Why Do We Collect Art

Perhaps the late art historian Kenneth Clark said it best: “It’s like asking why we fall in love, the reasons are so various.”

We spoke to a few collectors who have devoted great amounts of time, money and effort building up their art collections. We dig deeper about their motivations behind their love of art.

For the love of stories

As one collects artworks through the years, it becomes a visual memory bank of stories about us, reflective of various time periods in our lives.

Each individual art piece has a story to tell. It could be significant for a variety of reasons- where, when and why it was purchased. While each piece has it’s own story to tell, a collection of artworks is an assemblage of stories, enabling people to relive their childhood, or connect to a period in history they felt strongly about, and revisit it every now and again.

Philipp Aldrup's "Golden Mile 06"
Philipp Aldrup’s “Golden Mile 06”
Chow Chee Yong’s “Fighters”

For the love of beautiful walls

We start out being goal-oriented, fixated on filling up blank walls in a newly renovated space, or a new home.
What had started out as a task to hunt down furnishings for blank walls quickly turned into a passion for collecting. The artworks that are chosen to outfit our homes with are an articulation of our personalities, and of our tastes. With blank walls as our canvas, we are able to create an aesthetic that is uniquely ours.


For the love of discovery

Art is a great way to discover new cultures outside of our own. Oftentimes, art from different countries have varying visual vocabularies. It ignites a conversation about the ideas, inspirations and motivations of differing societies and experiences. Through collecting and discovering different artists and artworks, we deepen our knowledge and appreciation of the world around us.


For the Addiction of the hunt

It is the thrill of finding a piece of artwork that resonates so deeply you can’t help but be drawn in.
It is the sense of gratification when you finally find something that speaks to you after visiting numerous galleries, art fairs and platforms, that is addictive.

Put eloquently by avid contemporary art collectors Thea and Ethan Wagner, about what impresses as a work of art. “In that case, and with virtually everything else we own, it’s something between your stomach, your heart and your head.”


Leave a Reply