Salcedo Stories

The Confident Collector in London

The Confident Collector in London

  • 4 June 2021

Before Florence Lim became a world-travelling aesthete and an international art collector, she was born and raised in the Philippines. She has spent most of her adult life living across the seas but carrying little fragments of home with her in the form of art. The spaces she inhabits— from her Singapore apartment to her Marbella vacation home, are a testament to her personal sense of style and keen eye for design, undoubtedly cultivated over her years spent collecting and learning more about art. Now, the stunning art collection she has amassed resides inside her London home, telling the story of her life’s finer pursuits.

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A huge Yayoi Kusama artwork against the pristine palette of Florence’s dining area draws the eye to the dining table where Tord Boontje’s Swarovski chandelier provides illumination. Ron Horn’s “Puff 2” c-prints line another wall; beneath it are Oriel Harwood’s candelabra and a set of white ceramics by Taizo Kuroda.

Lim’s unofficial venture into the world of art collecting began when she was a university student living in Canada. “At 19 years old, I walked into a gallery and really liked an impressionist-like painting of vivid flowers and decided to spend my hard earned money on it. Honestly, I do not remember the name of the artist today but just loved it at the time.” After countless moves from Singapore to Europe, she considers 1994 as the real start to her life as an art collector. This was the year she moved to London, studied and was exposed to the YBA (Young British Artists), which inspired her passion for contemporary art.

“There is movement in my display,” Florence says. A stunning assemblage inhabit Florence’s living area: On the wall, Barnarby Barford’s mirror, “Sloth-Seven Deadly Sins” hangs next to Anne Appleby’s triptych, “Autum.” Coffee table books, a Tang horse are displayed atop Yves Klein’s stunning gold leaf table. Kata Lagardy’s glass-enclosed grenade sculpture introduces tension to the serene composition.

“I used to like very pretty things,” she recalls, “My first love was Impressionist art. But, over the years my taste changed to collecting more abstract and not necessarily aesthetically pleasing art. Recently, I’ve also bought more sculptures.”

Tracey Emin’s whimsical “And I Love You” neon sculpture disrupts the formality of the living area’s arrangement, where you will find chairs by Garouste and Bonneti as we and Christian Liagre.

Through the years, not only has Lim’s preferences for art evolved, but so has her approach to collecting. “I feel that more than ever, art is not only a passion but an investment… I try to be careful in purchasing the right artist at the right price which is why I have engaged the services of an art advisor. He has trained me to spend my money wisely.” she states. Ultimately, with all financial aspects of an art purchase considered, Lim shares her advice for every collector: “The most important thing is to buy what you love as you must live with the piece. Not everyone will agree with your eye, but you need to trust yourself and know that it is what you want.”

Florence’s Shar-pei, Pacha, sits beneath an Anish Kapoor sculpture.

Step into the mindset of the Confident Collector while browsing the lots of the Salcedo Auctions ‘Finer Pursuits’ online catalogue! The ‘Finer Pursuits’ live and online auction will be held on Saturday, 26 June 2021, 2PM.

Photographs for this article are courtesy of Michael Paul Photography