Auction Sales From July 1, 2008 To June 30, 2009 Send Zeng To The Top Of The List, As Chinese Artists Make Up 16 Of The Top 50 In The World
Zeng Fanzhi is one of the most interesting and top-grossing contemporary Chinese artists of the last 30 years
Artxun (Chinese) reports this week that Zeng Fanzhi — one of China’s top contemporary artists — has gained the title of “Number One” Chinese artist in terms of auction prices over the last year, leapfrogging longtime title-holder Zhang Xiaogang. While some of this may be down to the slower pace with which Zhang is producing new works, Zeng’s growing popularity within China and, ostensibly, among New Chinese Collectors, could have something to do with it. Zeng, who sprang to prominence in the 1990s mostly through his “Mask” series but has since begun experimenting with more abstract pieces, recently sold 5 of 6 pieces up for grabs at Sotheby’s autumn auction of contemporary Asian art in Hong Kong well above high estimates, indicating that his popularity among the primarily Mainland Chinese bidders remains strong.
The Artxun piece, rather than focusing only on Zeng’s auction prices, does an excellent job of looking into the artist himself and some of the personal projects he has undertaken, including the “Zeng Fanzhi Art Scholarship,” which awarded 10,000 yuan to a disabled university applicant in July of this year. From the article (translation by CLCB staff):
Compared to last year’s [Artprice] list, Chinese artists comprised 16 of the top 50 artists in the world, down from 18 the year before. Among Chinese artists, Zeng Fanzhi was the highest selling, surpassing Zhang Xiaogang by 1,010,000 yuan, becoming China’s most “expensive” artist of 2009. Zhang Xiaogang slipped from the top five this year down to #7. Chinese artists who made the top 50 list last year, namely Yin Chaoyang, Liu Wei, Fan Dehai, and Guo Hai weren’t strong enough to make the list this year, although Yan Peiming is expected to enter the top 50. Another interesting thing to look at is Chengdu’s growing power — aside from Zhang Xiaogang, Chengdu-based contemporary artist Zhou Chunya was ranked 17th in the world and #11 in China in 2008, and in 2009 rose 3 places in the world ranking to #14 while rising 6 places in China to #5 there. Another Chengdu artist, Luo Zhongli, ranked #38.
Posted in Art, auction, China, Chinese Art, Culture, Museums
Tagged Art, artxun, China, chinese, chinese contemporary art, contemporary art, contemporary chinese art, translation, zeng fanzhi, zhou chunya
TNT Theater’s Tour Will Visit Tianjin, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Beijing, Ningbo, Hangzhou And Xi’an
TNT's past staging of "Oliver Twist" was a big hit in Beijing
It seems that cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world are becoming increasingly commonplace, with large-scale events like Carnegie Hall’s “Ancient Paths, Modern Voices” festivals in New York and Orange County, the “Experience China in Israel” event in Tel Aviv giving foreign audiences a chance to see a cultural cross-section. Over the past few years in China, foreign cultural organizations and groups have made regular trips to the country to give Chinese audiences a chance to do the same. The most recent of these cultural exchanges, a staging of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” performed by Britain’s TNT Theater, began its seven-city tour of China this week, and is set to perform the play throughout the country until November 29. From Xinhua:
Cui Yang, general manager of the Beijing-based Milky Way Arts and Communications Co., Ltd, the play’s importer, said the new version featured a cappella (singing without instrumental accompaniment) and live score which was specially commissioned for the play.
According to Cui, all the sound effects in the drama were created by human voices instead of being pre-recorded.
The TNT Theater, founded in 1980, has been distinguished for its simple stage decoration, strong British style and cross-gender performances. It has previously won the acclaim of Chinese audience with dramas such as Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” and Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”.
In the run-up to next year’s Shanghai’s World Expo, and certainly in its aftermath, we should see a great deal more cultural exchange going on both inside and outside China, as more foreign audiences look to learn about China’s ancient and modern cultures, and Chinese audiences look to learn more about important global and historical trends.
