Tag Archives: australia

“Re-Enter The Dragon”: What Will Chinese Investment In Australia Do For The Arts?

After Failed Business Deals Earlier In The Year, Chinese Investment In Australia Is Back In A Big Way

Despite setbacks, Chinese-Australian business ties have deepened in the last few years

Despite setbacks, Chinese-Australian business ties have deepened in the last few years

The Australian reports this week that Australia remains a popular destination for Chinese investments, even after the ill-fated Chinalco-Rio Tinto negotiations earlier this year and China’s subsequent incarceration of Rio executive Stern Hu, an Australian national, along with three of his Chinese colleagues:

[T]he core complementary elements that have increasingly driven the economies together — Australia’s need for capital and for markets, China’s need for inputs for its industrial machine, and for international enmeshment — have not changed.

Paul Glasson, Shanghai-based managing director of Sigiriya Capital, a leading figure in putting together deals between Chinese and Australian companies, says: “The core proposition between Australia and China remains the same. The bottom line demand and desire to supply resources has not changed.”

This became palpable when Resources Minister Martin Ferguson flew to Beijing to initial on August 18 the deal through which state-owned giant PetroChina agreed to buy $50bn worth of gas from the Gorgon field off Western Australia.

With scant notice, he secured a brief but crucial meeting with the central player in China’s zou chu qu — go global — campaign, the chairman of the immensely powerful National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Zhang Ping.

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Chinese Snapping Up Australian Luxury Properties

Chinese Buyers On Global Shopping Spree, Buying Real Estate And Australian Assets As Prices Remain Lower Than In Recent Years

Chinese buyers have flocked to the Sydney waterfront to buy luxury properties at historically low prices

Chinese buyers have flocked to the Sydney waterfront to buy luxury properties at historically low prices

We have previously written on mainland Chinese buyers scouring the globe to snap up contemporary Chinese art, fine wines and antiques at auction, and in recent months this emerging group of shoppers has become far more visible in places like Australia, where wealthy Chinese buyers have become one of the most motivated buyers of luxury properties. As China Daily writes today, Chinese buyers are converging on some of the best luxury properties in Sydney including big homes on the harbor, and new condominium developments.

Chinese buyers are taking advantage of a number of factors that have benefitted them in the past few years, including a weaker global economy and lower prices on luxury goods of all classes, a stronger focus on spending rather than saving, and a more welcoming Australian property market. With an exchange rate that favors the yuan, relaxed Australian rules on ownership of property by foreigners, and an already populous Chinese community, the time seems right for Chinese with the means to buy some of Sydney’s prime waterfront real estate.

As Jack Levine points out, Australia has become one of the most popular destinations for Chinese travelers, students, and immigrants in the last decade, trailing only the UK and New Zealand:

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University of Melbourne Looks At The Rise Of Contemporary Chinese Art

Three-Part Lecture Series Gives Excellent Introduction To The Fast-Moving World Of Chinese Art

 

The Monthly (Australia)’s SlowTV video channel is currently hosting a three-part lecture series from the University of Melbourne’s recent “Festival of Ideas” session, featuring insight from China experts Geremie Barme and Claire Roberts. This video series is a must-see for anyone interested in the emergence of contemporary Chinese art as a global force.

See the videos at: http://www.themonthly.com.au/rise-contemporary-chinese-art-chaired-chris-mcauliffe-1792

New Contemporary Chinese Art Museum Opens Doors In Sydney

White Rabbit Contemporary Chinese Art Collection Is One Of Australia’s Largest, Eagerly Anticipated Privately Funded Art Museums

Graphic © White Rabbit Contemporary Chinese Art Collection

Graphic © White Rabbit Contemporary Chinese Art Collection

We have written recently on privately-funded contemporary Chinese art museums, which have sprung up everywhere from Beijing to Singapore and elsewhere. Recently, Australia’s White Rabbit Contemporary Chinese art collection has opened to the public, giving art fans the opportunity to view more than 400 works by 160 artists, and significantly bolstering Sydney’s Chinese art infrastructure. The collection, which focuses specifically on works created since 2000, and as The Australian points out, takes up “2000sqm of space, reportedly developed at a cost of about $10 million, on four levels. The publicity material describes it, with some justification, as one of the most significant collections of contemporary Chinese art anywhere in the world.”

