ASIAN AUCTION HOUSES CHINESE ART MARKET REVENUE

Apparently oblivious to the recession, the Chinese art market posted its best-ever six-month auction earnings in the second half of 2009. Reflecting the rising importance of the Middle Kingdom in the world economy, China’s auction houses are claiming more and more spots in the world’s top 10 by revenue. Three of them appear in the Artprice Contemporary Art Market 2009/2010 Annual Report rankings.

Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Laksono Agung at a Poly Auction opening night in Jakarta in September 2007. Image taken from 保利拍卖.net.

Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Laksono Agung at a Poly Auction opening night in Jakarta in September 2007. Image taken from 保利拍卖.net.

Click here to read the Artprice Contemporary Art Market 2009/2010 Annual Report for yourself (in PDF format), all 76 pages of it. See page 10 for the auction house listings.

China Guardian Auctions sneaks in at number 4 worldwide with €13.9 million revenue in 2009/2010. Set up in 1993, the company is headquartered in Beijing and has been active on the repatriation front, purchasing rare pieces of Chinese calligraphy and donating them to mainland museums. Run by Guizhou native Wang Yannan, it specialises in Chinese art, with a particular focus on oil paintings, calligraphy and porcelain.

Poly Group, a trade and real estate conglomerate, opened a subsidiary devoted to art and culture in 2005. Since then, Poly International Auction has quickly become one of the best-known auction houses in China, grossing €13.6 million in 2009/2010, the fifth-highest revenue generated worldwide. Headquartered in Beijing, it specialises in contemporary Chinese art and since 2007 has been active in ceramics and rare books.

Dai Ronghua, 'Conveying Love with a Red Leaf' (detail), antique-glazed vase, China Guardian Spring Auction 2010, Beijing, China. Image taken from cguardian.com.

Dai Ronghua, 'Conveying Love with a Red Leaf' (detail), antique-glazed vase, China Guardian Spring Auction 2010, Beijing, China. Image taken from cguardian.com.

Shanghai Hosane Auction, ranking number 8 worldwide with €5.4 million revenue in 2009/2010, has a smaller Chinese presence than Poly Group or China Guardian. With a branch office in Hanover, Germany, it has strong ties to Europe. Still active in the European market, it shifted its head office to China in the early 1990s. It specialises in traditional Chinese art, with a focus on painting and calligraphy, oil painting and sculpture.

Wu Guanzhong, ‘Early Spring in the Purple Bamboo Garden’, 1973, oil on canvas, 60 x 81 cm, Hosane 2010 Fall Auction, Beijing, China. Image taken from hosane.com.

Wu Guanzhong, ‘Early Spring in the Purple Bamboo Garden’, 1973, oil on canvas, 60 x 81 cm, Hosane 2010 Fall Auction, Beijing, China. Image taken from hosane.com.

The other Asian auction houses included in the Artprice’s top ten are: Ravenel Art Group (Taiwan, ranked 6th); Borobudur Auction (Singapore, ranked 7th); Seoul Auction (Korea, ranked 10th).

CCD/KN

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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