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I began collecting in the year 2000, perfectly aware from the start that I wanted to share what moved me with others. That is why the works I acquired were given to museums around Europe as long-term loans and promised gifts; when I am no longer around these works will come to make up part of the permanent collection of each museum in question. Over the years I have gotten to know artists, dealers, curators and museum directors, and I gradually began to understand how the world of art worked. I realized that even artists who were fairly recognized occasionally have problems to finance the production of their work. This is why I decided to no longer purchase finished works of art, but to focus on supporting art production. Having started as a collector who shared a collection of work by artists whose prestige was on the rise, I was more readily able to find institutions willing to cooperate with the activities of the Fundació Han Nefkens.
Céline van Balen
Annika von Hausswolff
I have lived with HIV since 1987, so it is only natural that I support the fight against this disease. While funding scientific research, I became aware that one of the greatest obstacles in fighting HIV is the stigma attached to the condition which prevents people who might carry the virus from being tested, thereby unknowingly infecting other people. I am convinced of the transformative power of art, therefore I created the ArtAids Foundation in 2006 to combat the stigma through art. We commissioned work inspired by this theme from international artists such as Shirin Neshat, Lawrence Weiner, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Latifa Echakhch, Danh Vo, Christodoulos Panayiotou and Elmgreen & Dragset. Our exhibitions travelled to countries including the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Thailand and Senegal. That art can be effective in changing attitudes was confirmed when a visitor of our exhibition wrote in the guest book that thanks to having seen these works of art, he felt courageous enough to finally tell his family that he was living with HIV.