Experimental collections at Gallery ALL

Interview with Yu Wang, co-founder with Xiao Lu of the Gallery ALL

Gallery ALL, MAD Martian Collection, Design Ma Yansong, Design Miami: 2017
Gallery ALL, MAD Martian Collection, Design Ma Yansong, Design Miami: 2017

The vision of Gallery ALL concentrates on pièces uniques and limited editions in which experimentation becomes the true protagonist. Founded in 2014 by Yu Wang and Xiao Lu in Los Angeles and Beijing, the famous design gallery conveys the essence of art-design through collections that will be an inspiration for future generations. The furnishings translate biomorphic shapes – as in the works of Zhipeng Tan, where the bone structure is transformed into a glowing seat – in pursuit of organic, unprecedented and evocative forms, exquisitely intertwining matter and memory.

Yu Wang, why did you choose Los Angeles and Beijing as your locations?
I was educated as an architect, and have always been fascinated by architecture and sculptural objects. When I visited the design fairs or museums years ago, contemporary Chinese or other Asian country’s designers are rarely represented in the top fairs or museum shows. At the same time, Chinese design exhibitions are dominated by local crafty objects or luxury Italian furniture brands. There is no platform for Chinese collectible designs shows outside of China or western designers show inside China. I decided to open the gallery bridging the gap between the east and west. In 2014, I founded the Gallery with Xiao Lu in Downtown LA, and in the same year, we opened a space in Beijing.

33 Step Collection, Design Zhipeng Tan
33 Step Collection, Design Zhipeng Tan

Who are the most important designers that collaborate with your Gallery?
All our represented artists and designers are the most important ones! We work with both well-established artists & young, internationally-rising artists. There are many ways we discover artists (designers), but more often, we get proposals via email or Instagram from artists. We usually carefully review their proposal with our core team members. If the works fit in our current program or can help us expand to a new area, we will get references from our contacts in the design world before we respond to the proposals. Our trusted friends and business partners constantly refer talents to us as well. However, we have to say no to 95% of the proposals, due to our limited capacity. We have to choose what we truly believe in. Something in the works of the artists that we resonate with, or we see potentials to expand. Then we will start the conversation with them, discuss concepts, production, prices, editions, and collaboration terms, etc. If both sides like the synergy, we start working together. We have unique relationships with each artist.

Xiao Lu & Yu Wang
Xiao Lu & Yu Wang

When did your passion for Art Design start?
Design is in my DNA. Many of my family members have art backgrounds and my dad used to be a real estate developer. I ran around construction sites and looking over the architectural drawings, listened to the adults to argue about design issues instead of playing video games. When I grow up, I naturally become an architect and developer myself. Designing and building were my daily life. For the past few years, my business has expanded to help more designers to succeed via the platform of the design gallery.

Lounge Chair, MY Collection, Design Michael Young
Lounge Chair, MY Collection, Design Michael Young

Could you explain how you started your connections with design fairs like Collective in New York and Design Miami?
We were lucky to have friends and mentors in the Design Miami circle. In our first ehibxit at Design Miami, we only exhibited one piece in our small booth. Starting from that, we continued to expand our exhibitions in Design Miami as well as other fairs, and last year, we had a 9600 sqft exhibition space that had 9 booths in total, solely dedicated to our artists and designers at Design Shanghai.

In what other design fairs do you participate?
We participate in both art & design fairs such as LA Art Show, JingArtDesign ShanghaiDesign China BeijingDesign Miami/ Basel, West Bund Art & DesignDesign Miami, and a few more fairs if the schedule permits.

Melting Console Table, Design Zhipeng Tan
Melting Console Table, Design Zhipeng Tan

Do you have special commissions for your clients?
Certainly we do. The mission of Gallery ALL is to push the boundary of design in a design gallery role by commissioning, exhibiting, documenting, and fostering the understanding of works of contemporary design art, at the highest possible standards. The Gallery’s principal goal is to create experimental collections that inspire future generations. To carry out this goal the Gallery strives to commission artists and designers to design and realized unique design pieces with the gallery’s financial and fabrication support. One of the most honorable commission projects that we worked on was Zhipeng Tan’s Melting Console Table, originally commissioned by Kylie Jenner to match her cosmetic line, Lipkit. It was a limited edition of 10, the first edition was made in 2017, and by now all editions have been sold out.

Brass Bow Tie Chair, Design Zhoujie Zhang
Brass Bow Tie Chair, Design Zhoujie Zhang

At this unprecedented time, how did you change your ways of connecting with people around the world?
The art world has been always private. This might be the reason why the art world is doing not as bad as other industries in this pandemic. What we started right in the pandemic is to expand our program into further direct collaborative scheme where we also represent high-end, luxury design items apart from our traditional, art gallery business. This has helped us tap into a new industry and made a lot of new contacts even in this challenging time.

What is the most important market for Gallery ALL?
Both LA and Beijing are not the design capitals of the world. I opened the galleries in the two cities because we have more resources in the two cities and it is more convenient for us to manage the galleries. LA is booming with art, and we see the collectible design market is benefiting from the rising art market in LA already. Shanghai is currently more active compared to Beijing, and we have plans to open another location in Shanghai in the near future.