Posted in Art, China, Chinese Art, Culture
Tagged Art, arts, beijing, carnegie hall, China, chinese, Culture, guangzhou, hangzhou, israel, New York, ningbo, oliver twist, performance, production, romeo and juliet, shakespeare, shenzhen, theater, theatre, tianjin, xi'an
Growth Among Chinese Luxury Customers Pushes Them Beyond Japanese, Americans To Become Top Consumers Of LVMH Brands
Chinese drinkers have made the country Hennessy's top market, surpassing the United States
LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton S.A., the mighty global juggernaut, has had a bit of a rough year in the traditionally reliable markets of North America, Japan and Europe. Despite cutbacks in spending in these established markets, however, there have been bright areas for LVMH, namely in emerging markets like China and the other BRIC nations and pockets of Southeast Asia. In regions where LVMH has only operated for a few years, or a few decades at the most, newly rich consumers are opening their wallets and flaunting their wealth in a way never seen before — and all of this translates to high hopes for luxury’s standard bearer.
In the wake of the global economic crisis, China has leapfrogged its developed-world counterparts in many high-end segments, driven mainly by the country’s second-tier urban growth, which — fueled mostly by commodity industries like coal which have not been as badly affected by the downturn — continue to grow and attract foreign investment. Second- and third-tier cities, which have seen high-end foreign boutiques opening up only in the last few years, have been a boon to major foreign brands because customers in these smaller cities present virtually no signs of “luxury fatigue” and feel that expensive luxury brands are an excellent way of conveying their newly found status — the flashier the better.
Earlier this year, China surpassed the United States as the world’s second-largest luxury market, and the country has Japan, #1, firmly in its sights. Many analysts believe that China, given current growth figures, should overtake Japan as the world’s top luxury market within five years. So what does this all mean for luxury brands? Today, the Wall Street Journal’s Matthew Curtin looks into LVMH’s “China Syndrome,” and make the case that where LVMH goes, so goes the luxury industry:
Chinese customers, both at home and on holiday in the shopping malls around the world, have become the biggest buyers of Louis Vuitton clothes and handbags and Hennessy cognac ahead of the Japanese and overtaking Americans.
Posted in Business, China, Economics, Economy, Investment, Luxury
Tagged China, chinese, consumption, global economic crisis, japan, louis vuitton, Luxury, LVMH, LVMH moet hennessy, north america, southeast asia, united states, wall street journal
Event Follows Other Recent Cultural Events And Partnerships In Germany And Belgium, And Upcoming Events In The United States
Following China’s National Day celebrations earlier this month, a wave of cultural events have taken place — or are slated to take place — around the world. From China’s position as guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair to the many included works of Chinese contemporary art at the Europalia-China art festival in Brussels (co-curated by premier Chinese artist Ai Weiwei), the last few weeks have given Western audiences a good opportunity to get up close and personal with several aspects of contemporary Chinese artistic culture.
This week, Chinese culture heads to the Middle East, where the “Experience China in Israel” cultural exchange event kicked off this weekend at the Tel Aviv Opera House. The event will feature performances, film screenings and photo exhibitions, and follows similar “Experience” events held in the past in Russia, South Korea, Germany and the U.S. From Xinhua:
The event, jointly held by the State Council Information Office of China and Israeli Foreign Ministry, is dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 17th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Composed of a series of activities including performances, photo exhibitions, a film week and a symposium on China, Israel and the world economy, the event, which began earlier this week and will conclude at the end of this month, is expected to allow the Israelis to see Chinese culture and China’s development and achievements over the past 60 years and promote Sino-Israeli friendship.
Posted in Art, China, Chinese Art, Culture
Tagged ai weiwei, art exhibition, China, chinese, chinese contemporary art, chinese culture, contemporary art, Culture, europalia, europalia-china art festival, exhibition, film, frankfurt, frankfurt book fair, israel, tel aviv
Exhibition From London’s Victoria and Albert Museum Puts Contemporary Chinese Design Front And Center
"China Design Now" is an excellent introduction to the world of contemporary Chinese design and visual arts
Over the last 30 years — but mainly in the last 10 — Chinese contemporary design has roared to life, leading to unique and culturally resonant architecture and striking visual arts. Beginning this week, this vibrant design will be on full display at the Portland Art Museum‘s “China Design Now” exhibition in Portland, Oregon, giving visitors a glimpse of China’s rapidly shifting design industries while providing them a good cross-section of the tectonic cultural shifts that have awakened that country’s creative energy in the 21st century.
