The DSL Collection: "Have a journey as a collector with works that reflect your personality." | Story of the Collection

An Art Adventure

To Be Connected with Chinese Art

We were captivated by the allure of China, 

and decided to acquire our first work of Chinese 

contemporary art during our first trip there.

My wife Dominique and I, we have been collecting for more than 30 years. What initiated DSL Collection 15 years ago, it was a visit by our family to Dominique’s brother based in Shanghai. This visit ignited a longstanding passion for China and an also art adventure for all our family since my children have been constantly involved in this adventure. In fact Karen and Raphael started to learn Mandarin at school like a second language. 

We wanted this collection to mirror from a French point of view the meteoric rise of the new China. We were captivated by the allure of the Middle Kingdom: an ancient civilization coupled with an immense economic potential in the 21st century.

An important decision was taken at that time: DSL Collection not only wishes to provide a well-informed and rich database for specialists but also hopes to allow a broad public to have access to the fascinating realm of contemporary Chinese art.

During our first trip in Shanghai, we met Lorenz Helbling from Shanghart gallery who took us to visit Ding Yi’s studio. We have fallen under the charm of Ding Yi, such a talented and humble artist, and we decided to acquire our first work of Chinese contemporary art.


Work from DSL Collection: Ding Yi, Appearances of crosses

Painting acrylic on tartan, 3pcs each 260*140 cm

Image courtsey of DSL Collection

Tips for New Collectors

Don't be afraid to make mistakes! 

They are part of your learning curve as a collector.

The first question that you have to ask is why do you want to collect?

According to the answer, your collection will be either focused on decoration and personal pleasure, investment or a museum type collection.

Our top advices for new collectors:


1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! They are part of your learning curve as a collector. 


2. Support contemporary artists in your own country! It is really great to get to know them and follow them throughout their careers – and to acquire pieces from them before they get too expensive. It is also a big thrill when you have seen their artworks first and started collecting these artists before the market and institutions discovered them.


3. If you immediately love an artwork, ask yourself why. It is a good work or is it a work that reminds you of something you have seen before? The latter is just how our (reptilian) brains are wired, a scientist once explained that to me. So, make sure the work is unique and special – and not a repetition of something someone else has done before (and probably better).


4. It is important to be also interested in collecting works with artistic values rather than just monetary values and to have a journey as a collector with works that reflect your personality.


5. Spent a lot of our time visiting galleries and artist's studio in the old fashion way, and if it’s possible with friends already initiated. 


6. A collection is not only about amassing art works. It is a life journey that can make an ordinary person has an extraordinary life.