We are pleased to announce the Sunpride Foundation as a new Major Patron of CIMAM
The Sunpride Foundation became a Patron of CIMAM, in February 2023.
What were your first contacts with the contemporary art world?
I am a property developer and my first project was on Hollywood Road in Hong Kong, an area famous for antique shops and galleries. My frequent visits for work in that neighbourhood got me interested first in modern Chinese paintings, and subsequently in contemporary art.
How was the Foundation Sunpride born, and what is its purpose?
I’ve always been passionate about advocating for LGBTQ+ rights. Contemporary art came in at a later stage and it quickly became a serious interest. In 2014, I decided to merge these two passions together and that’s how Sunpride Foundation was born. Its purpose is to raise awareness and respect for the LGBTQ+ community in Asia through collecting and exhibiting art. With our collection, we collaborate with public institutions in Asia to organise large-scale thematic exhibitions with an LGBTQ+ focus. These exhibitions serve as a platform where we can reach out to the public and create healthy and constructive conversations.
- Spectrosynthesis – Asian LGBTQ Issues and Art Now;
- Spectrosynthesis II – Exposure of Tolerance: LGBTQ in Southeast Asia;
- Myth Makers–Spectrosynthesis III]
Could you tell us more about your art collection and the artists who are part of it?
Our collection focuses on queer issue-related artworks, which can be works by artists from Asian countries and their diasporas who identify themselves as LGBTQ+, as well as non-queer artists. We currently have about 100 artists and over 300 works in the collection. Geographically, the collection spans roughly from India to Japan. It includes works by Bhupen Khakhar, Lionel Wendt, Sunil Gupta, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Arin Rungjang, Danh Vō, Dinh Q. Lê, Ming Wong, Anne Samat, David Medalla, Maria Taniguchi, Ellen Pau, Samson Young, Shu Lea Cheang, Hou Chun-Ming, Siren Eun Young Jung, Eikoh Hosoe, Yasumasa Morimura, Sin Wai Kin, Simon Fujiwara, Wang Shui, Tseng Kwong Chi, Martin Wong, Wu Tsang, amongst many others.
How do you think your foundation has contributed to increasing the visibility and representation of LGBTQ+ art and artists, especially in more conservative societies?
Through collaborating with public institutions on large scale LGBTQ+ themed exhibitions, and producing a catalogue for each exhibition, we aim to introduce LGBTQ+ themed art and our artists to as many people as possible. These exhibitions serve as a platform for artists to be seen and share their stories, and for the public to appreciate LGBTQ+ themed art and understand the issues we care about. Interviews and coverage of these exhibitions also help bring the artists and their art beyond the physical boundaries of the museums to many parts of the world, including those more conservative societies. In our 2019 exhibition with the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, we had a very brave artist from Brunei who participated under a pseudonym. I think his participation meant a lot not only to our exhibition and the artist himself, but also to his home country and the LGBTQ+ community there.
You are also a member of Tate's Asia-Pacific Acquisitions Committee, the Guggenheim's Asian Art Circle, and the M+ New Art Council. How is your contribution to these committees? Do you advise on the acquisition of LGBTQ+ art?
I often say I was invited to join these committees exactly because of what my focus in art is, which is to promote LGBTQ+, and I believe it’s true. Having a voice in these great institutions gives me an opportunity to help increase the visibility of queer themed art and artists who identify themselves as LGBTQ+.
What is the main reason for joining CIMAM as a patron?
CIMAM is a prestigious organization and I am honored that the works of Sunpride Foundation is recognized by CIMAM's president, Ms. Suhanya Raffel, who invited us to join as a patron.
Which of the topics CIMAM deals with in the different Working Groups interests you and can add value to your professional activity? For example, issues such as governance, best practices, sustainability, promotion of emerging professionals, or knowledge production and networking at the Annual Conference
I am interested in promoting diversity and inclusivity so issues such as governance and best practices are of interest to me, and also networking at the Annual Conference.
Sunpride Foundation was founded in Hong Kong in 2014 by Patrick Sun, with a goal to raise awareness and respect for the LGBTQ community through art. In 2017, Sunpride Foundation and the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei co-hosted Spectrosynthesis - Asian LGBTQ Issues and Art Now, the first LGBTQ-themed exhibition staged in a public art museum in Asia. Two years later, the foundation and Bangkok Art and Culture Centre co-organised Spectrosynthesis II – Exposure of Tolerance: LGBTQ in Southeast Asia, marking the largest-ever survey of regional contemporary art exploring LGBTQ creative history in Southeast Asia and beyond. In late 2022, the foundation and Tai Kwun Contemporary co-presented the latest iteration of the Spectrosynthesis series titled Myth Makers—Spectrosynthesis III in Hong Kong. Besides leading Sunpride Foundation as its founder and executive director, Patrick Sun also supports a number of major art institutions worldwide. He is a member of Tate’s Asia-Pacific Acquisitions Committee, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Asian Art Circle, the M+ Council for New Art, a Founding Friend of Para Site, and more recently he joined Hong Kong Palace Museum as a Founding Patron and Asia Art Archive's Member of Collectors Circle.
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CIMAM – International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art – is an Affiliated Organization of ICOM.* Founded in 1962, CIMAM’s vision is a world where the contribution of museums, collections, and archives of modern and contemporary art to the cultural, social, and economic well-being of society is recognized and respected.