From The Oregonian:
“China Design Now” will hurl visitors into the here and now of contemporary China, with all of its huge-scale cultural energy. The giant isn’t sleeping anymore. It’s wide awake and roaring. And “China Design Now” attempts to nail down the elusive contemporary moment of this restlessly moving target.
Posted in Art, China, Chinese Art, Culture, Museums
Tagged advertising, Art, China, china design now, chinese, design, exhibition, oregon, portland, portland art museum
Paint Work Takes Inspiration From Song Dynasty Porcelain
Lu Hao's one-off Ferrari incorporates many Chinese elements, from the jade start button to the cracked porcelain paint scheme
To build greater brand equity and strike a chord in the Chinese market, many companies have been known to create limited-edition “China only” versions of their products inspired by Chinese culture or history. Today, Ferrari announced its collaboration with the Chinese contemporary artist Lu Hao — “well known for his models of Beijing, his playfulness with architecture and geographical images in rapidly evolving modern China” (ArtZine) — on a one-of-a-kind China edition of the 599 GTB Fiorano (the regular model will be limited to a run of about 12 in China). The one-off edition by Lu will be auctioned off at a charity function in Beijing later this month.
Lu’s Ferrari features a unique trompe-l’œil paint job incorporating the faint green hue and distinctive cracked pattern of Ge Kiln porcelain from China’s Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279), but some of the most fascinating elements of the “China” edition are in the car’s interior. From Auto Express:
The China edition of Ferrari's 599 GTB Fiorano features ancient Chinese accents
The ignition button is carved from jade and insribed with the ancient Xiao Zhuan symbols for ‘engine start’, while other novel additions include a rev-counter marked with Chinese characters, a matching luggage set embroided with the route of the silk road – traditionally the most important trade routes in China – and an engraved plaque unique to each car.
Posted in Art, auction, Automobile, Business, China, Luxury
Tagged Art, beijing, China, china only, chinese, contemporary art, contemporary chinese art, contemporary chinese artist, exclusive, ferrari, ferrari 599 GTB, ferrari 599 GTB fiorano china, fiorano, lu hao
Pao Principle Study Shows That Luxury Market Has Less To Fear In The Next Year Than Expected
"Tiffany is King" in mainland China, according to Pao Principle. Tiffany opened boutiques in Beijing & Shanghai in 2006
With luxury retailers looking for any good news in a still-tough market, studies by several organizations in recent months have shown that things are a little less ghastly than expected, particularly in Asian and other emerging markets. The newest of these studies, carried out by business consulting firm Pao Principle, indicates that recent spending trends in mainland China should please luxury handbag, watch, and jewelry producers.
From Travel Agent Central:
According to…Pao Principle, almost 90 percent of individuals surveyed had bought a designer handbag in the past 12 months. Unsurprisingly, men accounted for luxury watch purchases at a ratio of almost two to one over women.
Out of those surveyed who had purchased fine jewelry, Tiffany was king, with almost a third of Mainland Chinese who had purchased fine jewelry in the past 12 month turning to the store for their wares. Necklaces were the accessories of choice, with “white gold” reigning supreme in overall jewelry purchases.
Posted in Business, China, Culture, Luxury
Tagged affluence, China, chinese, jewelry, Luxury, luxury market, pao principle, study, survey, tiffany, tiffany & co, wealth
Excerpts Of Chinese Art Blog Artron’s Interview With Zhang Xiaogang Shed Light On His New Exhibition, “The Records”
Zhang Xiaogang feels the art environment in Beijing is worlds away from that of New York
We recently profiled Chinese contemporary artist Zhang Xiaogang’s new exhibition in Beijing, which breaks dramatically from his earlier work by incorporating sculpture and mixed media pieces. Last week, China-based art site Artron (Ya Chang Art Network) sat down with Zhang to discuss the new direction his art is taking, and the ways that the rapidly-shifting Chinese culture affects his creative process as well as his views of the American and Chinese art worlds.
Ya Chang Art Network: What’s the basic idea behind this new exhibition?
Zhang Xiaogang: Actually, the idea is basically to “revise” a continuing exhibition. But this idea is one that I’ve paid pretty close attention to for several years, like I have with topics related to “memory.” The people’s lives are changing quickly, so now we’re facing our memory and our memory loss, which all results in a number of psychological reactions associated with these and other matters. So it seems that by creating pieces concerned with memory — since our lives are changing so fast, resulting in a constant loss of our memory and nostalgia, which begins at a very young age — it all comes back to how I was always concerned with the idea of memory, an idea that has concerned me even more in recent years.
