#legendchats: art consultant Levina Li-Cadman on finding her vocation
July 7, 2022
An art world leader, Levina Li-Cadman is the co-founder of Art-Partners, an independent art consultancy that conceptualises, develops and realises place-making art projects
With over 25 years of experience in the Asia-Pacific region under her belt – having worked for notable art organisations such as Christie’s, White Cube and the Royal Academy of Art – Li-Cadman uses her expertise to engineer high-level marketing and business development projects, as well as leverage her extensive network of business leaders and influencers to drive measurable results with game-changing solutions for major international brands.
What is your earliest memory of art?
When I was seven, my mum took Chinese ink painting classes at home and she would paint with a “Gong Bi” Chinese paint brush made out of horsehair, which I found fascinating.
What is happiness to you?
Being with family and friends and also being able to see and experience a work of art that moves you emotionally. I have two paintings in my collection at home (A Yellow Pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama and 15 Lemons by He Xiangyu) that are just so bright and colourful – I look at them and they never fail to lighten my mood and give me a sense of happiness!
Why do you do what you do?
As an art consultant, I get to work with amazing artists with such skill and creativity. I love being part of the creative process to assist artists to achieve their public or private commissioned art projects.
What is your greatest achievement?
I co-founded Art-Partners with Sarah Pringle, an independent art consultancy to conceptualise, develop and realise place-making art projects from Hong Kong across Asia. We are known for our groundbreaking public art projects and each project is so special to us but if we have to pick a few to focus on, it would be Event Horizon by Antony Gormley, The Harbour Arts Sculpture Park and the Art for Everyone @HKMOA support by the Friends of the HK Museums of Art.
I’m very proud to be a co-founder of the The Meta Art Club (TMAC) which is an exclusive collection of 9,888 fine art NFTs hand-curated by 35 leading international artists from 20 countries. TMAC launched in December 2021, which is the genesis year of NFTs, so we are definitely early movers in the NFT space.
I’ve worked in the entertainment, fashion and media/publishing businesses before I joined the art world 14 years ago – had I known how much fun it is, my biggest regret is not jumping into the art industry earlier!
What is your most treasured possession?
I have a personal art collection and a lot of the artworks are by artists I’ve had the pleasure to work with, such as Antony Gormley, Sir Michael Craig-Martin, Conrad Shawcross, Damien Hirst, Jim Lambie, Harland Miller, Danh Vo, Frog King, Wilson Shieh and Lam Tung Pang.
What do you think is your biggest flaw?
I’m a perfectionist and want to do my best, which sometimes drives me to exhaustion and beyond… My public art installations are done at night so we can be up for 24 hours working around the clock.
What led you down the path of NFT art?
I watched the Beeple auction along with 22 million viewers on Christies.com. Beeple’s art NFT, titled Everydays – The First 5000 Days, sold for US$69 Million. It was a seismic change and disruption to the art world that a digital artwork achieved this price and the sale made Beeple one of the world’s three most valuable living artists. I knew as an art consultant that I had to dive in and learn everything I could about this new space, which gives talented artists we work with amazing opportunities in the future.
What is the biggest difference you find between NFT art and other art?
The biggest difference is that the artist benefits and obtains a sales commission every time an art NFT is sold and resold for perpetuity. In the fine art world, the artist only receives a share of the revenue from the primary sale. This ongoing sales revenue share will benefit artists greatly in the NFT world.
What is the biggest challenge you faced when you were getting started with NFTs?
Currently, it’s that non-crypto natives have to open a crypto wallet and buy cryptocurrency before they can buy an NFT. Most of the challenges are related to how technology-savvy you are…
What do you value most in an artist?
Their creativity and their ability to work collaboratively.
What quality do you like the most in people?
What quality do you dislike the most in people?
What are you bringing to the NFT art world?
As co-founder of The Meta Art Club, we are focused on highlighting emerging artists in the digital NFT space and bridging the gap between digital artists and collectors.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would like to be less of a perfectionist and have a better work/life balance…
Favourite expression, catchphrase, proverb, motto or word?
Don’t be shy, ask for help and get some advice! Sometimes in life you just don’t know what you don’t know…
Who is your favourite NFT artist?
All the The Meta Art Club artists.
Any advice for those starting out in NFT art?
There is a lot of information out there about NFTs. Go on YouTube, Twitter, Clubhouse and Discord – join an NFT community and start your journey. Join the The Meta Art Club NFT community.
What excites you most about the future of NFT art and the space?
The future of art NFTs and the metaverse has infinite opportunities for artists. “The metaverse.. is a blending of digital and physical existence. Some call it the new Internet, others a democratised virtual society, yet others the convergence of virtual and physical realities, persistent virtual spaces or a digital twin of our own world.” – Wunderman Thompson, Into the Metaverse
What are you working on right now and any upcoming exciting projects?
Check out The Meta Art Club on Instagram and Twitter to find out more about all our exciting projects ahead!
What does art mean to you?
Art = Creativity