Catching-up with Oscar Venhuis (EQ Lab)

This week's Catching-up is with Oscar Venhuis, founder of EQ Lab and member of the DutchCham SME Committee. 

Oscar Venhuis

Oscar, could you introduce yourself?
My name is Oscar Venhuis, I was born in Korea, raised in the Netherlands, studied in the UK and living in Asia for almost 20 years now. I am the founder of EQ Lab, which stands for Extended Intelligence. We primarily conduct research on leadership and are currently involved in several projects. One project is about virtual collaboration - which started during the COVID-pandemic - and how to stimulate meaningful dialogues. Another project is to train chatbots for dialogues - like having an extra person around a virtual table, like a “third person”. Furthermore, I am active in the creative industries as an artist and entrepreneur.

Hong Kong is an important hub for the creative industries in Asia. How do you see this develop?
Indeed, not everyone is aware of the fact that Hong Kong is host to the World’s third biggest market for art and the biggest in Asia. Next to musea, we have countless galeries, the main auction houses and other art-related activities - a strong ecosystem. This is quite remarkable, considering the size of our territory. And the market is still growing. There is competition in Asia - which I see as good - but the region is big enough for several hubs, such as Korea and Japan. 

What are your activities in this field?
Next to being an artist myself, I have a weekly podcast, called “The Last Supper”, during which I have conversations with artists and galleries in Asia; so not just Hong Kong. Through my podcast, I hope to offer a fresh - more Asian - perspective on the industry, compared to the conventional “Western perspective”. The art market, like everywhere, is strongly connect to the Financial industry. These two industries are to a certain degree connected and can strengthen each other. 

Which activities for creatives are you planning with the SME committee?
Our focus is to bring people together. Creating new introductions and expending the network of our participants. I notice that people increasingly attend events again, after perhaps hesitating after the COVID pandemic. Especially when it is about AI and FinTech.

What makes the SME Committee valuable for you?
Connections. People you meet. Most of us are foreigner in Hong Kong and we all need good connections - for our businesses and professional careers.