In the past a series regarding “memory and starting to remember,” then a series about “inside and outside”, later became “amendment” in my new works — the new works are a deeper continuation of the old works. I hope to continue this theme, to a relatively deep degree, to see if there are any other possibilities. This is the basic idea [of this exhibition].
Posted in Art, auction, Business, China, Chinese Art, Culture
Tagged america, Art, bing lin, canvas, China, chinese, chinese contemporary art, contemporary art, installation, New York, oil painting, pace beijing, pace gallery, pace new york, painting, zhang xiaogang
Hong Qi (Red Flag) Limousines Driven In National Day Parade Provoke Speculation Among China Car Watchers
The newest Hong Qi limo, used in the National Day parade, features traditional design elements that will appeal to many in China (Photo: Xinhua)
This week, during China’s National Day parade, many viewers saw for the first time China’s first (and some would say only) luxury car brand — Hong Qi (Red Flag) — in action, carrying President Hu Jintao and Lieutenant General Fang Fenghui to Tian’anmen. For people unfamiliar with China’s exclusive home-grown luxury vehicle — generally reserved only for top leaders — what’s beneath the hood of Hong Qi’s newest model?
China Car Times takes a look:
Information on the cars used in this years National Day celebrations is thin on the ground, we have learned that they measure 6.4 meters long, 2.05 meters wide and are 1.72 meters high, and with power being delivered by a V12 engine. The cars were considered state secrets during their development and were all hand made by First Automobile Workers in Changchun.
Posted in Automobile, China, Culture, Luxury
Tagged car, changchun, China, chinese, design, factory, fang fenghui, first automobile workers, holiday, hong qi, hu jintao, limo, limousine, Luxury, national day, north china, parade, red flag, tian'anmen, v12
Growing Demand In China’s Interior, Other Asian Countries Should Counterbalance Tepid Consumption Elsewhere
Although Chinese consumers have shown a taste for foreign luxury brands, domestic labels will present stiff competition in coming years
As a result of the fast-paced development of China’s eastern coastline and special administrative regions, only recently have major luxury brands made it to the country’s vast interior region, where a number of second- and third-tier cities remain relative blank slates. Since so many companies are only reaching these areas now, the spread of luxury brands in China has become a regular news story. This has only intensified over the last year, as formerly free-spending Japanese and American customers have thought twice about luxury goods while emerging customers in places like the BRIC countries and relatively fast-growing economies like Vietnam become more regular (and brand-loyal) buyers. Nonetheless, the luxury sector is still experiencing only modest growth one year on from the onset of the global economic slowdown despite their best efforts at wooing new customers.
If many recent articles are correct, though, what we’ve seen over the last year — severe as it has been — should only prove to be a blip in the grand scheme of luxury revenues. From Financier Worldwide:
Sales of designer shoes, handbags, and beauty products have weathered the financial storm particularly well. At the end of August, French cosmetics company L’Oréal reported higher than expected profits of €1.37bn for H1 2009. In June, Hermès revealed it was farming crocodiles in Australia to feed demand for its coveted £4000 Birkin bag. Around the same time, Mulberry announced that its handbag sales had recovered, climbing 21 percent in the first 10 weeks of the new financial year. Shoe supplier Kurt Geiger, which operates in upmarket department stores across the UK, also reported double-digit growth in profits for the first five months of the year.
Bain & Company predicts that trading in the developed markets will remain tough for the rest of the year, with growth of around 1 percent in 2010 before a slow recovery. However, despite the recession slowing the pace of development in emerging markets, Bain believes that, as a consequence of increasing personal wealth, growth in global GDP, and rising tourism in Russia, China, India and Brazil, spending will surge between 20 percent and 35 percent over the next five years. This is expected to aid the recovery of the luxury goods sector.
Posted in Business, China, Economy, Fashion, Luxury
Tagged asia, asian, brands, brazil, China, chinese, consumer, customer, economic growth, Economics, Fashion, global economic crisis, india, Luxury, luxury goods, middle class, russia, spending, wealth