We’re very excited to feature ART LABOR and the Canadian man behind the brand, Martin Kemble. With an accolade of awards to their name, we wanted to find out more about what makes them tick.
ART LABOR’s journey began with the opening of our first gallery in the former French Concession in 2007. Not only was it our first gallery, but it was also the first independent gallery to open in the area – so it’s a pretty special milestone.
After a whole decade, we’d like to call ourselves an art destination and discovery. We’re now occupying an entire building in Jing’an district, not far from the renowned M50 art space, so we’re placed firmly on the art scene map here.
The gallery was born out of a love and a lifetime of art, and a desire to offer alternatives to an art scene that had become quite routine. I like to think that we go the extra mile in finding unique artists to exhibit; whether from overseas or from around the corner in Shanghai, whether they’re already founded or emerging. The gallery focuses on the development of new talent and ideas, as well as encouraging more established artists to support and mentor emerging artists. I think sharing knowledge is a powerful thing.
Good customer service is a good greeting.
We pride ourselves on greeting every customer who comes in – a simple ‘hello’ can go a long way. We observe, listen and ask questions to find out what their purpose is, browsing, collecting, or investing etc.
Running my own business allows me to wake up everyday and do exactly what I like to do, creating stuff. And I can take time off whenever I feel like it, which is always a bonus, right? Our most popular service is in fact our parties ha ha. Our gallery was designed by award winning architect Andrei Zerebecky, with movable walls and lighting, so we’re able to host formal meetings as well as special events, which is cool.
We based ourselves in Shanghai because it is fast becoming the centre of artistic creation and financial power in Asia. But we’re forever growing our exhibit list and showing more artists from overseas, so we’re looking to open an art space back home – look out Vancouver!
Hard to decide – our summer place in British Columbia, Canada, and of course, right here in Shanghai.
Author: Saffron Otter