Astronomical Prices Paid For Historical And Quality Pieces In Recent Asian Auctions Defies Global Economic Woes As More Chinese Collectors Get In The Game
Since good works by historical artists like Yue Minjun are becoming more scarce, Chinese collectors are expected to continue to flex their muscles in upcoming auctions of Chinese contemporary art
Hardly any industry has escaped the global economic slowdown unscathed, and art is no exception, but recent auction results indicate that the art market — or at least pockets of the art market — are coming back to life. As the Wall Street Journal reports today, in some recent auctions some pieces have sold for exponentially more than their estimates, surprising collectors and market analysts alike. The common bond shared by most of these pieces? They were Chinese — or, if not Chinese, Asian:
Last week, the longest string of Asian art sales since the Zodiac clock dispute was held in the U.S.—and amid the most entrenched art-market recession in nearly two decades, the auction prices of many more than a handful of pieces went through the roof. At the Sotheby’s sale of works from the collection of Arthur M. Sackler, for example, the auctioneer sang out fast-rising numbers, first in English, then Chinese, as if he were rising in the elevator of some fantastically tall Hong Kong skyscraper.
The emergence of the New Chinese Collector is a subject we’ve followed pretty much since our inception, and is a subject that is endlessly fascinating simply because it’s such a new phenomenon. While, technically, Chinese people have collected art for a few thousand years — with the exception of a few Mao-era decades where the practice was virtually nonexistent but for a few elite art lovers here and there — the New Chinese Collector has only existed for around 20 years, and arguably even less than that. This collector base was out in full force in recent auctions of Chinese and other Asian art — in New York, London and Hong Kong — and the motivation, desire and intensity of the Chinese collector is becoming somewhat legendary right before our eyes.
Posted in Art, auction, Business, China, Chinese Art, Culture, Economy, Investment, Museums
Tagged ai weiwei, alexandra peers, art collectors, asia, asia week, asian, bronze, China, chinese, Chinese Art, chinese art collectors, chinese contemporary art, collector, contemporary chinese art, east asia, Economics, globalization, hai bo, hong kong, Investment, j. paul getty museum, London, Luxury, moma, new chinese collector, New York, phillips de pury, qing dynasty, sackler, sotheby's, wall street journal, wealth, yue minjun, zhou dynasty, zodiac
Parallel Between China’s Art Market And The Broader Economy
Zhang Dali, Forbidden City: 1998. MOMA Collection.
The New York Times published an interesting story yesterday about the connection between buyer trends and scarcity in recent art auctions. Technically, scarcity has always played a part in buyers’ habits, obviously, as dead artists usually sell for more than those with a pulse. But the reporter remarked that scarcity is being pushed along quite rapidly in some markets, more than in others. At a recent sale of antiquities, the popularity of Chinese works reflects the rising belief among many collectors that — from Shang Dynasty pottery to important historical contemporary artists from 1989-1999 — the Chinese market exhibits all of the hallmarks of a solid global art market: Scarcity (driven by increased domestic buying and slower output by living artists), outpacing inflation, and quality (established by more high profile acqusitions). So as the market for antiquities continues to roll along, the increased attention to contemporary pieces should ultimately benefit the whole Chinese art market.
Posted in Art, China, Chinese Art, Investment, Museums
Tagged acquisitions, Art, China, Chinese Art, contemporary art, fund, getty, hai bo, hedge, Investment, moma, zhang dali
Recent Acquisitions by Museums and More Interest From Local Collectors Running in Parallel
Wang Qingsong - Can I Cooperate With You?, 2000
While some art critics only see doom and gloom ahead for art markets around the world, it looks like there are pockets of good news for a handful of contemporary artists and art buffs.
Sichuan Province’s Chongqing News recently did a story on the Chinese art market , through the lens of how the global economic slowdown has brought down the price of nearly everything in China, from real estate to automobiles, and how this dive in prices has extended even to the realm of contemporary works of art. At this moment, the consensus seems to be: If you have the money, you might as well buy as much of this stuff as you can now, since
prices are going down (though [not as much] for the big names), and it could be a good time to invest.
Posted in Art, Business, China, Chinese Art, Culture, Investment, Luxury, Museums
Tagged Art, auction, China, Chinese Art, chongqing, getty, getty museum, hong kong, j. paul getty museum, los angeles, moma, news, sotheby's