Entrepreneur and art collector, Shanyan Koder on health, happiness and home – Prestige Online
A prolific art collector, counselor, and future mother of three, Shanyan Koder sits curled up among silk cushions on an antique lounge chair in her living room. Hanging on the wall opposite east Eden – a Damien Hirst Butterfly song – one of Koder’s personal favorites.
“Visually, it’s an absolutely magnificent painting, bursting with color, with iridescence. It’s symmetrical and cathedral-esque – and the only work as a whole Butterfly series that includes every butterfly that has ever appeared in the series, ”said Hong Kong-born and raised founder / director of Shanyan Koder Fine Arts and arts platform HUA.
An epic photograph of Candida Höfer hovers just above the black grand piano, and a pair of Afro-nude paintings by Chris Ofili adorn the wall above. The decor is set, and what a decor.
Wearing a simple black and white gown, awaiting hair and makeup, and looking relaxed in her fairytale home, Koder is also gloriously and beaming six months pregnant. Her third child is on track – another daughter in addition to daughters Callie, six, and Lily, four.
Today we are within the safe confines of his spectacular Chelsea home, hands washed and sanitized as London begins to grapple with the severity of the Covid-19 crisis that has already swept through Asia. These strange and precarious times quickly bring the conversation to balance, well-being, and family.
“What a year it has been so far, 2020, with the Australian bushfires – my husband is Australian so it has been very devastating for our family as well – the floods in the UK, the locusts in Africa and now with this virus then the markets crash. I think this is a message to humanity to reset and refocus on the most important things in life, which are health and happiness, ”Koder said.
These are also the core values of how she would like to raise her children – prioritizing health, happiness and home. The hectic Koder life in London is often punctuated with downtime: “We’re going to the middle of nowhere, the Turks and Caicos, for two weeks just to reload and reset. “
It is soon in a secluded house on a cliff overlooking the English coast – Cornwall to be exact – where the family will step away from the hustle and bustle and density of London in this time of crisis. “I hope the salty sea air and the windswept landscape will help us escape all the chaos for a little while. There is a time to be busy, I love to be industrious and engaged, but there is also a time to rebalance and reconnect with nature, ocean and sea, and I’m pretty spiritual about that.
The lifestyle of the art lover is usually a mixture of worldly glamor and family friendliness and calm. His father, Hong Kong businessman Canning Fok, was already one of the city’s most prolific art collectors before Koder took a larger role in creating the impressive family collection, which includes Monet, Miró and Matisse as well as Hirsts and Warhols. So it was his own family and his upbringing that guided his “love for fine art and the way I collect today … I remember joining my parents from a young age to bid on evening auctions. like Sotheby’s and Christie’s ”.
Since childhood, the thrill of acquiring rare pieces during exclusive tours has never left her. Today, the family collection spans the gamut of modern masters, impressionists and post-impressionists – like Degas, Magritte and Van Gogh, as well as contemporary luminaries such as Murakami and Hirst and a handful of modern Chinese masters. Koder has carved out a stellar reputation as a serious actor and agitator in the art world, as a board member of the Serpentine Galleries in London, a member of the Advisory Board of the Contemporary Gallery Unit London and a member of the Artemis Board. reserved for women. at the New York Museum. The HUA art space (now an online platform) that she founded over a decade ago has introduced the enigmatic contemporary Chinese market to the rest of the world.
As a collector, she must react emotionally to the actual work of art. “I like to collect with an open mind and not just stick with an artist I know, because for me it’s quite closed-minded,” she says. “I’m a classic at heart – I love old-fashioned paintings, so I tend to gravitate towards contemporary works that tend to have elements of classicism and romanticism. But I like to embrace the new, I like to support emerging artists.
Our eyes are again drawn to the Hirst, which carries a sense of the classic, and the butterflies a touch of romance. “As in all of Damien’s works, there are classic elements of natural history, science, art and religious faith; but I like that if this work is a celebration of the beauty of life, it is also an appreciation of the beauty also in death.
As much as it is a natural classic, its entrepreneurial approach is progressive and focused on digital technology. Communications and even sales are easier in the digital age and social media. “In this vein, I am also co-founding an app called Global Showcases, which will launch later this year, which targets an invitation-only group of discerning collectors looking to acquire and collect the most exclusive masterpieces in the world. world.
