Idea of Management  
     
  @@Once an owner of a gallery told Celia Huang, half-kidding, that Metaphysical Art Gallery caters to the taste of the public, but it is not really mainstream. This is the best introduction to Metaphysical Art Gallery.Ten years ago, before Celia was encouraged by her friends to open up an art gallery, she has had experiences in the art gallery business. Before she threw herself into the world of art, she was a copywriter in advertising. But she couldn't get rid of her ideal she had when she was in high school, and now, she's been in art business for more than seventeen years.

@@Recalling her first days in art business, Celia is grateful that she has had a chance to learn from many of today's most prestigious art galleries in Taiwan: Lee Ya-Li, the owner of Lung Men Art Gallery, is always revered by Celia. Crown Art Center allowed her a lot of space to develop her potential; Celia has always appreciated Ping Hsin-Tao for leading her into art business. Hanart TZ Gallery's Chang Song-Jen has shown international vision, which has been a great stimulus to Celia and caused her to so some introspect on her own future. Now when she looks back on those days, she says, " Actually I am very fond of the way art galleries were run a decade or so ago, when people simply came to art galleries to appreciate art and were able to take pleasure in art completely." Today, she still believes that running an art gallery is not only about art, but also about conscience.

@@At first Celia established her gallery on Ren-Ai Road. Her gallery was named Magnet Art Gallery because Celia hoped to build up a gallery that could "feel and express." She moved her gallery to Apollo Building in 1992 when she also changed the name of the gallery to Metaphysical Art Gallery due to its repetition with a clothing retail.

@@In order not to deteriorate Magnet Art Gallery, Celia has always prioritized the ethics between the gallery and the artists, and has always abided by the rule of not disturbing their original collaborations. On this premise, she had to look for artists who did not have contracts with other galleries. "It was very difficult discovering every artist I work with now," recalled Celia. Take Wang Pan-Youn, who hides himself in Yi-Lan and who is known for his lofty spirit. He never let people see his works easily and Celia had to travel a long distance to visit him just to see the works of this lonely artist. Finally when she sat down, Wang would go back to work on his paintings. Out of curiosity, Celia would walk in his studio to observe how he painted, but Wang, who was not accustomed to being watched while working, would take her out of the studio. Celia would always find her way back again and again. "I'm probably one of the very few people who didn't know how to behave known by Pan-Youn." Said Celia. She can still remember how Wang brushed blue on the canvas. That kind of blue was profound; and it was the watercolor paint called "Over the Sea."

@@Finally during this visit, Celia was able to receive Wang's consent to work with her though there were several difficulties afterwards. It is still true that if one wants to be recognized by an artist, he has to do it with his sincerity. This is the one and only way to establish a long-term cooperation with an artist. After several times of collaboration, mutual trust and reliability between Wang and Metaphysical Art Gallery was set up. As for Winland Kuo, " it all started with we both being cheated by an agent." Celia said.

@@What attracts Celia the most in these artists is their distinct characteristics. She works with artists from old to young generations including Wang Pan-Youn, Chen Ci-Kwan, Winland Kuo, Jang Tarng Kuh, Lin Chung-Hsin. She thinks that it takes at least five years to foster the image of an artist. "You can make someone famous, it's hard to substitute his style once it's set." To Celia, the style of these artists is irreplaceable. If someone is to ask which way is Metaphysical Art Gallery heading for, the way she runs it is enough answer the question.

@@To recollect how far Metaphysical Art Gallery has come, Celia first made Chen Te-Wang's oil panting and sketches known, and introduced exhibitions that took place on the Internet. After moving to Apollo Building, the opening exhibition was "Road of Art", which offered a way track down Taiwan's art development. This exhibition covered artists from old, middle and young generations and displayed the course of art exhibitions in Taiwan.

@@Aside from individual exhibitions, Celia loves holding exhibits according to different themes in Metaphysical Art Gallery. This kind of exhibition is full is characterized by its creativity and thus ca always bring Celia a sense a achievement, which is why she never gets tired of it. After all these years she has had some unforgettable experiences. Exhibitions such as "One Century Golden City in the Mountains (1890-1993)--People, History and Scenery in Jiufen", "Facial Expressions-Subconsciousness", "Chronicles of Tamsui Art--Home of Beautiful Poems (1910-1991)", "The Last Train Station--A Tour to Taiwan's Old Stations", and "Between Generations--Models of Master-and-Apprentice Relations in Taiwan Art History", are all rich in her indescribable feelings. In "Chronicles of Tamsui Art--Home of Beautiful Poems (1910-1991)", the exhibit held by Pan Hsiao-Hsia and her joint effort, Tamsui is presented by poetry and paintings. Tamsui in black-and-white pictures is no longer there; Tamsui shown in paintings is beautifully natural. Different essence of Tamsui is presented. But today, even if the Tamsui MRT has brought people back to Tamsui, we can still feel the slight sorrow when Tamsui in our memories is fading little by little.

@@Celia and Pan Hsiao-Hsia went through repeated discussions for this exhibition. Caught up in the struggle between ideal and reality, they had to go through this dilemma together, and they did. This exhibition was accompanied by a Tamsui singer's performance, storytelling over tea, Tamsui's songs and poems and forums. This success led her to looking for more interesting topics. "It is always exhausting to hold this kind of thematic exhibitions, but when I can see my ideals being realized by my own hands little by little everything is worthwhile." Celia said.

@@Artist who work with Celia are always also her personal friends. "Running this gallery has helped me made a lot of friends." Smiled Celia. In her opinion, it is natural to start the collection and continue in this market since Taiwan art history has only about one hundred years. This idea is reflected in her gallery's operation, where customer service is always stressed and good reputation is prioritized. She often tells her employees, " We don't have the luxury to apologize."

@@As for the future, considering the art market today, Celia has no intention in speeding up her pace. "Cultivate deeper relations with the artists we have today is what I think is appropriate for Metaphysical Art Gallery at present." She says. Just because her art gallery business is a combination of her interest, ideal and career, when asked about how she runs her gallery with, she answered "probably with my willingness to interact with my friends."
 
     
  From "The Artist" magazine, No. 295, Dec. 1999  
   
 
   
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