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Using art in management can teach valuable lessons

Liang Tang is a vastly established artist and architect. His work won the 10th China Times Outstanding Artistic Achievement Award. Liang is currently the Vice Secretary General of the Cultural Exchange Center between Hong Kong and Shanghai. Mr. Tang is also currently the Director of the Artist’s Association of Hong Kong, the Director of Artist’s Association of China, and holds many other positions. Liang graduated from Nanging Art and Design School in 1982, completed his masters at the Central Academy of Art and Design in 1984 and attended Murdoch University in Australia where he received his MBA. Throughout his career, Mr. Tang has been able to build a successful real-estate business while maintaining an impressive career in the arts. To see Liang’s work, visit his portfolio.


MO: Can you tell our readers what you did before you made art your profession?

Liang: I’ve had a long career, so I’ve jumped between lots of things! In the 1970s and ‘80s, I focused on commercial art, meaning I worked on packaging and exhibition design. After that, I worked on more commercial endeavors; I organized exhibitions and managed properties. After 2000, I expanded both my artistic work and my business focus by doing asset/investment management and design work.

MO: How did you make the transition from being a businessman to a professional artist? What medium of art do you work in?

Liang: I loved art when I was young, and that love never stopped, even when I was engaged in business. My main field of art is pen painting. After my business career started to provide me the money and time, I established my own style of art and worked to get it out in the marketplace.

MO: For all the entrepreneurs across the world, what can they learn from being more aware of the arts? How could this potentially help their businesses?

Liang: Using art in management can promote effectiveness. It can improve your abilities of observation and decision; it can help you learn how to better direct and balance. What’s more, it can teach patience and tenacity. People can become more confident and self-controlled. A successful businessman is not only a successful manager, but also a thinker, an artist, and a philanthropist. It’s important to keep up with what’s going on around you, from pop culture to current events. Art plays a role in both.

MO: What did you take for granted when you were working full-time that you realize now?

Liang: As a full-time artist, I must not only have strong basic skills and an artistic foundation, but I also need a broad knowledge of culture. I need to have experiences that provide me with a unique perspective; an artist has to have a lively imagination. I’ve started to eagerly pay attention to every little thing happening in life; I try to find beauty that others cannot see. The highest responsibility of a full-time artist is to create work in his own unique style, which cannot be easily copied. There are no limits for exploring in the field of the art. I have to always stay alert, listening, watching, and seeing what’s going on around me. It was easy to overlook that when I was busy with business concerns.

MO: What are you most proud of in your career?

Liang: As a pen-painting artist, I am most proud of having created a unique style called “Love Line,” which is highly praised in the artistic community of China, especially among the young. I have students all over the country, and seeing them learn to develop their own interesting ways of doing things is awesome.

MO: Pen painting is a distinct art form that uses the “lines” of nature. Lines have their own personalities in my paintings; they’re flexible but forceful, sinuous but smooth, and full of energy and charm. The lines of my paintings are full of emotion, and this is the biggest feature of my work. Painting is like playing music; it’s guided with feelings. From those lines, you can figure out the stories in my heart. Telling those stories, and helping others tell theirs, is the thing I’m proudest of.

Liang: What do you have on the horizon within your art or involvement with various associations?

MO: I want to produce more creative, stylish, thoughtful, and meaningful work. I enjoy art as a journey of spirits, based on an appreciation of beauty. People can find art everywhere in their lives; I’d like to bring more of it to them.

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