Interview: Romain TICHIT, Founder and Director of YIA art fair, Paris


romain tichit

Romain Tichit, a passionate at the helm of YIA art Fair

After a strong journey in advertising business, Romain Tichit became in 2010 the proud founder of YIA ART FAIR international art fair for living artists. Last edition, the 4th one, was located in the heart of Paris, the Marais at the Carreau du Temple.

YIA ART FAIR 2014 edition was,
4 days event, 27000 sqF of Exhibition, 20 Countries
+ 25 000 visitors at the Carreau du Temple
65 galleries, 120 artists represented and 800 artworks exhibited
1 “Hors les Murs” program
1 contemporary art Prize, “YIAF / UNIQLO Prize”. Artist Gabrielle Conilh Beyssac won the prize this year.

BAM: October in Paris is the month of contemporary art fairs with an interesting diversity offered. It goes from the “big international machine” like FIAC through OFF art fairs that serve a bit like the “Salon des Refuses” did in the past. We have Show off, Slick Art Fair or Art Elysées and Off-icial (the latest from FIAC which contours are a bit blurred) and we have one of a kind ones like Zurcher salon and Cutlog. They are more confidential but equally interesting.
And you, YIA -Young International Artists- where do you stand?

Romain Tichit: Actually, I really do not think being part of “le salon des refusés”. Since its inception in 2010, YIA can count on many French galleries you also see at the FIAC. They accept to participate simultaneously at YIA because we can offer a great visibility to emerging artists they chose to support. The YIA is not a traditional Art fair. It pulls out of the game by a focused positioning towards the Emergence. Our architect has also designed a specific open layout that contributes to the whole good spirit that everyone felt here.

BAM: Who is responsible for the selection of artists / galleries? And what are your selection criteria

Romain Tichit: The selection is made by myself and Thibault Vanco. Our criteria may vary we have no specific rules. Our selection can be based on affinities or the artists’ journey or a good statement or the relationship we create with the galleries.

BAM: You started in the middle of the Recession in 2010, and not only you are at edition 4, but it sounds like the fair has become the place to be. What is your secret?

Romain Tichit: At the age of 35 I can’t remember living with no economic crisis. And of course it is obviously very hard to exist when you have an Art Fair like the FIAC. But the desire to continue is strong enough. As well as our desire to offer a brand new experience, a brand new eye on the contemporary and international emerging art scene. We do like that challenge.

BAM: How did you get to switch from the advertisement business to a project of contemporary art fair?

Romain Tichit: Actually, I have always held exhibitions. The very first one was initially a simple group exhibition then little by little it became more important. Also, there are many natural links between advertising and contemporary art. I was not born in Art and I really think the advertising experience taught me a lot in the way to handle and draw the organization and communication of YIA Art Fair.

BAM: How do you vision the future for YIA art fair?

Romain Tichit: To continue again in Paris next year. Also develop internationally.. Why not in Los Angeles


SARA FAVRIAU Courtesy Galerie Maubert (Paris, FR) Crédit: Grégory Copitet
Courtesy Galerie Maubert (Paris, FR)
Crédit: Grégory Copitet