Ashleigh Wilson, writing for The Australian, notes that the White Rabbit collection — one of several privately-funded art museums to have opened in Australia in the last few years — gives Australians interested in Chinese art an excellent venue to learn more about the country’s artists and evolving artistic trends. With the growing contingent of large-scale domestic Chinese collectors in China growing year-by-year, I would forecast that it is only a matter of time before privately-funded museums like White Rabbit begin to pop up in mainland China as well.

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Mainland Visitors Driving Taiwan’s Tourism Industry

Influx Of Mainland Chinese Boosting The Island’s Tourism Figures, Benefitted By Relaxed Travel Rules

Mainland Chinese tourists have flocked to Taiwan since travel rules were relaxed in 2008

Mainland Chinese tourists have flocked to Taiwan since travel rules were relaxed in 2008

The global tourism industry has been hit hard by the global economic crisis, as formerly profligate travelers from Europe, Japan, and North America scale back their vacation plans this summer, and the tourism industries in the periphery of Greater China — Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan — have been no exception. Macau has responded to this drop in wider demand by reaching out more aggressively to Mainland tourists, who find traveling to China’s special administrative regions far easier than applying for foreign visas. We’ve written on Macau’s outreach strategies, but Taiwan is another market altogether. With the election of Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou last year, and ties between Taiwan and the Mainland gradually warming, China issued new travel rules that made the process far easier, and soon after began direct flights to Taiwan for the first time in nearly 60 years.

Since then, Taiwan’s travel industry has benefitted from the influx of visitors. According to this press release, the number of overseas visitors jumped 13.8 per cent in the first five months this year to 1.79 million, most of them being tourists. However, the real meat of the release is that the number of Mainland Chinese visitors has surged even as tourists from other major Taiwan tourism markets have plummeted:

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Art Is Good As Gold In Inflation Era — Bloomberg

Fund Managers Moving Towards Art As Investment Diversifier, Will These Managers Balance Their Art Portfolio Investments With A Global Mix?

Castlestone is investing in western artists like De Kooning. By focusing only on western art, is the fund going to miss out on higher returns later?

Castlestone is investing in western artists like De Kooning. By focusing only on western art, is the fund going to miss out on higher returns later?

We have written before on Castlestone Management, a $660 million investment fund that focuses on works of art, which the fund feels is a better investment over the long term than traditional hedges like gold or other hard assets. Today, Bloomberg has an excellent profile of the fund, noting that it is designed to benefit from one of art’s great features — a resistance to the great asset de-valuer: inflation. Castlestone, and art investment funds like it are , Farah Nayeri writes, “designed as an anti-inflation shelter at a time when recession-busting stimulus packages are flooding the global economy with cash.” So with the number of these funds increasing, as investors look for inflation-defying destinations for their money, will they get with the program and look for a more global mix, made up of Chinese, Indian, and other emerging artists? Or will they stick to their Picassos and Warhols?

It looks like Castlestone may be up for anything as time goes on, but at the moment they seem to be a bit top-heavy with artists who are late in their career. However, with this sort of fund growing and becoming more popular with inflation-weary investors who aren’t up for the rollercoaster ride of investing in gold, stocks, or jewels, an art fund might be just the thing.

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Two Corners of the Globe, Two Chinese Art Exhibitions

Boston’s “Mahjong” Exhibition and Brisbane’s “China Project” Showcase Chinese Contemporary Art

Included in the Mahjong exhibition: Liu Xiaodong, "Eating", 2000

Included in the Mahjong exhibition: Liu Xiaodong, "Eating", 2000

Two simultaneous exhibitions of Chinese Contemporary Art are bringing artwork from dozens of top Chinese artists to crowds in Boston and Brisbane, showing off the respectable collections of Uli Sigg (Boston show) and Nicholas Jose and Claire Roberts (Brisbane). The Boston Globe writes that the important works from Sigg’s extensive and exhaustive collection have provided guests with a great introduction to China’s thriving art world:

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