Daily Archives: September 11, 2009

Chinese Graduates Increasingly Drawn To The Arts

More Young Chinese College Students Studying Arts Administration Careers, Following The Ascendance Of Chinese Art

Chinese art administrator Wang Yihan says young Chinese graduates are increasingly drawn to the arts (Image: Global Times)

Chinese art administrator Wang Yihan says young Chinese graduates are increasingly drawn to the arts (Image: Global Times)

An interesting development in Chinese contemporary art has accompanied its growth in the global market over the last 20 years, as people in China increasingly see the arts as a valid and attractive career option. Yesterday, my eye was caught by an article on China.org.cn about the growing popularity of Art Administration as a major at China’s universities. As the art market in that country matures and more young people in China see a future in the arts:

China’s growing contemporary art market is finding success at all levels with artists, curators and investors all benefiting from the recent boom. The burgeoning industry is also opening doors for young art graduates who are choosing administration as an alternative career path.

This article illustrates a trend that we’ve seen going on for a while — not so much any sort of art “explosion” in China, or anything so dramatic. More than anything, it’s the steady growth of credibilityin the arts in China. Where once contemporary artists were marginalized in China, particularly in the early stages of the “reform and opening” movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as decadent or lazy outcasts, and contemporary art was seen as a diversion from what was “important,” the growing interest in arts administration shows that the younger generation in China is interested in plugging in to their country’s artistic culture and its growing connection to the global art world. As the China.org.cn article goes on to illustrate, arts administration professionals in China have a keen insight into the current state of China’s contemporary art market. According to the curator profiled in the article, Wang Yihan, collectors should be knowledgeable about the Chinese art market and do their research — whether the global art market is up or down, the key to successful art collection is, as always, knowing and recognizing quality and looking for historical artists whose work will endure:

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Chinese Jewelry Brands: Three To Watch

Strong Demand And Growth In Chinese, East Asian Markets Helps Luxury Jewelry Brands Find New Global Markets

Gold has been a traditional "hedge" in China for centuries

Gold has been a traditional "hedge" in China for centuries

We have written before about the popularity of gold, jewelry and watches in China, and as the figures released today show that the Chinese economy seems to have positive momentum, it is likely that domestic demand will continue to grow for these luxury items. Government efforts to spur increased consumption and lower savings rates look to be at least partially successful, and as a result many global jewelry companies are now putting extra effort into their China outreach and expansion programs.

Today, Diamond Worldlooks into the growing influence of Asian jewelry brands as they become an increasing part of the global market, profiling three up-and-coming Asian jewelers who you might see at a mall near you in a few years: Luk Fook Jewelry, Kin Hung Lee Jewelry and Qeelin Jewelry.

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Alibaba Will Launch B2B Platform in US By End Of Year

Hugely Successful Chinese Online Platform Seeks To Further Globalize Its Brand With Expansion Of US Business

Jack Ma hopes his company, Alibaba, can become a truly global brand

Jack Ma hopes his company, Alibaba, can become a truly global brand

Reuters reports today that Alibaba, the popular China-based B2B online portal, is looking to further build its brand through expansion into the US market. CEO Jack Ma today presented  the new Ali Express (wholesale.alibaba.com) portal at a conference at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou. The move to expand further in the US market follows the opening of a European headquarters and massive global marketing campaign for Alibaba:

[In addition to its online marketplace,] Alibaba Group is also the parent of Taobao, China’s largest online auction site, and Alipay, an online payment service provider.

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Scotch: The National Drink Of…China?

Premium Scotch Distillers Eye Huge Potential, Existing Growth In Chinese, Emerging Markets

Chivas has enjoyed great success in China since entering the market in 2001

Chivas has enjoyed great success in China since entering the market in 2001

China’s love affair with the national sport of Scotland, golf, has also spread to the national drink of Scotland — scotch whisky. The Chinese market has become a prime market for Scottish distilleries in the last 10 years, as brands like Chivas Regal (introduced to the Chinese market in 2001) and other Speyside whiskeys like BenRiach and Glendronach (which have entered the market more recently) have attracted the devotion of everyone from scotch connoisseurs to well-heeled bar patrons in China. Chivas in particular has seen business booming as a result of its China expansion, where within a year of entering the country China had become the biggest global market for Chivas. For many scotch brands, which have seen their popularity in western countries steadily diminish in the last few decades as scotch has lost its allure among younger drinkers who increasingly favor vodka, China has great potential since it is a “blank slate” with fewer preconceptions about brands, flavor, region or pedigree.

One interesting characteristic of scotch consumption in China is the sizeable gulf that separates the devotee from the social drinker. In bars across China, it is common to see premium scotches like Chivas offered in a promotional “package” for a relatively high price, typically bundled with a bucket of ice and several bottles of sweetened iced green tea. While serious scotch drinkers would recoil in anguish at the sight of partygoers haphazardly mixing high-quality scotch with sugary tea, this home-grown concoction is one of the main drivers of Chivas Regal’s growth in the Chinese market, and the agreeable taste of the resulting cocktail suits the local market extremely well. Far from resisting the trend of Chivas becoming a “mixer” of sorts in China, the company has actively encouraged and nurtured its image as a sophisticated yet youthful party liquor, one that bestows a certain amount of status for the individual ordering the Chivas package for his or her table. In tacitly encouraging this localized brand image throughout the country, Chivas Regal has — in only 8 years — become the envy of other foreign liquor brands, and is no doubt the case study pored over most when foreign companies look to carve out a niche in China.

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