From the Yellow Mountains of southern China to sleepy Charlottenburg — Yanwu Yuan’s path to the German capital has been unique. Now, she and her French husband showcase contemporary Chinese art at their tiny Berlin gallery.
For Yanwu Yuan, founder of the Edmond Gallery in sleepy Charlottenburg, the path to Berlin was a winding one. Born in the famous Yellow Mountains of Southeastern China with its spectacular 72 peaks, she moved to Shanghai with her grandparents when she was only a child. That’s not an unusual arrangement in China, where many people relocate from the country to the city to give their children the chance to get a better education.
In Shanghai, Yanwu Yuan grew up under the supervision of her famous grandfather, Wu Liqi, a former hero of the Communist regime whose name appears on monuments around the country. In 2003, Yanwu Yuan left for Paris to study art and photography. It was there that she met her husband, Eric Vinassac. The young Chinese woman and the patron of the arts sat across from one another at a dinner party in 2007, and it was love at first sight.
A few years ago, when their son Edmond was born in Switzerland, the couple decided to make a new start in Germany. The gallery they founded, named after their son, lies on Berlin’s quiet, atmospheric Haubachstrasse.
Since 2016, the gallery has been hosting five or six solo exhibitions each year with a group exhibition or two thrown into the mix. Although their gallery is a bit more than a stone’s throw from Berlin’s other artistic hotspots on Auguststrasse or Potsdamer Strasse, Yanwu Yuan and Eric Vinassac are optimistic about their project: to expand Berlin’s artistic palate to include a new, exciting location for contemporary art — and to build a successful business on a side street.
The couple mainly focus their energy on Chinese artists such as installation artist Zhang Chong and media artist Aaajiao (aka Xu Wenkai) who studied in Europe, as well as on a few European artists. Yanwu Yuan is interested in the modern, and often strange perspective that is born of the synergy between cultures. It’s a quality she recognises immediately – one that is near and dear to her heart.
All photos by Lena Ganssmann
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Haubachstr. 17–19, 10585 Berlin-Charlottenburg
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