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:

Wang [Yihan] said that it is also important that investors are prudent about their purchases, she said that she always encourages thorough research and knowledge of the artist and market before investing.

“Investors must be aware that the nature of investment lies in taking risks,” Wang continued.

She advised that the only way to invest art wisely is to have strong background knowledge. “Visiting exhibitions, communicating more with art administrators, reading more books in order to build up one’s taste in art and learning how to appreciate art is how to do it. You must do research otherwise you’ll pay for it.”

The ever-growing prosperity of China’s art industry is also drawing more and more young people to the fields of management and art administration. As the director of CIGE,Wang is often approached by young people keen to enter the industry.

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4 responses to “Chinese Graduates Increasingly Drawn To The Arts

  1. Pingback: The week in Chinese visual culture: 7-13 September « Kristina Kleutghen

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  3. Pingback: Art and Avarice - An Online Journal of Culture and Economics

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