Contemporary art market in Asia now bigger than US for first time says Artprice

ASIAN ART MARKET

Visitors enter a Sotheby's auction room in Hong Kong on October 6, 2008 of modern and contemporary art. MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images

Visitors enter a Sotheby's auction room in Hong Kong for a sale of modern and contemporary art on October 6, 2008.

For the first time ever, the total auction revenue from “contemporary art in Asia” is greater than the total of the United States artprice reports. The statistics are collected from a 12-month period spanning from July 2008 to June 2009. Asia generated €130 million versus the United States’ €123 million. China is the highest gainer out of this trend, having generated €95 million from contemporary art during the same period.  According to the report, this means China is continuing to “hold on to its third place global geographical art auction revenue ranking.”

The establishment of foreign auction houses such as Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Bonhams in Hong Kong, in combination with the financial strength of Hong Kong and Shanghai are to be accredited for China’s position. For those who are looking to begin collecting Asian art, this does not mean that the price of contemporary Chinese art is back up to its sky-high prices of a couple of years ago. Artprice’s report tell us that in the first half of 2008 the average price of contemporary works sold in China was $65,500, however, in the first half of 2009, this average dropped to $26,800.

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