Exclusive interview: Mina Fung – Founder, Gallery Director, Love it Art

I always take the time to visit museums and art galleries when I travel. I also try to keep up with local art-related events and I have a membership at the Vancouver Art Gallery.  I started taking my daughter to museums and art galleries when she was a baby. I would carry her in the baby carrier and she would stare at the colours of the paintings or point and babble. I remember it was really engaging even though it wasn’t a stimulating developmental toy that she can hold on to.

Now that she is three years old, she actually appreciates it whenever we go visit a museum or art gallery. She always asks when we can go to a museum or art exhibition and says she really wants to go. I am not sure if it is because she has an interest or if I started her young. She asks a lot of questions and really shows interest in everything we see and has learned at a very young age to not cross that black line or touch ANYTHING.

I think art is visually stimulating for kids and works the right brain. Right brain vs. left brain and right hand vs left hand is best left for discussion another time. There are many studies out there outlining why art is important for kids. It helps kids think creatively with an open mind and they show higher critical thinking skills. It exposes them to different cultures and builds their confidence through trial and error. I noticed I was already immersing my daughter in art classes, art exhibits, art museums and art related events. Thinking about why I introduced art early to my own child, I decided to find out more by talking to Mina Fung – founder and gallery director at Love It Art.

Q: Tell me about your company

Mina: Love It Art operates mainly online, curating and showing a unique selection of original art from emerging and talented contemporary artists from locally in Vancouver, Canada as well as from around the globe.

Q: You state that you are committed to advancing art by making it accessible and affordable to a younger demographic. Why do you think it is important for young people to have an interest in art and in collecting art?

Mina: My mantra is “invest in art, invest in life”. I believe in the culturally and emotionally transformative power of art. When people invest in art, they invest in themselves first because art is a reflection of their taste, their story and their memories. Art shapes our culture and culture shapes our society and personal growth. It also helps us to understand the importance of diversity and creativity. Thus, it is ideal to start young in appreciating what matters in life. Living with art won’t necessary make everyone instantly more creative but it will definitely make them appreciate their investment in art at an intellectual level. Original art is something they will treasure for a long time and will not end up in the landfills like a mass production print or a poster.

Q: How do you choose your artists?

Mina: I have to like their work first; I usually will know within a few seconds. Then I’ll do extensive research online to learn more about their background and work. I also do cross-referencing with all the information I gather before approaching an artist for representation or before starting a dialogue with the artist when we are being approached for representation. In particular, I select only those artists who have a voice, have full control over their techniques and have regularly pushed beyond boundaries to create works that are unique and different.

Q: What inspires you?

Mina: Seeing how art can transform a space always inspires me and keeps me going. Working with artists and seeing how they progress over time to create amazing works also inspires me to dedicate my time to help them grow a more widespread audience and appreciation for their work.

Q: What is your favourite piece of art?

I don’t have a favourite piece. I like many artworks and thus, I’m also an art collector myself. I do have my favourite modern master painters such as Picasso and Miro. However, I’m a strong advocate for buying art from living artists. So if I have to narrow it down to a type, I would say my favourite type of art is contemporary art and I collect only contemporary art from living artists.

Q: I hear you’ll be travelling to Hong Kong for an event. Can you tell me a bit about it? How many artists will you be featuring?

Mina: My gallery will exhibit at the Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong in May, from the 12th to 15th. May 12 is for the private preview only. The event will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. If people are interested in the VIP preview event in Hong Kong on May 12, they can sign up for  an invitation at http://vip.loveitart.com.

We’ll feature 9 artists from around the globe: five are Canadian and 4 are from Vancouver.

  • Sarah Gee Miller (Vancouver)
  • Mira Song (Vancouver)
  • Jessa Gilbert (Vancouver)
  • Tehya MacKenzie (Vancouver)
  • Micheline Robinson (Canadian currently living in New Zealand)
  • Amber Singleton (U.S.)
  • Alice (Hye Ryung) Yang (South Korea)
  • Luca Tombolini (Italy)
  • Moran Victoria Sabbag (Israel)

If you want to view some of their works, the gallery is part of artnet’s International Gallery Network. “Love It Art on artnet“.

I hope you are lucky enough to be in Hong Kong during the time of the event. I wish I could bring my daughter.


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