About Us

Emily de Wolfe Pettit and Christopher Atkins’ combined energies are committed to powerful art and they both take very seriously the tasks of serving both artists and collectors.

In 2006 Emily de Wolfe Pettit established the independent contemporary Chinese arts consultancy, Arts Influential China, based in Shanghai and Beijing, with three foci:- sourcing important works for private sale; curatorial work for galleries and corporations on behalf of emerging Chinese artists; and arts-related projects, including lecturing in Arts Management at Shanghai University and consultation on art fairs in Hong Kong, New York and Korea.

Over the past five years, Emily has solidified particularly strong rapport with Chinese artists and undertaken a great deal of research to gain a deeper understanding of the disparate requirements of collectors of Chinese art, internationally and in mainland China. Emily is in contact with both established and emerging artists and consults private individuals, corporations and foundations, surveying the domestic mainland Chinese market and assisting clients in the process of art selection and acquisition. She has contributed to many important collections, either complementing existing ones, or advising on entirely new collections.

Expertise in understanding and forming relationships with both artists and collectors is key and it is Emily’s background in the Arts, philosophy and business (B.A., UCL & LSE First Class Honours ’03; M.A., Oxford ’05; Diploma of Business Management, Beijing Da Xue & the LSE, ’04 and ’05) that means she has been able to build these with credibility and undertake critical writing in depth. Emily has good aptitude in Mandarin and German.

Based in mainland China, Emily has accumulated extensive knowledge of the contemporary Chinese art world from the multiple angles of major gallerists, curators, critics, art college professors and art journal editors and publishers, both in Beijing and Shanghai. Having lived in the UK for over a decade with an academic grounding in Arts and Humanities at postgraduate level at Oxford and now several years of acquaintance with artists in China means she is at once able to relate to both collectors and artists and she understands the cultural nuances, intrinsic to building close client relations.

Since Christopher Atkins first established his gallery in the centre of Brussels, which grew to three galleries on the Chaussée de Charleroi and Avenue Louise from 1973 – 2003, he has been known for his considerable dynamism and depth of knowledge. A specialist in the purveyance of 17th, 18th and 19th century English, French and Dutch furniture, as well as  ethical restoration, Christopher was widely recognized for his expertise:- as the Senior Advisor to the Royal Guild of Flemish Antique Dealers from 1980 – 1990, Senior Consultant to the Royal Chamber of Belgium Antique Dealers for twenty years and requested to vet dealers for major international fairs, for instance Brussels International Fair.

Christopher’s profession also allowed him to enter into ethical restoration as well as real estate where there was several common denominators. Throughout his real estate projects, undertaken either for his own company or for clients, Christopher was consulted for conservation projects, including Stonehenge in the UK and he dedicated years to the faithful and painstaking restoration of his historic chateau in Wallonia, Southern Belgium. Christopher is currently advisor to an important architectural project in China with an accent on flow and philosophical comprehension of Chinese architectural heritage whilst combining cutting-edge eco-technology to make for a ‘green,’ ethical project. Parallel to this runs Christopher’s passion for contemporary art, which first brought him to China.

Their gallery, Atkins & Ai, is dedicated to introducing the most captivating contemporary Chinese art through world-class programming to an international audience through the CBD art hub of the International Art Plaza, Baiziwan, Beijing, directly adjacent to the Today Art Museum. Housed in a concise loft space, we hope our clients will discover treasures of art works here and enjoy the stories they weave that we are so passionate about telling.

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