New York and Beijing art dealer Christophe Mao gives an insider’s view into the burgeoning world of contemporary Chinese art and successfully running an international gallery.
“In the 1990s, contemporary art in China was forbidden... Starting in the 2000s, [the government] realized the power to connect with the rest of the world through contemporary art, so they started to promote contemporary art. Now, they not only promote it but want to use it as a tool... Now, anything goes...as long as you do not do [something] anti-government.”
Christophe Mao studied arts administration and business in the United States, working for Sotheby’s and as a financial analyst for Time Warner, before establishing Chambers Fine Art in 2000 in New York. In 2007, he opened a second gallery location in Beijing. One of the first galleries to specialize in contemporary Chinese art, Chambers Fine Art held the first solo exhibitions in the United States for many notable Chinese artists and sponsored the first official Chinese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2005. Since 2000, Chambers Fine Art has published artist monographs in limited editions, including Ai Weiwei: New York Photographs 1983-1993.