Bo, Yu Youhan, Zhao Nengzhi, Lu Chunsheng and Geng Jianji joined the collection soon after.

Thrilled by my first encounter with these important works I continued my search and I traveled to meet some of the key people working in the field.

My passion for China, my good friends and talented artists I met there, fueled many exciting trips.
During those years I had the privilege of meeting legendary Chinese curators, professors, art critics and writers. Laura Zhou and Lorenz Helbling belong to this special group of friends, I owe them a great deal of gratitude for their loving support and guideance. They deserve recognition for their mentoring and supporting of young Chinese artists for the past 10 years. my special thanks to Helen Zhu and Chen Yan at Shanghart.

In October 2003, "Zooming into Focus: Chinese Contemporary Photography and Video from the Haudenschild Collection" opened at the San Diego State University Art Gallery. Tina Yapelli, director of the Art Gallery conceived the idea of an exhibition and curated the first two shows of photography and  video. The exhibition was followed by a symposium organized by Tina Yapelli and moderated by Britta Erickson, at the San Diego Museum of Art. The Museum of Photography collaborated by unveiling a piece commissioned from artist Yang Zhenzhong while in residence in our home in Southern California. A premiere performance by artist Shi Yong, also in residence, followed. I would like to acknowledge Christopher Phillips and Britta Erickson for their generosity in sharing their knowledge with me and for supporting the project from the beginning.

The collection then traveled to the Shanghai Art Museum and opened in February of 2004.
The exhibition was followed by a symposium moderated by Hou Hanru and PiLi, at the China Art Academy in Hangzhou.

In June of 2004 "Zooming into Focus" was exhibited at the Centro Cultural Tijuana, Mexico. The exhibition was followed by a Videotage. Young Chinese and Latin American artists were invited to present their work.

The Institute of Contemporary Art at LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts in Singapore invited the collection and the exhibition opened in August 2004.

The collection continues growing. We are constantly in the process of buying new works from new artists and we continue to buy in depth works from artists already part of the collection.  Recently, two great photos by Li Wei were added to the collection as well as new works by Yang Fudong, Zheng Guogu, Song Tao and Shi Yong.

In 2004, a series of public "Garage Talks" began in our home, international curators, artists, writers, art critics are invited to participate in conversations, colloquia and round tables. The first talk was a presentation by Mami Kataoka, curator of the Mori Center in Tokyo, who held dialogues with curators from China, US, England and Korea. The dialogues continue.

My interest in collecting extends beyond the acquisition of art works.
Collecting allows me to share in the artist's journey. It affords me the opportunity to support  the artist and to participate in the process at a point  when I can make a difference. My commitment to the artists is to expose their work by having our collection travel and to open opportunities for them.

Most important to me, is my relationship with the artists, I think of them as friends, I only collect works from artists I know personally, I live surrounded by their work, I have never sold a piece. My life is better thanks to their generosity in sharing their lives, talent and vision with me. I thank them for this wonderful journey.

 "Zooming into Focus: Chinese Contemporary Photography and Video from the Haudenschild Collection" will make its last appearance at the National Museum of China in Beijing on November 5, 2005

thank you Chris, Rita and Anna for your loving, generous and undying interest and support. i love you so much.


Related Exhibitions:
Zooming into Focus


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