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An art collector's advice on displaying art at home

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There are two main camps when it comes to displaying art in the home: minimalist and maximalist. Vishrut and Priya Jain belong to the latter. Their Balinese-style double storey house is the antithesis of white cubes of space. In fact, there are very few white walls – most are either panelled, painted, or cement-screed.


(design: Edgeline Planners)

As avid art collectors for the past 15 years, the couple has amassed an impressive and eclectic collection of “antique as well as contemporary or cutting-edge art.” A massive Turkish textile more than a 100 years old and an even older Romanian prayer rug share the space comfortably with abstract work by Balinese and Indian artists.

Here are his tips on displaying and collecting art:

Work with your surroundings. “We placed our collection around key sitting areas in a way that the colours and stories of a group of artwork and furniture are seamlessly harmonised,” says Vishrut.

Only buy from reputable galleries. Such establishments can provide provenance (chronology of owners) and certification. A good provenance increases the value of a painting and certification separates the real from forgeries.


(design: Edgeline Planners)

Look for the unique. Buddha statues are a dime a dozen in some markets and Vishrut only looks at truly unusual depictions of Buddha such as the emaciated version (starving Buddha) of the commonplace Buddha in lotus position. This period of Buddha’s life is hardly depictured in art and therefore rare.

Don’t overlook any wall space. In this home, even the bathroom and bamboo screen walls are utilized for display. Who says art has to be hung on white walls?

View sculptures from all sides. Place 3-D art on pedestals where it can be seen from all side sto enhance the piece’s spatial presence.