My Favourite Things: John Dodelande

Entrepreneur John Dodelande is part of a new generation of art collectors. Here he describes his favourite personal works of art.

Xiangyu He 1600g Gold, 62g Protein (Ed: 1/3) (2014-15)

Based in Georgia and of French origin, Dodelande broke the world record as the youngest French climber to reach the peak of Antarctica’s highest volcano: Mount Sidley. But this adrenaline junkie’s main focus is collecting Chinese contemporary art. “These artists are purely about expressing themselves and not fixated on political repression by the government. Their message is more progressive, and they are energetic and global-minded.” Dodelande believes his collection reflects the “shift in power from the West to East”. Here he describes four of his favourite personal pieces.

Wang Guangle 121030 (2012)

This speaks to me, not only because it is visually impressive but also for the ritualistic production process. It is inspired by traditional burial practices in Fujian Province where the artist originates from. People would paint their coffins annually in preparation for their deaths. In a similar way, Wang Guangle applies that concept to a canvas laid flat; the passage of time and death are made manifest and it evokes a bit of melancholy.

Zhao Zhao Starry Sky (2014)
I see two things: one, violence; and two, Bitcoin. It wouldn’t surprise me if it were intentional, since his art is always a social commentary. Depicted is the moment that the bullet passes through the glass. Instantaneous, shattering and explosive. This conceptualises how China is a powerful country and has an impact everywhere. The constellation symbolises how everything is connected.

Zhang Yexing Hunting in Dreamland (2018)
When I look at this painting, it arouses my imagination since it’s so figurative and relatable, yet simultaneously mysterious. The warm colour tones and texture give off an organic aura which I felt suits the domestic setting. It is hung in my flat in Georgia near the fireplace and it serves as an excellent companion over a cup of mint tea.

Xiangyu He 1600g Gold, 62g Protein (Ed: 1/3) (2014-15)
This is one of the newest pieces in my collection. I made a quick decision to acquire it at Art Basel Unlimited 2018. The one egg makes you stop and think: “what is it doing there?” In fact, the egg represents the one-child policy in China. Reversing the value of the egg towards the golden egg ‘tray’ also questions the authenticity of mass consumers today.

This article appeared in Billionaire's Discovery Issue, September 2018. To subscribe contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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