About Us – Cultural Strategic Relations

About ifa laboratory – facilitation, consulting, support

ifa laboratory is a facilitation firm in Brussels proposing new perceptions: of the arts within the business world, and of culture within foreign and external relations.

The name ifa laboratory stems from the collaboration with ifa gallery . ifa comes from Chinese 艺 () and 法 (), meaning methods of art.

Johanna Suo, director

Johanna Suo is the managing director of ifa laboratory, expert in cultural strategy and cross sector facilitation, passionate about structural development in culture, making art available for a wider audience and bridging civil society and politics through culture.

Active in the institutional and associative sectors of the art world for over 20 years, she is a member of the think tank European Cultural Parliament and she co-founded their Youth Network, she worked at the Goethe-Institut, at CUMEDIAE and the Swedish Institute.

Specialised in cultural strategic relations she is an advocate for the insertion of art and culture in sectors traditionally seen as non-creative. In 2015 she was awarded the Marshall Memorial Fellowship (of the German Marshall Fund of the United States) aiming to reinforce transatlantic relations. Her individual focus was art as crime and conflict prevention, art in international relations and cultural diplomacy.  johanna@ifa-laboratory.com

Thank you to investors and ifa laboratory founding partners Alexis Kouzmine –Karavaïeff , David Laurier and Fredrik Runnquist. 

Alexis graduated from business school and studied art history in Ecole du Louvre, thereafter he established himself in Shanghai in 2003 where he worked for a British corporation. He then decided to dedicate his time to his passion by co-founding ifa gallery, a contemporary art gallery in Shanghai. Located in an old textile factory building in M50, the famed art district of Shanghai, and later on in an elegant British house in Jing’An district, ifa gallery became an important place by showcasing some emerging and established artists in the Chinese art scene.
In the fall 2013, Alexis decided to move ifa gallery premises to the heart and capital of Europe, Brussels. Located in the old central district of Marolles, the gallery offers a dynamic programme with its main artists from China and new artists from the region. The gallery  exhibits also regularly in art fairs.

David is currently Chief Executive of Innovest Capital & Real Estate Group. Earlier he was managing director of a/o AppliTek with offices in the US, the Middle East and Asia. AppliTek develops, manufactures, integrates and installs on-line monitoring & analysis devices for use in environmental, industrial & homeland security applications. David is also specialised in economic diplomacy. He is an executive member of the Commission International Relations of the Federation of Belgian Enterprises (VBO-FEB), where he previously participated in a work group to define the fundaments of economic diplomacy for ambassadors of Belgium abroad. Moreover David is also a visiting professor at the University of Leuven & at Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico where he has given courses on entrepreneurship and embedded sustainability. David holds a Masters of Commerical Sciences and a Master of Business & Managerial Economics from Leuven University.

Fredrik is a business angel and art-collector commuting between Stockholm and London. Fredrik is passionate about start-ups and collects Swedish modern art.