With her chic bleached hair, bold red lips and an Instagram feed that blends high-society soirées with hip contemporary art, Yvonne Fong appears to be living a charmed life. “A lot of people have the impression that gallerists and dealers are living that glam life with all the glittering art parties, but the truth is we all work super hard to get to where we are,” insists the 31-year-old director at Simon Lee Gallery, which was founded in London in 2002 and now has additional spaces in Hong Kong and New York.
“You can play hard but you’ve got to work even harder,” she says. “I actually sit in front of the computer very often to do research on artists, museums and auctions.”
Fong studied fine art and art history before interning at Christie’s and Gagosian Gallery. She joined Simon Lee when it opened its Hong Kong space in 2012, and now helps to introduce its artists and programmes to a wider audience in Asia.
“Organising new exhibitions and travelling to different global art fairs can take up a lot of your time and energy, but I really enjoy meeting people from all over the world. I especially enjoy visiting museums and private collections when I travel for work – you really get to see some major world-class works of art and spaces.”
Fong also hopes her work will help inspire a new generation of art lovers, showing that art is as much a source of cultural enrichment as it’s a collection of objects to admire. “I’ve always enjoyed travelling to different places for community projects and this is something I’d like to continue to support and explore,” she says. “It’s very empowering when little things help to make even the smallest change.”
Outfit: Fong’s own