CHINESE ART MARKET
Larry Warsh of AWAsia in New York, a private organisation which provides Chinese contemporary art sourcing and curatorial services to global institutions such as MOMA and the Getty Museum, talks about his take on the outlook for the Chinese art market on Arttactic’s newly-launched free podcast service.
Warsh’s expertise lies in Chinese painting and photography by the first generation of historically important Chinese artists who came to prominence between 1989 and 1999.
Topics discussed include:
- the evolution of US interest in Chinese art – Americans ‘came late to the party’, Christopher Phillips’ show at ICP ‘Past Present Future’ 2004-5 was the start
- why the Cynical Realists appealed to the West
- the trend for major US institutions (MOMA, Getty) to buy and show global art, Chinese art and the upcoming show at MOMA by Song Dong summer 2009
- recommended books about Chinese art
- weaknesses of Chinese art scene (as yet undeveloped education, infrastructure and curatorial skills)
- opportunities in the market – Chinese photography
The promotion of Chinese art is Warsh’s self-confessed mission so it is not surprising that the bulk of the interview claims great investment opportunities for selected Chinese artists. He suggests that scarcity of supply (he says there are only 30-40 historically important contemporary artists) and the future potential of the Chinese buyer base (favourable demographics, population size and a growing interest in contemporary art) means that prices are bound to rise.
Asked why the top auction houses seem to be featuring less Chinese art in their recent sales, Warsh explains that he sees this as evidence of the scarcity of supply of quality Chinese art rather than lack of demand.
We are not quite convinced by this argument. If supply is scarce but the demand still exists, then the pieces that have been coming to the market recently would have made heady prices but instead they have fallen along with other art categories and asset classes. In Hong Kong’s Spring sales 2009 works by Zhang Huan failed to sell at Sotheby’s and at Christe’s a Cai Guo Qiang edition ‘Kaleidoscope Time Tunnel’ and a Yue Min Jun lot were passed in.
No matter, we like controversial opinions. Arttactic promises more podcasts with ‘key’ figures so we look forward to hearing a variety of views. To listen to this one go to ArtTactic Podcasts and search for Larry Warsh May 22 2009.
Unfortunately we cannot give you a direct page link – we hope that ArtTactic will iron out this wrinkle in its promising new service.
- Newslink round up Hong Kong art fair Art HK o9 – May 2009
- Sneak a peak at the collection and private residence of dealer Pearl Lam – video interview – Mar 2009
- Mei Moses index founder plans Chinese version, optimistic about Chinese art – Mar 2009
- What are the latest trends in Chinese art? Who are the top two emerging artists? – video interview Melissa Chiu – Feb 2009
- Domestic demand in freefall at Chinese art auctions – China Daily – Nov 2008
- Book: Chinese Contemporary Art 7 Things You Should Know – Oct 2008