#ListeAsks Michael Xufu Huang, Collector and Founder of X Museum, Beijing
As you won’t be in Basel this June, what are you doing instead?
We just opened X Museum on May 30th, so we’ll most likely still be busy with that in June.
What is something that you never thought would happen but that has now happened as a result of the lockdown?
I never thought I would have time to relax this year before the opening of X Museum, so it was good to have a few weeks off to reflect on myself and read.
In what ways has the current state of uncertainty and unpredictability changed your attitude towards collecting?
To be honest I have been behaving pretty much the same—probably because the situation in China was contained very quickly, so I feel like life has been normal since March. But I do feel worried about the economy going forward and storing art in places with large amounts of protests.
What is one of the most inspiring initiatives or projects by an artist, institution or gallery you’ve came across since the outbreak of Covid-19?
I have to say I am proudest of our X Virtual Museum. It is our virtual reality 3D website, which you can experience with the naked eye and where you can play around and learn about our show at the same time. We are working with additional institutions to add more content to this platform.
How can younger and less established galleries that are representing emerging and yet-to-be-discovered artists approach you as collector in a time of online-only exhibitions, fairs, etc.?
I prefer seeing PDFs or Instagram/WeChat posts over online viewing rooms. New galleries usually DM me on Instagram to ask for my email.
Have you discovered any new artist during the lockdown?
Yes, many. I have discovered them through social media platforms or emails from galleries I have previously worked with. Some new acquisitions include works by Vojtěch Kovařík, Owen Fu, and Eva and Franco Mattes.
Can you tell us about the very first artwork you purchased at Liste and what it means to you?
I think the first work I purchased at Liste was Yuji Agematsu’s one-month multi-part sculpture. Through his work I feel a very strong human presence in this cold, post-digitalisation world.