Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong, Takes a Break
After Twenty Years of Market Success, Gallery Owner Chooses to Pursue New Opportunities
After celebrating 20 years as one of Hong Kong's leading art galleries, Schoeni Art Gallery will temporarily suspend operations at the end of June 2013 while gallery owner Nicole Schoeni takes a break from the business to seek new inspiration, and to explore the world. The three gallery spaces: Schoeni on Old Bailey (21-31 Old Bailey Street, Central, Hong Kong), Schoeni on Hollywood Road (27 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong) and Schoeni Project Space (8 Chancery Lane, Central, Hong Kong) will be closed from 1 July 2013. Nicole Schoeni intends to use the time to reinvigorate herself and learn more about art and the world in which she lives, and to take time out for her new family.
"The past twenty years has been an incredible journey for Schoeni Art Gallery, beginning with the founder and my late-father Manfred Schoeni, who launched the gallery in 1992 at a time when there were only a handful of galleries in Hong Kong," said Ms. Schoeni. "Following his tragic and sudden death in 2004, I was thrust into the position where I had to continue the business while also defining our future direction. That responsibility and opportunity was really a defining moment for me. But, I now realise that I need to stop, refresh and explore new ways of looking at the world." She added.
In those twenty years, the Schoeni Art Gallery has mounted more than 200 exhibitions and worked with more than 100 artists, helping to promote their artwork in Hong Kong and overseas, and the gallery has advised hundreds of art lovers and patrons on how to build their art collections.
"It has been heartwarming to witness the great accomplishments of the artists we have supported," said Schoeni. "From visits to unknown artists living in small home studios or studios shared with fellow artists, to visits to world class artists living in homes and studios able to comfortably provide for their families, it has been an incredible journey, "she said." Getting to know these great artists, supporting and representing their work, and making connections between artist and collector, has been really gratifying."
Schoeni noted that the "enthusiasm of art collectors has been a constant source of inspiration, and it has been rewarding even beyond the personal relationships and friendships that have been forged." She said that with the passing of her father, "business as usual" had indeed carried on and has been successful despite the loss of her father Manfred Schoeni. Nicole Schoeni took the reins right after his untimely death, and met the challenge of mourning his passing while also pointing the gallery in a new and successful direction.
"Needless to say, for me these past nine years, leading the gallery has been an immensely fulfilling journey, a wonderful opportunity that transformed my life," she said. "However, I now intend to turn a new page, getting married later this year. With this in mind, and in celebrating our accomplishments on the occasion of our 20th Anniversary, I have decided to take a modest break from the business beginning this summer to focus on my future family. This was a very difficult personal decision, and I consider myself so very fortunate to be in the position where I have the choice."
Schoeni has always sought to explore new ideas and directions, and the break will provide some time to learn and shape her thinking for the future.
"I have learned through experience that life is fragile and unpredictable, and I feel the need to seize this opportunity to rejuvenate myself and set a new direction for the future," she said. "Art will always be a large part of my life. I look forward to getting more involved in our local community through charity work, exploring further art education and continuing to be involved in non-commercially driven art projects - which has always been my greatest passion, as well as acting as art consultant."
Schoeni notes that this is not a permanent directional change. She indicates that "once refreshed and rejuvenated, I look forward to my return to the art business sometime in the near future with newfound vigour." She adds that the Schoeni Art Gallery would not have continued to be such a great success "without the support of so many supporters and enthusiasts." She notes that support from the media has helped to provide her artists with the exposure they deserved, "so I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their great support over the decades." She added.