Inspiring Places

The First Time Winnie Chiu Saw The Royal Academy of Arts

Whenever she's in London, hospitality executive Winnie Chiu finds herself drawn back to the magnificent Royal Academy of Arts

I first went to London when I was 11. But it was while I was at university at King’s College that I discovered the Royal Academy of Arts on Piccadilly.

When you walk into Burlington House, the home of the Royal Academy, there’s this grand arch at the entrance. Seeing the architecture makes me feel like I’m going back to university.

Whenever I’m in London, I spend my weekends visiting art galleries. My journey is this: The Wolseley for coffee, followed by a smaller art gallery in Mayfair. Then I find myself again going through that elegant archway – usually in the morning because there are fewer people (and also because I’m jetlagged).

I always like exhibitions where you can follow an artist’s journey – and the Royal Academy curators are expert at that. In its recent Abstract Expressionism exhibition there were some Jackson Pollock pieces – one from his early stage and one from a later stage of his life. You could really see the way he played with colour and how he developed his style. Other master pieces by Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Joan Mitchell were on show – I was excited to feel how these great artists paved a new way for art, which is beautiful, meaningless… yet full of emotion.

winnie chiu

Winnie Chiu is executive director of Dorsett Hospitality International, chairman of the Hong Kong Art School and a member of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. The new Dorsett City, London hotel opens next month

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