Tag Archives: italy

Chinese Art Critic Li Xianting: Collecting Chinese Contemporary Art Is A Kind Of “Cultural Creation”

“Godfather Of Chinese Contemporary Art” Advocates Collections Develop To Ensure Art Can Be Seen In China

"The Godfather of Chinese contemporary art," Li Xianting (Photo: ArtZine China)

"The Godfather of Chinese contemporary art," Li Xianting (Photo: ArtZine China)

At recent events like the Global Collecting Forum and the Songzhuang Art Festival’s Conference of Collectors of Chinese Contemporary Art, a major topic of discussion among Chinese scholars and art critics has been the need for Chinese collectors of contemporary art (and Chinese museums and galleries) to acquire more top-quality pieces while educating the public on the history, subject matter, figures and current state of Chinese contemporary art.

At the Songzhuang Festival, Chinese art critic Li Xianting — who has been called the “Godfather of Chinese Contemporary Art” — gave a speech in which he said collecting Chinese contemporary art is a form of “cultural creation” which requires the urgent attention of Chinese collectors. Since the breakout of Chinese contemporary art in the late 1970s and its development over the years, the majority of major works of art have been acquired by Western collectors, and although that is changing gradually as Chinese buyers amass their own collections, Li still sees disequilibrium in the global marketplace. By building collections of Chinese contemporary art now, and continuing to patronize Chinese artists in the same way the Medici family did in Renaissance-era Italy, Li feels that Chinese art can reach the Chinese people themselves by building a new form of aesthetic education while stemming the flow of artwork out of the country.

Artxun (Chinese) posted the entirety of Li’s speech today. Translation of excerpts by ChinaLuxCultureBiz team:

Collection is a kind of cultural creation, and in collecting contemporary art one must face value standards, but value standards in a progressing era are of a very uncertain ideological form, and collectors — through their behavior — have to confirm whether they’re actually qualified to become the builders of value standards in the era in which we live. Every major collector who made an important contribution to art history, such as the Renaissance-era Medici family or the Guggenheims, Ludwig II…the famous American and Italian Guggenheim museums, and Germany’s Ludwig Museum — named after these collectors — because of these people and places collecting artwork, some of these works of art have become critical elements of art history.

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China And Italy Set Up Cultural Partnership

Literary Giant Mo Yan Becomes The Brand Ambassador For Beijing/Lazio Cultural Exchange Partnership, Promoting Chinese And Italian Tourism

Chinese author Mo Yan. Photo © Johannes Kolfhaus

Chinese author Mo Yan. Photo © Johannes Kolfhaus

The respected Chinese author Mo Yan has taken on the role of brand ambassador for a new cultural partnership between Beijing and the Lazio region of Italy, promoting stronger cultural ties between the two governments and attracting more travel from tourists in both regions. Mo, who traveled to Italy to create the documentary “Roman Walks: Travel Diary of Mo Yan,” is well-known in China and the West for two of his novels on which the film Red Sorghum was based, and is widely regarded as one of the country’s greatest literary voices. As Zhang Lei writes, Claudio Mancini, president of Lazio Tourism Board, felt that Mo would be a better “face” for the cultural partnership as he brings the perspective of a Chinese intellectual, and “both Rome and Beijing have ancient cultures.” With this appointment, it will be interesting to see if other world cities create more cultural exchange partnerships as a result.

Zhang goes on to note, the huge population and increasing tourist base of China offers huge opportunities for European travel centers, since only about 5% of the Chinese who traveled abroad last year went to Europe. If only 10% went to Europe, travel operators could expect huge revenues even if other tourists cut back:

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Gucci Plans 2-4 More China Stores This Year

Company Predicts Continued Growth Throughout The Mainland In Coming Years, Despite Continuing Global Recession

Gucci opened its 28th China location this weekend; the company sees China as a cornerstone of its ongoing global strategy

Gucci opened its 28th China location this weekend; the company sees China as a cornerstone of its ongoing global strategy

We have written extensively over the past few months about western luxury brands continuing to grow in China despite difficulties in their traditional markets — North America, Europe, and Japan — and how second and third-tier cities are key to  these luxury brands’ China strategies. This week, Gucci announced plans to open 2-4 more new China locations by the end of 2009 — while this may sound like a pretty insignificant number, given the size of the country, in these slower economic times it is big news. Currently, the brand has 28 locations in China — with their newest one opening this weekend — and Gucci appears undeterred in their growth plan by uncertainty in the global economy, as the company sees China as poised to lead future luxury consumption.

The Guardian posts this week on the company’s long-term China strategy, which sees the company projecting upwards of 40 stores within the next few years, as it scales back its presence in slowing developed markets and focuses more intently on cracking (and sustaining a presence in) China:

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Haute Couture: Beijing Calling

Beijing Designers Working Overtime To Make China’s Capital One Of The World’s Top Fashion Destinations

coutureFashion designers in Beijing are working hard to supplant Hong Kong and Shanghai as the country’s top fashion destination, with over 200 designers deeming their collections haute couture in the last decade alone. As Chinese designers become more focused on creating “China Style,” and less concerned about following Western trends, the push for a signature Chinese style will continue to create internal competition, causing the endogenous change necessary for a national style to emerge. As was the case in Japan and Korea, where domestic designers took decades to find their voice, China’s fashion designers need time as well as their innate competitiveness to develop a more global style, which can then become an influential force at fashion shows around the world.

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