Nestled at the end of a quiet lane in Shanghai’s French Concession, Purple Roof Public Art (PRPA) is a public art space and a multifunctional institute. Julia Mao—art collector and founder of PRPA—invites us into her office to discuss how she started collecting, the art on her walls, and what it means to be supporting emerging artists.
Over the past 30 years, Mao has assembled a remarkable collection of contemporary art. For her, collecting art has been a fulfilling journey—it is a vital channel to champion the next generation of artists. “I studied music. I know art isn’t an easy path,” explains Mao. “People of my generation, if we have the means, should try to encourage the younger generation, and not to think about profits or monetary values.”
If you would like to see the running dialogue in either Chinese or English, turn on closed captioning by clicking on the “CC” button at the lower-right corner of the video and select the desired language.
Collection Highlights is a three-part video series where collectors from across the world discuss how they got started, a few of their favorite works, and what collecting means to them.
Start or expand your art collection by visiting PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai this September (23-26).
Left: Guo Xi and Zhang Jian Ling. Still from Grand Voyage: A Man Gifted with Photographic Memory #1. 2017. Single-Channel Video. © Guo Xi and Zhang Jian Ling
Right: Feng Yan. The People's Conference Hall. 2006. Chromogenic Print. © Feng Yan
Photo: courtesy of Julia Mao Personal Collection