An Unusual Perspective Like Pearl Lam (林明珠) Is A Must To Succeed As Art Gallerist

8th June 2024

Most first-generation art gallerists will tell you that it’s a challenge to establish themselves. Apart from curating exhibitions, they need to work as an entrepreneur and create high-valued social networking skills. The journey is not only at times daunting but lonely too, with long hours of work, and stress with stakes being very high. Getting burned out even with the work of curating art can be easy so maintaining a positive outlook is a must and having a strong support system. All these will be validated by Pearl Lam (林明珠), the owner of Pearl Lam Galleries. As a successful international gallerist and entrepreneur Pearl Lam believes that one aspect that can help any entrepreneur and art gallerist is having a different outlook than others.  Some of these unusual perspectives that the authority of Asian contemporary art and design have inculcated, can be followed by other entrepreneurs to establish themselves.


Having An Extended Family

Leaving the conventional jobs and entering a new arena that very few people understand. Moreover, if one is born into an Asian family that has very little knowledge or understanding about art the challenge of establishing oneself as an art gallerist is even more. Pearl Lam has faced these challenges and knows the ways to navigate them.

According to Pearl Lam (林明珠), now a prominent female entrepreneur and the most recognisable gallerist in the world, one needs strong support and an extended family. It was her network of friends and people with whom she developed relations while studying abroad that helped her to navigate the challenging phase. Many would wonder about the unconventional relationship Pearl Lam shares with her ex-boyfriends because she calls them and their families (girlfriends, wives, and children) her extended families.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

It is vital to understand one’s limitations as a gallerist and entrepreneur. For instance Pearl Lam (林明珠), despite being called the powerhouse of China’s art world, knows it is essential to have someone with high-end management skills to make the workforce stronger and run the art galleries smoothly, hence she has hired David Chan and others with better management skills. Lam currently focuses on connecting with collectors and artists and visiting places to look for different types of art.

Pearl Lam (林明珠) first understood the need to ask for help when she started reading about contemporary Chinese art and got challenged with her knowledge. She went to meet Gao Minglu to gain a better understanding of Chinese art and how Chinese contemporary art is different from other modern and contemporary art of the West. Similarly, she continues to hire young people who understand the latest trends like virtual art, NFT, and learn from them the ways to navigate these new forms and integrate them in her art galleries and representation of artists. Even if one has been successful in their journey as a gallerist or entrepreneur, it is essential to keep an open mind, while celebrating the journey and the diversity that new generations and cultures bring to the space.

Following Your Passion

It is essential to follow your passion if you are deciding to start a journey as an entrepreneur. Even if the world in which you are venturing is different, when the profession combines with passion the chances of getting drowned in the drudgery of everyday work and getting worn out is less. Pearl Lam started her journey leaving the cushy and established family business and followed her passion for art. It is from there, that the love of artistry and art she developed her skills of becoming an art gallerist.

However, just following one’s passion is not enough, starting with achievable goals is essential. Lam just didn’t open her gallery as soon as she knew what she wanted to do. She started small, with pop-up shows in 1993 and it was more than a decade later, i.e. 2005, when Lam opened her first Pearl Lam Galleries in Shanghai.

It is essential to take time to learn the tricks of the trade while having a different outlook for the business to succeed as an entrepreneur.