The Collector's Project with Annie Chou, Co-Founder of Arc & Co. Design Collective

Hell is other people.

With this statement Sartre provoked us into confronting the role that others play in self perception. Current events have only amplified our need for self actualization in order to fortify ourselves against the constant barrage of pleas, arguments and imperatives that seemingly emanate from every direction. But we have agency over the choices we make that define us and art will always be a medium to reveal who we are.


The act of collecting is to hold up a mirror to ourselves and reflect. As we become increasingly interconnected and trapped within an echo chamber of our own making, I am compelled to solitary contemplation.


Viewing art is a meditative act of self cultivation. In keeping with this philosophical approach I am drawn to artworks with a sense of mysterious profundity or austere beauty, by themes of impermanence and transience. A commonality among the following works I have selected are the ways in which they reveal the pathos of things.


Ephemera has a melancholy association but also serves as a reminder for us to celebrate the beauty of the moment. This is the richly rewarding experience of an art collector, as art mimics life.


Annie Chou


Diogo Pinheiro 

Pinheiro has created a series of works where the transitory nature of the train station is taken as an overlooked subject to consider its aesthetic dimension. Devoid of activity the scene is evocative of an empty stage set upon which one enters in a dream state, where the mind wanders in an alternate plane of existence. The perspective viewpoint alludes to a world beyond and in so doing manages to paint the unpainted.



Yi-Shuan Lee 

Lee’s work makes use of surreal narratives to convey stories from his personal experience as a first generation immigrant. The otherwise desolate landscape has been populated with subjects engaged in planting seeds and building walls, activities associated with putting down roots and defining territory. Symbols and signifiers abound in a landscape as though they were ciphers to be decoded by the viewer.


Heather Cook 

Cook draws inspiration from her love of nature and paints her animal subjects with very high detail. The Hunt references stop motion animation used in studies of time and movement but takes this as a point of departure to embellish painting with a lifelike quality. A moment in time has been captured in which to gaze at each individual fur and marvel at the physiology of the subject.


Eugenia Elder

Elder’s “Crayons” series focuses on child-like mark-making and gestural strokes in the centres of large canvases. The deceptively simple composition utilizes negative space to focus our attention on a cluster of brush strokes surrounded by a halo effect. The centering and improvisation of the individual strokes creates a subtle contrast between vast emptiness and diminutive spontaneity.


Jodie Fletcher 

Fletcher uses strips of canvas painted with acrylic in a woven method. The work involves many rounds of building, disassembling and rebuilding the woven strips. Raw and dressed edges of the canvas contrast with the wooden frame, vertical symmetry against varied horizontal. An exploration of polychromy in warm and cool hues is grounded in the act of weaving.


About Annie Chou

CPG Brand Expert & Growth Strategist

Presenter & Art Collector

Co-Founder of award winning design agency Arc & Co. Design Collective

Co-Founder of Pac & Go Food Delivery Packaging System


Winning her first drawing and painting competition at age five, Annie was exposed to the world of art very early on. During her years in Design schools, she experimented in merging the intuition of art with the logic of design. Annie continues to inspire her clients and employees to discover the synergy that can be achieved in a total work of art regardless of whether it be in the service of cultural museums or corporate campaigns.


In-situ artwork images done in partnership with