An article published in November 2011 in The Miami Herald questioned six art professionals on their views on global art trends. We summarise the main points from the article and supplement them with thoughts from the Art Radar team.

Collectors from BRIC are showing interest in collecting art and are playing an important role in today's global art scene.

BRIC next big thing

For Thom Collins, Director of Miami Art Museum, globalisation has turned the art world on its head. Collectors from emerging economies are not only pulling the art world away from the traditional center stage in the United States and Europe, but also attracting established American and European galleries to set up physical spaces in Asia, for example Gagosian, Ben Brown and White Cube in Hong Kong.

Click here to read the full article at The Miami Herald.

Collectors are buying from online art fairs. This image is from the VIP Art Fair, held in January 2011.

Galleries selling art at fairs, on Web

Lindsay Pollock, Editor-in-chief of Art in America magazine, believes art fairs have become “trade shows” that create a platform for galleries to meet and establish relationships with collectors from all over the world. Thanks to the Internet, this global base of collectors is now viewing works at online art fairs like VIP Art Fair and India Art Collective or purchasing from galleries which they have an in-person relationship with.

'Forever Lasting Love', 1988, a triptych oil painting by Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang sold for 79 million Hong Kong dollars at one of the two Sotheby’s Ullens Collection art auctions, held in 2011. The sale set a record for Chinese contemporary art at auction.

Collectors opening private museums

Christie’s International Contemporary Specialist Andrew Massad points out that nowadays, not only are collectors investing in blue-chip works which give them a sense of security, but also expressing interest in high quality works by living artists.

Here at Art Radar we have observed that, due to the absence of government-funded art institutions and museums, art collectors in Asia are opening private museums in an effort to bring their collections to the public. Recently inaugurated examples include The Salsali Private Museum in Dubai, UAE, True Color Museum in Suzhou, China, and Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in New Delhi, India.

True Color Museum (Suzhou, China), opened in 2008 by entrepreneur and collector Chen Hanxing, is one of many emerging private museums in China.

Artists more commercially-focused

According to gallery director Fredric Snitzer, while it is no longer possible for artists to create “anything new”, many are exploring the different mediums and techniques brought to them through the rapid and global spread of ideas. At the core of most artwork, however, he cannot see evidence of artists responding to any particular social or political issues.

One of the possible reasons for this, as Director and Curator at Los Angeles Nomadic Division, Shamim M. Momin explains, is that artists are busy “figuring out where things are going”. Despite attracting wider audiences, the art market explosion in the last decade has bought new challenges to artists. Momin is particularly concerned that market forces will pressure artists to create salable works.

Japanese photographer Ninagawa Mika collaborated a proprety developer in Hong Kong and created a Christmas Garden in a shopping mall in Hong Kong, 2011.

Japanese photographer Ninagawa Mika collaborated a proprety developer in Hong Kong to create 'Mikiki x Ninagawa Mika Christmas Garden' in a shopping mall in Hong Kong in 2011.

Artists think global and local

Maureen Sarro, Director of Fitzroy Gallery, notes the growth of art graduate programmes and galleries in the last decade. These newly trained artists break the traditional bond between artist and gallery and hop from one gallery to another for better terms. They take art as their life-long career and are willing to start showing at small galleries and establish their reputation over time.

Art graduates have also changed their practices. They are forming a complex network of communication and collaborating across borders and artists generally are now more engaged with artistic communities both locally and globally. Our team has noticed that many Asian artists are translating their knowledge of traditional craft into their works of art using contemporary concepts, such as those working with contemporary ink paintings.

The growth of art periodicals in Asia: more readers are interested in art writing. Image credit: Christopher Dewolf/CNNGo.

Increase in art periodicals and writing

The Art Radar team has been keenly observing the growth in art writing and criticism across the Asian region in recent years. In Hong Kong alone there are a number of new printed and online art magazines including, of course, this publication, Art Radar, as well as ArtMap, Framed, Pipeline and Raw. The online publication Planting Rice was recently founded in the Philippines and Indian art organisation FICA has been running international writing workshops since 2007, with their most recent workshop, Writing Ecologies, held near the end of 2011. And we are sure there are a ton more examples out there.

Art Radar to launch contemporary art trends series

The distinct viewpoints of these six art professionals highlighted in The Miami Herald do not, of course, represent a complete list of the trends apparent in the art world today, but we think they make a great starting point for discussion. In fact, over the next two months, we will be publishing a series of posts identifying and exploring these and other recent trends in greater depth.

Do you agree with what these art professionals have said? Are these trends new to you or already old hat? Do you have your own view on these trends? Leave a comment below.


Related Topics: trends in contemporary art, Asia expands, art market watch

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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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