Cover Brush, a painting by Lee Jung Woong, was selected for a home at Sentosa Cove

Jazz Chong, owner and director of Ode to Art, discusses the growing importance of art in interior design and why she goes the extra mile for her clients with personalised consultancy services

As the founder of Ode to Art, Jazz Chong is in the privileged position of fostering close relationships with both local and international artists. The gallery’s repertoire of artists includes Fernando Botero, Lim Tze Peng, Hong Zhu An and Qin Feng, who are globally acclaimed and widely collected by museums as well as homeowners.
But for Chong, the key factor she takes into consideration when representing an artist is “chemistry”. “Talent and potential are one thing, but the relationship between a gallery and an artist is one that is largely symbiotic, so we must enjoy interacting with each other,” she says. “This relationship is similar to marriage because it is long-term and built upon friendship and mutual trust.”
Ode to Art also offers art consultancy services to match clients with works that resonate with their personal aesthetic preferences. “Developers and homeowners often see art as an important aspect of design; especially in this day and age where art has become a necessity in adding a sophisticated feel to any living space,” says Chong. Here, she shares tips on curating the perfect collection for your home.

How have the tastes and preferences of local art collectors evolved in recent years?
Jazz Chong (JC)
Travel has become a huge part of our lives. Due to this global lifestyle, I daresay art collectors’ tastes and preferences have become more sophisticated and wide-ranging so it is hard to pinpoint one genre or medium that is the most popular. The art scene in Singapore has also become increasingly diverse. With a multitude of world-class exhibitions showcasing an international spread of artists, this increased accessibility to a wide range of art has also diversified the tastes of our art buyers in Singapore.

Collectors like artworks that they’ve never seen before; something special that gives them insight into cultures and practices they otherwise wouldn’t understand. Also, collectors enjoy a piece that speaks to them in a way that is personal and heartfelt, that isn’t widespread and repetitive, but fits into their idea of specific design aesthetics and the feel of their intended space.

What made you decide to launch art consultation services?
I was doing some work for an international interior design firm, and they gave me my first art consultancy project for an overseas hotel, and one thing led to another. We have been offering such a service for the past decade.

Art consultancy is now highly complementary to our business, if not almost inseparable from the idea of being an art supplier. It lessens the worry of any art buyer in terms of making a decision to buy art for their space. We also find that this is a great way of developing the demand for growing artists as well, apart from the conventional ways of holding exhibitions and participating in art fairs.

What is the difference between supplying art to companies, compared to homeowners?
The difference would be mainly the scale—as homes are catered to the individual or family, there is an active discussion about the type of art they are looking for and we are able to select pieces that closely relate to their vision. For properties and show launches, these considerations are taken into account too, but it would be more streamlined and thematic as the entire project has to be cohesive.

What advice do you have for displaying art at home?
It is very important to like and appreciate an artist’s work. Artworks will remain at home for an extremely long time, so they should remain relevant or at least significant. Know your budget so that you are able to discuss the range of works that’s best suited to you. The size of the artwork should also be proportionate to the space intended. If it’s too small, the art piece gets lost in translation; if it’s too big, the space becomes claustrophobic.
External spaces are exposed to the weather and depending on the material of the piece, deterioration happens at varying speeds. When displaying art in an external space, ensure that the art piece is meant for the outdoors; galleries are able to give accurate advice on that. Regular maintenance is needed as well to ensure the artwork remains in good condition.

Ode to Art | 01-36E/F, 252 North Bridge Road, Raffles City Shopping Centre | 6250 1901

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