Sonya Yu on Contemporaries

Photo: Don Ross

Why did you decide to join Contemporaries?

I joined Contemporaries to nurture my own art acumen and to engage with artists, collectors, curators, gallerists, innovators, and thought leaders in invigorating conversations on art and its transformative abilities. Appreciating, learning about, and looking at art is only part of the equation for me; conversing and debating with others brings in the community and social facet.

What new experiences and knowledge are you looking to get out of your membership in Contemporaries?

I am looking forward to getting more exposure to all kinds of contemporary art and artists, both locally and internationally. Likewise, I look forward to connecting with other collectors with likeminded interests but varying perspectives, to broaden my frame of reference.

What art do you have your eye on right now?

Our art collection is growing and without a definite theme, aside from, as wise collector friends have put it, “what makes our tails wag.” We’ll continue to broaden our knowledge. It’s important for us to increase our “eye mileage” so we can hone our tastes.

How did you get into collecting?

I was always interested in art, but from a distance. I attended museum shows and gallery openings but didn’t have a deeper personal relationship with the work. With the help of encouraging, knowledgeable collector friends as well as the indispensable advice of an art advisory firm, we started our collection and began to get immersed in the art world.

Do you have a favorite artwork on view at SFMOMA currently?

Right now, Gerhard Richter’s Zwei Kerzen (Two Candles) (1982), a work that came from the Fisher Collection. I’ve heard that the Fishers loved that piece so much, they would drive it down to their home on the Peninsula when they spent the weekend there, because they couldn’t bear to be without it. We spent three hours scouring SFMOMA to find it in person during the opening celebrations. It’s a “must see” every time I visit.


Meet Contemporaries Members

Subscribe to the SFMOMA Newsletter

Our monthly dose of videos, essays, art stories and more. Straight to your inbox.