START Founder and
Chairman Parallel Contemporary Art
START Founder and
CEO Parallel Contemporary Art
David and Serenella Ciclitira are passionate collectors of contemporary art and are dedicated supporters of young and emerging artists and art scenes globally.
On a 2007 business trip to Karlsruhe, Germany, David and Serenella attended an art exhibition; Termocline of Art: New Asian Waves which left the couple with a thirst to learn more about the Asian contemporary art scene but thwarted by a lack of material on the subject. A year later they founded Parallel Contemporary Art (PCA) and teamed up with the Saatchi Gallery to launch the Global Eye Programme. As passionate art collectors, they felt strongly that trips to Korea had opened their eyes to a new emerging art world that they both wanted to focus on in more depth. Their idea was to provide a platform to contextualise this work by publishing books that would document the particular scenes in Korea and Greater Asia. It was a natural step from that to then stage exhibitions that focused on some of the artists in the books. The programme additionally aims to develop arts infrastructure in Asian territories where this is lacking, in order to provide artists with the platforms, support and recognition they need to develop their careers.
To further showcase the work of Korean artists, in 2009 the Global Eye Programme presented Korean Eye: Moon Generation an exhibition of 31 artists to strong critical response. In follow-up, 2010 saw the launch of Korean Eye: Contemporary Korean Art, a book of 75 Korean Artists from which 12 were chosen for the exhibition, Korean Eye: Fantastic Ordinary, which opened at London’s Saatchi Gallery. Korean Eye: Moon Generation and Korean Eye: Energy and Matter showed in Seoul, New York and Abu Dhabi during 2011 and 2012 bringing together the first two Korean projects and later culminating in Korean Eye: Contemporary Art 2, the largest survey of new Korean art to date.
A new Korean Eye exhibition, Korean Eye:2020 will open in St Petersburg on March 25th 2020 before travelling to London in June and then Seoul. You can read more about Korean Eye 2020 here.
Other projects include Indonesian Eye (2011), Hong Kong Eye (2013), Malaysian Eye (2014), Singapore Eye (2015), Thailand Eye (2016), Vietnam Eye (2017).
In January 2014 the Eye Programme expanded to launch the annual Eye Awards, recognising and honouring the accomplishments of emerging artists throughout Greater Asia. Added to this, PCA launched START Art Fair at the Saatchi Gallery to huge acclaim in June 2014, to celebrate and present not only the artists but also emerging art galleries from around the world. The inaugural edition of START Doha in collaboration with The New York Times’ Art for Tomorrow conference was launched 11th -14th March 2017.
For more than 25 years David and Serenella awarded the Parallel Prize and the Serenella Ciclitira Sculpture Prize to graduates of the Royal College of Art, London. Additionally since 2014, the Ciclitira Prize has been presented annually to one graduate of The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts, London.
Grey Skipwith’s first START as Fair Director was in 2019. He brought a fresh outlook as well as his personal roster of international collectors and art world contacts. "‘As a long term exhibitor of START,” he says, "I know the fair very well and I am excited to embark on this new role in stretching its boundaries and raising the fair to new heights".
Together with his wife Heejin, Grey founded his gallery in 2015. Bringing together their expertise in Korean and Asian artists including Kwang Young Chun, Kang-So Lee, Xing Danwen and Hyojin Park, Skipwiths’ aim is to introduce their artists to European audiences. Grey ran his own IT company for many years before returning to his roots in the art world, which he started working in at the tender age of 13.
Since 2013 Grey and Heejin have been curating shows for galleries and public institutions as well as managing artists at different needs and stages in their careers. Recent publications include co-producing Korean Art: The Power of Now, published by Thames and Hudson in 2013 and supported organising the major solo exhibition of Alex Katz in Seoul, 2018.
Partnership & VIP Director
Gillian joined START in 2018 to take on the newly created role of Partnership Director. Gillian is responsible for forming and developing Corporate Partnerships, co-developing the START Collectors Club, co-ordinating dinners and events as well as cultivating VIP and Patron relationships.
Gillian had previously worked as Head of Corporate Partnerships at the prestigious Serpentine Galleries, Kensington Gardens a position which allowed her to indulge her love of art and architecture while delivering and developing high-value partnerships with diverse international businesses and luxury brands. In 2017 Gillian consulted for Sir John Soane’s country estate Pitzhanger Manor, Ealing, she has also consulted for education initiative Access Aspiration which provided essential access to industry work experience to schools in under-privileged London boroughs.
Before falling into the world of contemporary art, heritage and education sponsorship Gillian had her own antiques, art and interiors business with retail sites in Belsize Park, Primrose Hill and Mayfair, she has designed interiors for bars, restaurants and private homes for a range of clients. During her time in the retail luxury market Gillian’s shops attracted scores of international A-list celebrities who became loyal and treasured clients. In tandem with her retail business she worked for ITV and the Discovery Channel.
Minh was Event Coordinator for Vietnam Eye, Global Eye Program’s eighth project, in Hanoi Vietnam in 2016. He joined START in 2017 as a member of the execution team for “Vietnam Eye: Blood, Sweats, and Tears”, a special curated project for the fourth edition of START.
Minh has extensive experience in media relations and fashion retail and as operations coordinator he acts as a first point of contact for galleries and artists attending the event. Minh also manages the fair’s social media channels.