Former Gagosian Co-Director Kelly Huang’s return to art advising is marked by an immersion into the world of Asian American Pacific Islander art, a category she predicts will be wildly popular in the near future.
Kelly Huang’s time at Gagosian allowed her to learn about the industry from a different aspect, which, in turn, will allow her to better serve her clients now.
Art advisers play an essential role in discovering up-and-coming local artists, especially in a place with as rich an art scene as the Bay Area. No one knows this better than Kelly Huang, who is making her return to art advising after a tenure as co-director of Gagosian. Huang’s pivot, which came to fruition through founding KCH Advisory, was heavily influenced by her desire to work more directly with clients, and, according to her, that’s been the plan all along. “Prior to Gagosian, I was an adviser with a firm in San Francisco for nearly a decade. I always wanted to return to advising,” she notes. “Connecting with my clients about the big ideas [that] artists are addressing in their work feeds my soul as much as it does theirs.”
Now, Huang has more time to focus on identifying and providing clients with the latest up-and-coming trends in the industry. Her years of experience in the Bay Area have allowed for a deep understanding of the local scene; she is able to feel the pulse of what’s fresh in a way that others simply cannot. When asked about the current trends in the Bay Area art world, Huang notes that it is important to view art as a conduit for conversation and as a vessel for societal change.
She’s especially passionate about creating opportunities for the Asian American art movement. “The Bay Area has historically been, and continues to be, at the center of Asian American studies, artistic production and activism,” she says. “That is increasingly being recognized, and galleries in the Bay Area are starting to work with more Asian American and Asian diaspora artists.” She’s on the lookout for work by Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) artists: familiar names as well as new players. “Friends Indeed gallery is building their roster and giving shows to important historical and emerging AAPI artists, like Carl Cheng and Jiab Prachakul,” she shares. “Jessica Silverman has started representing Maia Cruz Palileo and is considering more Asian American Pacific Islander artists for her roster. Local galleries like Haines Gallery, Catharine Clark, Wendi Norris and Hosfelt have all been working with AAPI artists for years.” These voices need to be heard, especially right now, and Huang is deeply focused on making that happen. Huang and KCH Advisory have made it clear: AAPI artists are of the moment in the Bay Area.
Photography by: PHOTO BY TRI NGUYEN PHOTOGRAPHY