Favourite Things: Kiyomaru Tamenaga

Kiyomaru Tamenaga, a Paris-based gallerist, describes his favourite items from his personal art collection.

Kiyomaru Tamenaga is a third-generation gallerist leading the legendary Galerie Taménaga in Paris. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, it was the first Japanese gallery to open its doors in Paris in 1971 (following the gallery’s Tokyo and Osaka spaces in 1969). A rare mix of Japanese omotenashi charm and Swiss-boarding-school suave, Tamenaga often acts as a bridge between Europe and Asia in fine arts. He says: “Collecting art allows you to obtain the history, emotion, culture, and philosophy that is attached to it.

Kees Van Dongen Santa Maria Della Salute

This is a rare piece. It’s not the traditional Fauvist style, which is more commonly vibrant in colour and wild in brushstroke. I hang it in dimly lit rooms and place it near a soft spotlight. It creates this magical, tranquil, space and time. You get the sensation of facing the Salute [a Roman Catholic church in Venice] and the gentle conversation it is exchanging with the Moon. This piece allows me to sink into serenity.

Takehiko Sugawara Miharu-Yozakura

I believe that Takehiko Sugawara is currently one of the best artists in Japan. I see tradition meeting modernity, in the way Japanese silk material is used with an Abstract Expressionistic style. His artwork serves as a reminder to me just how in awe I am of my own Japanese culture.

Lorenzo Fernandez Mito

I admire the imagination and technique of Fernandez, a very talented young Spanish artist from Escorial, Madrid. “More real than reality,” he says of his art and he manipulates our perspective to fall into his world of illusion. Mito is a playful piece channelling Warhol’s iconic Marilyn, and I love the Pop essence executed with painterly precision.

Chen Jiang-Hong Untitled

Nature has been a theme throughout Chinese art history. Chen merges Asian philosophy with Western sensibility and paints motifs such as bambooand lotus in abstract forms. When a subject loses its figure, what is left is just the essence and truth. The mixed technique of ink and oil allows no boundary of convention set by either East or West.

Marc Chagall Le coq bleu

I simply adore this work. I studied Russian avant-garde art during my time in university and have a special appreciation for Chagall, who was born in Belarus, then part of Russia. This painting is very romantic. His love Bella is being carried by the coq to Paris where Chagall himself awaits. Perhaps there is a sense of nostalgia, or a feeling of ‘étranger, expressed in the village painted in juxtaposition.

This article originally appeared in Billionaire's Art Issue, June 2019. To subscribe contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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