His roles over the years on the boards of laudable global arts institutions have given him seriousness and confidence. And the sale of ultra-exclusive works of art to a select, closed and elite group of collectors through its app platform is already starting to make waves in traditional fine art markets. This digital development marks the third venture of HUA and its art consultancy platform Shanyan Koder Fine Art, which organically originated over a decade ago as a young collector and professional in the world. of art, having worked at Sotheby’s and Goldman. Sachs in London and Hong Kong.
“Now, many of my business ventures have flourished thanks to millennial collectors empowered to make quick decisions through social media communication and the ease of visually communicating through digital platforms,” she says. With the cancellation of Art Basel and other fairs this year, this digital dimension is becoming more and more widespread, as more and more galleries and artists rely on this way of working. Art might be her business, but as an accomplished designer, Koder’s expressions range from fashion – I discovered the enviable shoe closet hidden by a bathroom – to furniture and interior decoration.
She prefers to dress in classic cuts and likes simplicity rather than complicated and complicated contemporary fashions. Even his style connects with some of his most beloved artists since his childhood.
A penchant for pieces that showcase the grace of a woman’s cleavage and her figure is “I guess, kinda like a work of Degas on paper!” she laughed, draping a graceful arm over the sofa.
“I love nothing more than putting on a simple black dress – and I often have the same dress in white, nude and red. I love the fragility of thin straps, the femininity of a Bardot neckline and the sensuality of a bustier bustier. Paired with nude Louboutin stilettos and diamonds, of course.
The charming Chelsea home, where we are filming the cover of this issue, is a good example of the Koder’s aesthetic shifting from mode to mode. Purchased in 2009 from a music manager (“he was a manager for Dire Straits and Bryan Ferry”), the three-story property was a magnificent space but a total bachelor apartment.
“I had seen over 50 locations in that zip code alone. It’s fun to see how properties find you, and things have worked out well with this one, ”she says. “We have transformed the house over the years. My husband and I love going to art fairs and cross collection is an important thing to us – not only art, but we love designer pieces like those vintage Tiffany lamps or those two antique French country chairs from the 19th century. century that fit into the home. well… You will see elements of my taste in the sultry and feminine lamps, handcrafted by my dear friend, Sera Loftus.
There’s art, books, family photos, and curios – beautiful vintage and antique pieces abound. A magnificent mirrored glass coffee table by the famous French modernist Serge Roche is in one area, and in another, where we shoot one of his portraits, there is a coffee table by the French artist Pierre Giraudon, its surface is beautifully encrusted with looking pieces and looking almost intergalactic from above.
Large upholstered sofas, armchairs, lounge chairs, and gorgeous royal curtains come in luxurious fabrics, silks and jacquards. Minimalist this house is not. Yesteryear charm emanates from every detail, but plants and contemporary pieces give the space warmth, dynamism and energy.
“Everything I have collected and acquired for our house has a touch of romanticism, classicism and femininity,” says Koder. “I see my Chelsea home as an oasis of calm, a peaceful sanctuary in a bustling metropolis of London. It is also a family home, cozy and warm.
It’s a perfect place to come back to after an artist preview, charity event, reunion, or lunch with girlfriends. Sometimes, she said with a smile, it’s also great for “doing a photo shoot for the cover of an internationally renowned magazine!”
This space is, of course, the main basis of her usual routine – the days start around 6 a.m., when she is getting the children ready for school, cooking meals and organizing classes, as she has no full time nanny. When they’re at school, she has several hours to pack up meetings, emails, and work. Most evenings she spends with her husband, Matthew Koder, and the kids, and cooks for the family. “My family is a creature of habit, so we like to stick to an overall daily routine, which helps all of us to ground ourselves.”
She also admits to being a romantic, in life and in style: “I’m kinda head in the stars – it’s probably good that I have a husband who brings me back to earth every now and then. This is my rock … “
“Art is part of my daily life, my children are growing up in a family and an environment surrounded by art, music and nature, so I hope these elements are already shaping part of their soul and spirit. “
The family, which already includes two very old cats, Winston and Sherlock, as well as a fluffy dog called Scooby, are set to welcome another member. Koder is delighted to have a third daughter in the coming months: “We’re all very excited,” she laughs. “And my husband is well and truly outnumbered now!” “
Photography Victor de Halleux
Styling Hannah beck
Hair and makeup Dream Ryu with Laura Mercier Pure Canvas moisturizer
Digital operation Will churchill
Photo assistant Dasza Wasiak