Town & Country was actually first on the scene with this mini-profile of Christie’s secret weapon, Xin Li, published the day after its record-setting Contemporary Art sale:
She started on her professional career path as a 12-year-old, at a time when she could not fully appreciate the character-building qualities of the training regimen for promising basketball players in China: in uniform at 5 a.m. for a 20-minute warm-up run (why call it “warm-up” when it’s minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit outside?), followed by a two-hour session of shooting baskets and running plays. […] By the age of 15, at just a shade under six feet and with a soft touch from outside, Xin Li was playing forward professionally for Jilin.
[…] She’s a quick study: She began in the auction business six years ago at Sotheby’s, helping manage the booming Chinese appetite for wine. Now she has become indispensable to many of the same clients as they build their collections of art. […]
Her clients are all entrepreneurs; at the prices that art is currently commanding, this is simply a precondition. But she has found that their preferences often have a high correlation with the risk level they’re used to in business. Those in well-established enterprises, such as shipping or industry, prefer traditional Chinese art and antiquities, while those in riskier fields, like high-tech or venture capital or publishing (one of her biggest clients in contemporary Chinese art is Wendi Murdoch,) prefer edgier contemporary works from both China and the West.
Xin Li Profile (Town & Country Magazine)