The Kotanko Collection represents the contemporary ideas and dilemmas of our time and the personal journey of The Kotanko’s engaging the arts since its inception in 2008. With an initial focus on culturally significant art works by established Austrian artists, such as Arnulf Rainer, Hubert Scheibl and Hermann Nitsch, the collection has grown to encompass almost two hundred works of art, and is uniquely focused around three pillars that mirror the collector’s life journey as Europeans situated in Asia: Austrian Modern Art, Contemporary Asian Art and Global Emerging Art. 

The collection is situated in both Asia and Europe, and features key works at the collection’s Art Tank in Vienna since 2017, which is a creative space to view the collection and bring together friends of art. Bernhard Kotanko and Cordula Kotanko welcome you to experience their collection through their comprehensive website and to take a moment to reflect on the intersection of art and difficult questions present in our social and political worlds.

The Kotanko Collection, Hong Kong

Our collection is foremost a personal passion. We enjoy how art stimulates our mind and our soul.

[ Cordula Kotanko ]

We collect a wide variety of art yet the common pattern is that it needs to touch, sometimes challenge us. That has been true from the very beginning of us collecting and is even more important for us today. Our collection has evolved over time, just as we have grown. We specifically seek to immerse ourselves in the art around us that has a personal connection.

Cordula Kotanko
Cordula Kotanko

Bernhard and I originally focused on collecting paintings but over the past few years expanded into first photography, for example a major work on the Human Rights convention from Lukas Hueller or recently an intriguing work from Yang Yongliang. Later we added sculptures and installations by Izumi Kato and Michael Joo, or a major light work from Brigitte Kowanz. Another strong light piece is The Irony of Worship by Tuan Andrew Nguyen, which turns an old Asian cart into an altar to celebrate the pangolin and criticize how humans quest in Asia for mystic energy has made some animal species almost extinct. So our collection is defined by a diversity of ideas that expand our minds and souls.

I hope we will further move into a wider variety of media in our collection that will continue to  give us new perspectives on what we sometimes cannot see in our daily lives. And we wish that any visitors to our collection will experience and feel the diversity and richness of art.


A creative space to show parts of The Kotanko Collection and celebrate art.

The Art Tank showcases a selection of art work from The Kotanko Collection in a renovated, large and bright sub-terrain space that was built in 1895 by Ludwig Baumann, near Vienna’s new Hauptbahnhof. This unique space is home to some significant works from the collection and is designed to also be used as an event space for special functions. The Kotanko’s also envisage an artist-in-residence program connecting young artists from Asia and Austria.

The Kotanko Collection in the Art Tank, Vienna

We deliberately sought artists with strong messaging

[ Bernhard Kotanko ]

Part of the Kotanko Collection in Vienna

We started collecting emerging artists, typically works that either attracted us visually or artists that expressed a strong passion for new ideas. Example of these artists would include Lorella Paleni or Paula Baader. Living in Vienna we immersed ourselves in the Austrian contemporary art culture, especially the powerful abstract artists like Hubert Scheibl, Arnulf Rainer, Hans Staudacher or Hermann Nitsch. Moving to Asia exposed us all to an entirely new culture. And art became a way for us to engage with the social and political dynamics in this broad, heterogenous region. We deliberately sought artists with strong messaging, like Liu Chuang’s works about Chinese migrant workers or Din Q Le’s works on the Cambodia and Vietnam atrocities. We also have been fascinated by the Star Group in China, the first real modern art movement after Mao and are excited to have works from Huang Rui and Ma Desheng in our collection.

We are curious and explore a lot of different kinds of art. We enjoy walking through galleries, museums, art fairs and also discover wonderful art on the internet; We immerse ourselves in the local art scene and learn about new artists. It is inspiring to meet artists and friends who are excited about art! And we discuss how we feel about the art works, what we like and how the works impacts us. We are not particularly concerned about public recognition or market success of an artist.

Our collection and our passion for art is very personal. But as first our friends and then other people became interested in learning about the art works in our collection and our commitment to art, we decided that having a public presence would be a suitable way to share what art can give. For us, being with art sparks ideas, can energize or relax, can challenge us—and it is a big part of our lives. We hope that also through this digital platform of The Kotanko Collection, we will be able to connect with more viewers who are excited about art—especially other collectors, curators and of course artists!

Bernhard Kotanko
Bernhard Kotanko
Brigitte Kowanz
A t

2 King’s Close
Singapore 268184

M. info[a]kotankocollection.com

Content: John Silvis
Design and development: PEACH Wien