Richard Ingleby, of Edinburgh-based art space Ingleby Gallery, took a few moments to chat with us during his recent visit to the international art fair Art Hong Kong 12, where he mentions the importance of having a thematic focus to his exhibitions on and off site, his initial thoughts about Paddle8, and how the international art community has responded to contemporary Scottish art. Also included during Ingleby’s participation in the fair was the documentation of Katie Paterson’s site-specific 5-day performance involving 3216 pieces of confetti fired by a handheld canon somewhere among the vast landscape of Hong Kong. Documented daily on both Ingleby, and our Paddle8 Tumblr, the confetti of Suns were coded to match the hue and quantity of all the gamma ray bursts known to have occurred in the universe.
Paddle8: As you mentioned before, with the small handful of western galleries at the fair, what drew you in particular to the HK Art Fair and HK during such early stages in 2008?
Richard Ingleby: We’ve always done business in Hong Kong. Originally this was confined to ex-pat Scots (for reasons I don’t fully understand Hong Kong has been a magnet for Scots since the 19th century) but since the fair this has of course expanded in all directions. Magnus Renfrew, the fair director, also has strong Scottish connections and to some extent our decision to do the fair in year one was to support him. I’m glad we did.
P8: What is different to this particular fair over UK or US based art fairs?
RI: A lot. The principle difference is that much of the Hong Kong audience doesn’t know the work of the artists that we bring. You might expect this to be a problem, and from a purely commercial point of view it can be a challenge, but on the other hand there’s something about it that I like a lot. When people respond to a work in Hong Kong they are responding purely to the thing itself as an object, not to any established ideas that they might have about the artist or the artist’s place in some sort of pre-conceived hierarchy. It is very refreshing.
P8: How has the fair changed Ingleby and its place in Edinburgh?
RI: I don’t think it has changed us at all. We still do what we always did, it’s just that for a week we are doing it somewhere new and widening the net.
P8: Does the Katie Paterson performance/3216 confetti explosions coincide with what is shown at the art space in Edinburgh or the gallery’s collective themes – such as the poetry reading last month, the current Innes show, the black and white billboard poster on Waverly, and the upcoming performance?
RI: Active engagement with both artists and audiences through events and off site projects is a very important part of the gallery’s identity. I think because we are based in Edinburgh – one of Europe’s greatest cities but one that is a long way from the centre of the contemporary art world – we have to try a bit harder than our colleagues in London, New York or Berlin.
P8: How has the Hong Kong audience perceived contemporary Scottish art during your participation? How has Ingleby evolved by the landscape of Hong Kong or Chinese contemporary artworks?
RI: We have always tried to provide an international context for the Scottish artists that we work with, so we represent artists from lots of places. It has always been about the work rather than the nationality, but of course we have a strong relationship with, and responsibility to, the artists from close to home. In Hong Kong, for example, we are showing Scottish artists alongside Brazilians and Americans etc. The audience here doesn’t seem to mind where the work is from as long as it speaks to them. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
P8: Ingleby has been a partner gallery with Paddle8 since almost the very beginning, what drew you in particular to participate in a virtual art space?
RI: We were invited to take part in a project that Paddle 8 put together at the time of the Armory show in New York, but we already knew about the site from the exhibition that Marina Abramovic curated. She asked one of our artists, Peter Liversidge, to take part and I was quite impressed by the way it was pulled together. It’s all about finding new ways to talk to people and if a virtual space can contribute to that then why not?
Be sure to check out more available artworks in our current In the Gallery | ArtHK12 project online till May 24th. Also be sure to take a look at Ingleby on Paddle8, stop by the gallery’s website and Twitter page, and follow the Paddle8 Tumblr to see more exclusive Ingleby content!