Ocean Woo on Art, Investment and Opportunities
Daughter of Singapore’s “Bronze King”, Ocean Woo’s entrepreneurship spirit has successfully built a name for herself among Singapore’s high-end social circle.
It could be said that Ocean Woo’s fascination and love of art was written into her DNA. Her father is renowned across Singapore as an antique dealer, and Ocean’s keen eye, cool tactical manner, and charisma have given her an edge to build a name for herself in the world of art investment.
Her company, Treasure Dragon Trading, focuses on buying and selling calligraphy and paintings. In the absence of a partner, foreign capital, and loans, Ocean Woo’s success in creating a legacy to uphold makes her a force to be reckoned with.
You have always been close to the world of art since young because of your father’s activities. How did such an environment impact on your personality and career choices?
Because of my relationship with my father, I’ve been exposed to art from a very young age. So it’s already been “engraved” into my bones and soul.
There is today a strong demand for Chinese traditional art (calligraphy, ancient masters, etc) as well as Chinese contemporary artists. How do you view such a dichotomy? What art pieces and artists do you personally go for?
I think Chinese art or rather, Asian art is the investment with the lowest risk with high returns. I personally really like Wu Guan Zhong, Zhang Da Qian, and Picasso’s works.
When people ask you: art, passion or investment? what do you answer?
It’s a passion for art. But ever since I found out that it’s also the best investment, I’m even more passionate about it. I personally feel it’s also more like a hobby for me, an expensive taste for art like how fashionistas have a high level of taste for their fashion. And what’s even better is that it comes with a very good income.
Do you buy art at auctions? What are your views on auction houses operating in Asia?
I mostly deal straight from the hands of potential artists, or from their direct family members. As long as an auction house is trustworthy, there’s a lot of treasures within.
What would you give as advice to a young artist starting on the art scene and looking at gaining credibility? What are the major steps for an artist to gain visibility?
For young artists, (especially collectors) my advice would be to have your own unique style, taste. You must never be influenced by the outside world, and change your works to suit the others. You must focus and dedicate yourself to create your own kind of art pieces. Inspiration is very important, but what’s more important is what’s inside of you and your spirit.
Do you recall ignoring an artist whose art later became recognized and highly valuable?
I have ignored and overlook Wu Guan Zhong before. Later his artworks became widely recognised by people worldwide. Now a piece of his work is worth about hundreds of million yuan.
Why did you make Singapore your home, what attracted you to the island-state?
Singapore is very orderly. It’s a very safe and beautiful place to live in. Singapore is also mostly summer all around, and I enjoy the weather.
What are your future plans now that you are well established in Singapore? Do you have art-related projects?
The project that I have established in Singapore is my local company, Treasure Dragon Trading world tour exhibition. And the exhibitions have already been very successful in the United States, Germany, France, Austria, Australia, Dubai. The next will be in China, United Kingdom, and Italy.
You own several supercars, how did this passion come to you?
I used to own 6 supercars, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Mercedes- Benz and French Peugeot. I’ve been obsessed with sports cars and supercars since a very young age. My passion and pursuit for cars is exactly like my attitude towards my life and career, efficient and fast moving towards, I’m always uneasy when I’m at the same place for too long.
Where is your favourite retreat or holiday destination?
Gold Coast, Australia.
Any person you recall who has been an inspiration to you and has helped forge your personality and choices?
No one has inspired or been an inspiration to me. My own character has forged my image and personality.