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INTERVIEW: Yitong Wang, Tong Art Advisory Founder, On "Open Air" In The Hamptons

Nicole Barylski

Chason Mathams' Untitled. (Courtesy Photo)

Tong Art Advisory, a Beijing, NYC and Paris-based firm founded in October 2019, is presenting its first Hamptons endeavor, Open Air.

Taking place in a nearly open-air East Hampton garage space, the exhibition will highlight the works of Alex Beccera, Alexandra Noel, Caitlin Keough, Chasun Mathams, Chelsea Culprit, Derek Paul Jack Boyle, Jonny Negron, Kent O'Connor, Nevine Mahmoud, Orion Martin, Oscar yi Hou, Paul Rouphail, Ted Pim, Tenki Hiramatsu, and Van Hanos.

One of Orion Martin's works. (Courtesy Photo)

Open Air will be open to the public, on view Saturday, August 22 through Monday, September 7.

We spoke with Yitong Wang, Founder of Tong Art Advisory, about the exciting collection of works, featured artists and more.

What inspired the Open Air concept?

YW: We noticed that while there was a lot of energy behind blue chip gallery exposure in East Hampton, there was a significant gap in exhibitions focusing on emerging and mid-career artists. That plus an absence of being able to view art in person led us to work on this exhibition.

The exhibition features 16 artists, ranging in age from 22 to 35. Why focus on emerging and mid-career artists?

YW: As mentioned above, the main impetus of the show is to bring more exposure to artists at this point in this career during this difficult time.

Are any of the featured artists based in the Hamptons?

YW: Not at the moment, however we do intend on having this exhibition be the first in an ongoing series and hope to include more local artists in the future. Meanwhile, works by artists in our current show can be found in great collections locally in the Hamptons.

Chelsea Culprit's Midnight. (Courtesy Photo)

What mediums will Open Air encompass?

YW: We are focused on young and emerging artists that are reinvigorating traditional mediums such as oil paint and glass.

Tell us about the open-air garage space where the exhibition will be on view.

YW: We were introduced to the space through Vajra Kingsley who first inspired us to use this untraditional space for this exhibition. The space is adjacent to the studio of Warren Neidich, an artist that was open to the advisory occupying a part of his space. A massive garage door opens the space up to the air of the Hamptons with huge 40 foot long walls and 30 foot high ceilings. Interestingly it feels almost like a gallery in downtown LA.

10 percent of sales will be donated to each individual artist's charity of choice. Why was it important to include a charitable component and what charities have been selected?

YW: I think it goes without saying that the moment we are in as a society is difficult for the majority of Americans. As such, it became important focus for this exhibition to give back especially in this particular moment. There are a wide variety of charities the artists have chosen to donate to such as The Innocence Project, BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective), The Dinner Party, and Woodbine - a non-profit collective space in Ridgewood where she helps with a food pantry and sewing masks.

Open Air will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., as well as Monday and Tuesday, by-appointment. Visitors must practice social distancing and wear a mask.

Open Air will be held at 4-10 Sherri-foster path 6e 6f in East Hampton.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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