Taiwanese-born, London-based and globe-trotter-at-heart journalist Peifen Sung (photo by Sanna Halmekoski) could be best described as a 21st century Renaissance woman. Her interests range from Franz Schubert’s piano sonata to Tino Sehgal’s “constructed situation”. A regular of the international art scene, Peifen has been diagnosed with FOMO (the Fear of Missing Out) years before the word was coined. She could easily be found at an art fair in Bogota, an auction in Hong Kong, a private performance in Switzerland and a lecture in Berlin all in the same week. She is a regular contributor for the Chinese editions of Harper’s Bazaar Art, The Architectural Digest and the FT. She loves Sichuan cuisine, driving her Mini Mayfair, playing the piano for her closest friends and watching the Transformers.
If there was one piece of art you could feature in, which would it be and why?
I would like to be Munch's Vampire. She is beautiful, sensual and clever - and she does a good job at hiding her face. The police would have difficulty using facial recognition technology if they wanted to track her.
Who inspires you and why? An artist, a family member, someone current or historical?
I am inspired by Beethoven because I find his music and the dimple on his chin totally irresistible. My father rushed home to listen to his Pastoral Symphony when my mother, after a very difficult delivery, finally gave birth to me and wondered why her husband wasn't at the hospital to look after the baby.
I discovered Glenn Gould when I was a teenager. Although he was not famous for producing the most delicious piano sound, he was able to bring out voices in music that I did not know existed. Because of Glenn, I tune myself to the undertone and seek out the overlooked.
What are your cultural aspirations? What do you still want to see, do and achieve?
Where do I start? They are endless - my curiosities are insatiable.
What are your favourite cultural cities in the world and why?
London is my favourite! It has great airports and has been my home for the past 28 years! New York, Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris are also great cultural cities. One of my latest eye-opening discoveries was the amazingness Oslo has to offer. These cities all have dynamic contemporary art scenes and great collections in cultural institutions.
What are you up to at the moment and where can we find it?
Having just returned from the unveiling of new sculptures by the Chapman Brothers, Damien Hirst and Botero at Ekebergparken in Oslo and about to set off to New York for Yoko Ono’s MoMA retrospective, I am enjoying a few days back home in London!