TOP ASIAN CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS
In January this year, we published the article, “Top 17 Asian artists 2009: Art Radar’s most-searched artists“, listing Art Radar Asia‘s most searched for artists to the end of 2009. This was so popular with our readers that we have decided to publish these results again. This list below highlights artists searched for between 30 June 2009 to 30 June 2010.
Art Radar Asia receives an average of 27,000 page views a month. Our readers come to us in various ways: via links from other websites, from Twitter, facebook and other social media, from our email newsletter, from word of mouth referrals and, of course, via search engines.
Many readers find us by typing a specific artist name into Google or another search engine and finding a story written or image published by Art Radar Asia. Our analytics package tracks these search terms for us and we thought you might be interested in this data, too. The search terms used by readers when finding each artist are varied. For example, common search terms recorded for Japanese artist Takashi Murakami included: “takashi murakami”, “murakami”, “murakami takashi”, “takashi murakami art” and “takeshi murakami”.
Art Radar Asia‘s 20 most searched artists – the list
We can’t claim that this list is a reliable proxy for the most-searched Asian artists on the Internet overall (take a look at our notes at the bottom of this article). However, we do think the list throws up some fascinating data, particularly when compared with the 2009 results.
- Takashi Murakami – male Japanese anime painter and sculptor – 36,086 searches (34,000, December 2009)
- Shirin Neshat – female Iranian photographer – 4,532 searches (2,200, December 2009)
- Anish Kapoor – male British-Indian sculptor – 4,246 searches (3,500, December 2009)
- Marina Abramović – female New York-based Serbian performance artist – 3,092 searches (not listed, December 2009)
- Yoshitaka Amano – male Japanese anime artist – 829 searches (460, December 2009)
- Cao Fei – female Chinese photographer and new media artist – 672 searches
- Terence Koh – male Canadian-Chinese photographer, installation and multimedia artist – 634 searches
- I Nyoman Masriadi – male Indonesian painter – 625 searches
- AES+F – Russian photography and video collective – 521 searches
- Hiroshi Sugimoto – male Japanese photographer – 503 seaches
- Subodh Gupta – male Indian painter, installation artist – 417 searches
- Ori Gersht – male Israeli photographer – 408 searches
- Ronald Ventura – male Filipino painter – 393 searches
- Farhad Ahrarnia – male Iranian thread artist – 377 searches
- Farhard Moshiri – male Iranian painter – 363 searches
- Jitish Kallat – male Indian painter – 329 searches
- Gao Xingjian – male Chinese-French ink artist – 301 searches
- Bharti Kher – female Indian-British painter, sculptor and installation artist – 270 searches
- Shahzia Sikander – female Pakistani miniaturist – 264 searches
- Zhang Huan – male Chinese performance artist – 237 searches
How has the top 5 changed?
As with the last list, published at the end of 2009, Takashi Murakami is still holding the title spot with more than 36,000 searches. This is compared with 34,000 in 2009’s list. Shirin Neshat and Anish Kapoor have switched places since the previous list, although the difference between their numbers is somewhat insignificant. Yoshitaka Amano is new to the top 5, moving up to 5th place from 6th place in 2009, perhaps due to the 2010 announcement that he has established a film production company called Studio Deva Loka, in addition to directing a 3D anime named Zan. These announcements followed a small solo tour of his artwork. Marina Abramović has surged into the top 5 this time around, particularly notable as she did not appear on the 2009 list. This is most likely due to her 2010 MoMA exhibition, “Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present”.
How has the list changed since it was first published?
The following artists have returned since the 2009 list was published, but many have moved up or down by one or two places: Cao Fei (4, 2009); I Nyoman Masriadi (5, 2009); Ori Gersht (7, 2009); Terence Koh (8, 2009); AES+F (9, 2009); Ronald Ventura (10, 2009); Hiroshi Sugimoto (11, 2009); Farhad Moshiri (12, 2009); Subodh Gupta (13, 2009); Farhard Moshiri (12, 2009) ; Farhad Ahrarnia (14, 2009); Gao Xingjian (15, 2009); Jitish Kallat (16, 2009).
