He loves fossils and artworks that have dynamism to them, while she loves conceptual art. Together, Cliff Hartono and Christina J Chua, the co-founders of Metis Art, show how the different styles of art can co-exist harmoniously in their two-storey black and white terrace house in Chip Bee Gardens.
The couple started Metis Art, an art education and consultancy firm, in 2019. It runs a curriculum, The Tetrad, which covers art history; the who’s who and how to navigate art galleries, fairs, and museums; how to price, evaluate and invest in art, and sniffing out art trends and mastering art lingo. Its participants are mostly working professionals such as bankers, doctors and lawyers.
The couple met a few years ago at an art gallery. With no background in art, Cliff admits that visiting galleries and museums can be intimidating and those experiences left him confused.
Christina is director of education and consultancy while Cliff handles business development. Cliff quips that since he underwent The Tetrad, he is no longer as lost as before.
Home to other creatives, Chip Bee Gardens is naturally the couple’s neighbourhood of choice.
“As the business didn’t require a conventional gallery space, the house provided the opportunity for us to make it a dual-use space – a home for us, as well as a cosy gallery where visitors can see and purchase art,” says Christina, who is also chief editor of so-far, a web publication and hybrid platform for experimental art practices. “As a home/gallery, visitors enjoy the casual vibe of the space.”