It can be said that Ocean Woo’s fascination with art was written into her DNA. Her father is renowned in Singapore as an antique dealer, and Woo’s keen eye, cool manner, and charisma have given her an edge, allowing her 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.
Below, she tells us more about her passions and dishes out her advice on success for aspiring artists.
You have always been close to the world of art because of your father. How did such an environment impact your personality and career choices?
Because of my relationship with my father, I was exposed to art from a very young age. So it’s already been “engraved” into my bones and soul.
Today, there is a strong demand for Chinese traditional art as well as Chinese contemporary artists. How do you view such a dichotomy, and what art pieces and artists do you go for?
I think Chinese art or rather, Asian art, is the investment with the lowest risk with the highest returns. Personally, I really like Wu Guan Zhong, Zhang Da Qian, and Picasso’s works.
When people ask you: art, passion, or investment, how do you answer?
It’s a passion for art. And ever since I found out that it’s also the best investment, I’m even more passionate about it. I feel it’s also more like a hobby for me – a taste for art is like how fashionistas have a high level of taste for their fashion. And what’s even better is that it can come 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 can be a lot of treasures within.
What advice would you give to a young artist starting out on the art scene and looking at gaining credibility?
For young artists, my advice would be to have your own unique style and 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 highly valuable?
I have ignored and overlook Wu Guan Zhong before. Later on, his artworks became widely recognised by people worldwide. Now a piece of his work is worth hundreds of millions of yuan.
What are your plans now that you are well established in Singapore?
The project that I have established in Singapore is my company, Treasure Dragon Trading. And our exhibitions have already been very successful in the United States, Germany, France, Austria, Australia, and Dubai. We’re looking next at China, the United Kingdom, and Italy.
You own several supercars. How did this passion come to you?
I used to own six 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 – I want to be efficient and fast moving. I’m always uneasy when I’m at the same place for too long.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
Gold Coast, Australia.
PHOTO CREDITS: Hair by S2 Hair Salon, Makeup by G Skin & Nail