There are some new additions: Marina Abramović, perhaps due to her 2010 MoMA exhibition, “Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present”; Shahzia Sikander, whose medium has recently become popular with collectors and critics and who has herself surged into prominence with a win at ART HK 10 ; Bharti Kher, whose works are currently auctioning for large sums; and Zhang Huan, who has had a number of permanent sculptures installed in US cities this year, and whose company designed the permanent public sculpture for the US pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
Only Chinese ink artist Wucius Wong doesn’t reappear. His surge in popularity in 2009 may have been due to the retrospective exhibition, “Myriad Visions of Wucius Wong“, at The Art Institute of Chicago.
Preferred media of most-searched artists: miniatures and performance art rising in popularity
Most of the arists work in various media but in this list we have tagged them with the media they are best known for. Six of the artists are known primarily for painting, compared with only five in the 2009 list, and once again, this list is dominated by photographers, new media artists and sculptors. Miniature painting and performance art seem to be new topics of interest for readers.
Most of the artists were born in the 1960s and 1970s, as you would expect for a contemporary art website.
Interestingly, Shirin Neshat (Iranian photographer), Anish Kapoor (British Indian sculptor), Marina Abramović (Serbian performance artist), Yoshitaka Amano (Japanese anime), all born before 1960, were listed as number 2, 3, 4 and 5 respectively. Of course, due to their age and time spent working in the arts, they each have large bodies of work which are consistently being exhibited, collected and discussed.
male 14 (13, 2009); female 5 (3, 2009); mixed collective 1 (1, 2009)
In the year to June 2010, there were more female artists on the list though men still dominated (approx. 75 percent). Those female artists who were on both lists appeared higher up this year than last.
Breakdown of artist nationalities
Chinese 4 (4, 2009); Indian 4 (4, 2009); Iranian 3 (3, 2009); Japanese 3 (3, 2009); Serbian 1 (not listed, 2009); Israeli 1 (1, 2009); Indonesian (1, 2009); Filipino (1, 2009); Russian (1, 2009)
As you can see, this result is almost identical to the previous result, with the edition of one Serbian artist (Marina Abramović, Serbian performance artist). Once again, artists from China and India are among the most searched nationality, despite fears the Indian art market would be slow to recover after the 2008-2009 global art market turndown.
This list is not a reliable proxy for the most-searched artists on the internet overall. Here is why: If we have not written a story on or tagged this artist, the search engines will not bring us traffic for this search term and it won’t appear on our traffic analysis stats page. As we have only been up for 18 months it is quite possible that we have not yet covered some higly-searched artists. And even if we have referenced an artist on our site and the artist is highly-searched, the searcher will not come to us unless we have a good page ranking for the story on the search engine. For example if the story is, say, after page 4 of the search engine results, the searcher probably won’t find our story and will not appear in our stats. Despite these limitations the data is likely to be a reliable indicator for certain trends. Finally even if we have a story and the story is well-ranked, it may be that other stories on the same page are more alluring than ours and readers do not find their way to us.
- Pakistani American artist Shahzia Sikander impresses judges of SCMP|ART FUTURES at ART HK 10 – June 2010 – some great images of her work
- Peabody Essex Museum loaned 3 giants of contemporary and modern Indian art: Anish Kapoor, Francis Newton Souza, Paritosh Sen – June 2010 – discusses works loaned from the Ambani Collection
- Murakami’s Geisai Miami cancelled, Geisai Taiwan debuts this summer – October 2009 – Miami ditched for biannual Geisai art fair in favour of Taiwan
- Marina Ambrovic to perform at MoMA 2010 – video interview at Armory – August 2009 – an insightful interview with the artist herself
- Manga, ink and new generation Chinese – Top 10 shows in Hong Kong September 2008 part 1 – Saatchi Online – September 2008 – contains some information on Yoshitaka Amano