Houston’s Asian-American community will make a leap forward in the cultural scene with the opening of the 1st Permanent Contemporary Asian Art Gallery on Nov. 7, 2007.
Shangri-La Art Gallery will specialize in Original Art by up-and-coming artists who are making a name for themselves in Asia. This includes China, India, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and other South and West Asian countries, including Turkey. The area includes the near-East and the countries of Greece and Macedonia.
Shangri-La is focusing on the newer professional artists i.e. those who have had an education in art, and have had exhibitions in their respective countries and /or overseas. Shangri-La’s goal is to focus on “Investment Grade Art” i.e. art that is likely to appreciate. By doing so, Shangri-La is positioning itself as an alternative to the traditional investments of property, stocks, jewellery etc. Indeed, as savvy art collectors are already aware, there has been a greater appreciation of art than any other investment category over the last 5 years. Internationally, Asian contemporary art is making waves with dramatically increasing values at premier auction galleries in New York and London.
The first presentation is of Indian contemporary art “We are starting with an initial presentation of about 100 paintings and sculptures. I have just returned from a buying mission to India and visited galleries and artists in Mumbai, Kolkata and New Delhi, and have personally picked the best of the best within our price range,” said Anita Haldipur, newly appointed curator of Shangri-La. Anita has a degree in fine art from Mumbai and is also an accomplished award-winning artist herself.
The Indian contemporary show will go on for 2 months after which it change to China. It is planned to have other countries rotate on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. There will also be special showings of regional Indian and Chines contemporary art, as well as specific themes from different countries that encompass common themes eg: food, celebration, etc.
Shangri-La is being promoted by Atul Vir, an entrepreneur and President of Equator Advanced Appliances. Vir says of his new venture, “We called our gallery Shangri-La after the utopian paradise described in James Hilton’s book The Lost Horizon. In these days of stress and strife, we can bring peace into our lives and our homes with beautiful art that we can truly enjoy with our families, while at the same time knowing that the art is appreciating in value and the artist may be a known as a great master one day in the near future.”
Shangri-La Art Gallery has been set up in a 3,000 square foot showroom outfitted with Solux lights (similar to those used in the Guggenheim and Van Gogh museums). The art is hung from telescoping wires on rails, and the walls are bathed in soft white to better reflect the colors of the art.
Other services being offered by Shangri-La are in-house framing with a 48-hour turnaround time, delivery and installation. Interest-free financing is available with no payments due for 12 months. The Gallery is available to be leased for corporate events.
Shangri-La Art Gallery is located at the Equator Plaza (EZ Tag) building on Beltway 8 West near Hammerly. Gallery hours are from 10-6 Monday to Friday and 10-1 Saturday. Call 713-933-1488 for further information or visit