Gajah Gallery is pleased to present the fourth and final iteration of our online feature – Fresh Vision, where esteemed names at the forefront of their respective fields (from architecture, to stage and the culinary arts) are invited to curate a focused digital exhibition. Alongside this we present an in-depth interview, revealing the stories of how they began their collections, their personal artistic tastes and their inspirations.
For this edition, we feature Singapore-based collector, Jim Amberson. Originally from the USA but based in Asia since 1998, Jim Amberson is a Director in a Multinational Insurer. He has been actively collecting Southeast Asian contemporary art for more than 15 years, acquiring works by Dinh Q. Lê, Sopheap Pich, Handiwirman Saputra, Teng Nee Cheong, Yee I-Lann and more.
Amberson’s interest in the region extends to a Masters of Arts Degree from the National University of Singapore in Southeast Asian Studies and publications that include “Deep S.E.A.: Contemporary Art from South East Asia” and “The Little Red Dot: Becoming a Red Hot Home for Art”. Amberson is frequently invited to panels to speak on collecting Southeast Asian art, and has loaned his collection to numberous international exhibitions. Amberson has joined the Asia-Pacific Acquisition Committee of the Tate Modern, London.
“From a standpoint of what’s in my home, I gravitate towards works that help me get a different view on the world, a different perspective. … I wanted to approach art through a perspective that’s no longer just about painting.”
Titled Challenging Convention,Amberson has chosen to showcase works by I GAK Murniasih, Kayleigh Goh, and Semsar Siahaan – artists whose works he finds challenges the norm in different aspects. In this interview, Amberson also shares his journey in collecting art, and how it has influenced his life and philosophy.
“Recognize that it’s part of an ongoing journey. I cannot imagine what my life would have been like had I not started collecting art; it has become a key driver in my way of looking at the world. It has influenced my interests, my friends, and the world I live in, and it has been an incredible journey.”