Jun 18 2012
Maximin Berko you are the founder and the owner of SFJAF : what does SFJAF mean ?
It means Shanghai Fine Jewelry and Art Fair, it is the only fine arts and fine jewellery fair in Asia since 1995.
Who are you Maximin Berko ?
I grew up in a family of Art dealers. One branch of the family was living in Antwerp and is also related to the diamond world. I helped my family at the different art fairs around the world since more than 15 years.
I first went to China to study Chinese and do research at the Shanghai Museum for my PhD at the Sorbonne in Paris.
Between my Masters degree and my PhD, I worked 1 year at Sotheby’s in New York.
What is the story behind SFJAF ?
We were exchanging ideas with people I met through the museum, they told me it would be a good idea my parents would come exhibit their paintings in Shanghai as slowly there was demand, that was 2006. I was thinking hard about where we would organize that exhibition and slowly grew the idea that maybe other people would be interested to try the upcoming Chinese market. I made some phone calls and the enthusiasm of people was the base of our decision to start the SFJAF.
The past SFJAF editions were of course full of surprises. It was the first time a fair of this genre was organized in China and a lot of questions and challenges were discovered. Those led to the great success of the fair. The strongest image, professional exhibitors, grand decor, fluid customs procedures, enthusiast welcome from the visitors, good business and more elements make the SFJAF a unique platform in Asia. It is regarded as the most respectful event, which we highly appreciate of course.
Let’s speak about the coming 2012 SFJAF ?
The coming SFJAF is from the 3rd till the 11th of November 2012, the opening private viewing cocktail is on the 2nd of November 2012.
The venue is the grand Shanghai Exhibition Center, right in the heart of Shanghai next to the commercial centers such as Plaza66 and the hotels we partnered with such as the Portman Ritz-Carlton.
Historically the Shanghai Exhibition Center was built as sign of friendship between Russia and China, between East and West. But even before this Russian palace was built at that specific location once stood the Hardoon Gardens. Silas Hardoon was a rich businessman from Baghdad that made a fortune in Shanghai. He built these gardens with pavilions to host the first Western Art classes and meetings in China. This exact location nearly 100 years ago had the same function as we give it today. A bridge between East and West were visitors from all over China, all over Asia and even from around the world can appreciate and collect the rarest jewellery and fine art available.