Conflicting views about Chinese impact on art market

CHINA ART MARKET TRENDS ART COLLECTORS

A recent article published on English.news.cn by the Xinhua News Agency has highlighted the emergence of Chinese mainland buyers of high-priced modern and contemporary Western art.

The article reports that top art dealers and auctioneers in the West have seen their high profile works go to mainland collectors, many of whom are newly rich entrepreneurs. A number of these art professionals believe China has the potential to become a huge market for Western art.

Pablo Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves and Bust (1932) was recently sold at a Christie's sale in New York for a record $106.4 million. It is believed to have been purchased by a Chinese collector.

Pablo Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves and Bust (1932) was recently sold at a Christie's sale in New York for a record $106.4 million. It is believed to have been purchased by a Chinese collector.

“I think the potential for Western art in China is huge, just massive. There have been a very few people buying impressionist modern paintings since 2004 and 2005 but suddenly, since last year, there has been almost a surge.” Ken Yeh, chairman of Christie’s Asia in Hong Kong (as quoted on English.new.cn)

“Mei Jianping, professor of finance at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, Beijing… believes what is happing is similar to the Japanese art spending spree in the late 1980s, which saw the impressionist art index increase by more than 200 percent.” English.new.cn

“To capture this interest in art,” the article mentions, “China may actually be getting its own first traded art fund. The Shenzhen Culture Equity Exchange is later this year expected to launch one. It will be open to investors who want an alternative to investing in individual works of art.” Many believe these new Chinese buyers are making “sensible investment decisions and not bumping up prices by paying silly money.”

“They are buying art because they like it but also for investment. If they spend $1m, $2m or $10m for a painting they want to make sure they will get a return five, six, seven years down the road.” Ken Yeh, Christie’s (as quoted on English.new.cn)

Of course, as the article relates, there are some art professionals that believe this trend is pure hype.

“I think there may actually be more of a market right now for major works in the Flemish part of Belgium than in the whole of China. I think mainland buying of significant Western art is a long way off.” Ben Brown, owner of Ben Brown Fine Arts (as quoted on English.new.cn)

Brown believes that this trend will only benefit auction houses where prices for high profile art are being pushed up by Chinese underbidders.

Read the full article here.

KN

Related Topics: collectors, business of art, market watch

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Comments

Conflicting views about Chinese impact on art market — 1 Comment

  1. Auction houses do seem to be some of the main benefactors of Chinese collectors, as Chinese collectors have made Hong Kong a hub for jewelry as well as wine auctions.

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