The spring of 2014 was extremely busy for Chinese art practitioners. The "International Forum on the Reality and Future of the Chinese Art Market" co-sponsored by the China Auction Industry Association and Artnet of the United States has attracted widespread attention in New York. The executives of auction houses, media, and institutions had in-depth exchanges and discussed the positioning of Chinese art in the global market and the opportunities and development of the Chinese art market on a global scale.
At the same time, at the TEFAF European Art Fair, the largest art event in Europe, and the Armory Art Fair in New York, a number of Chinese galleries and artists have joined forces to create the largest collective exhibition of Chinese art.
From ancient art to modern and contemporary, from auctions, galleries to artists, the entire Chinese art industry began to attack overseas markets in three lines at the beginning of 2014. Industry insiders believe that after more than ten years of rapid development and adjustment, the Chinese art market is now firmly established as the world’s second largest market, but the Chinese art market’s global voice is still seriously lacking. Those who choose to take the initiative to let the world understand the Chinese art market are unwilling to be swayed by Europe and the United States. It also highlights the efforts of practitioners in the Chinese art market to seek global influence.
Photography giants gather in New York
Seeking a position in the Chinese market
In mid-March, the "Reality and Future of the Chinese Art Market" International Forum co-sponsored by the China Auction Industry Association and Artnet of the United States opened. The forum guests were full of guests, including the French Auction Association, the National Association of Auctioneers, the Asian Society of America, and Beijing The most important institutions in the global art market such as the Gallery Association, Christie’s, Sotheby’s [Weibo], China Guardian, Beijing Council, Metropolitan Museum, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Modifu Art Group, Ullens Art Center, etc. Be there to participate. Zhang Yanhua, President of the China Auctions Association, Compast, CEO of the American Auction Association, and Osner, Chairman of the French Auction Association, all made keynote speeches, expressing their views on the role and responsibilities of the Chinese art market in the context of globalization.
The guests at the meeting focused on the four topics of "Chinese Art Market in Emerging Economies", "Chinese Art Demand and Art Financial Trends", "Development of Chinese Contemporary Art", and "The Prospect of China's Auction Market from an International Perspective" Discussed. Shared the achievements of the Chinese art market in the past two decades, and discussed the opportunities and challenges faced by the Chinese art market under the background of globalization, and tried to jointly promote the understanding and integration of the Eastern and Western art markets, and jointly explore the future art market New growth and new strategies. This forum also promoted the establishment of the "International Auction Alliance".
Li Weidong, secretary general of the China Photography Association, told the media that the forum announced that China has become a core component of the international art market, and that Chinese art market practitioners will also reposition themselves among their international counterparts. This forum is not only a new starting point for the Chinese art market, but also a sign that the Chinese art market has been listed as the three major global art trading centers alongside New York in the United States and Paris in Europe.
Industry observers told reporters that while the Chinese art market has become one of the world's largest markets for many years, the Chinese art industry has not been recognized and respected by international counterparts. In 2013, mainstream media in Europe and the United States, such as the "New York Times", questioned the results of Guardian Poly’s auctions and reported prejudices about the Chinese art market. This time, practitioners in the Chinese art industry chose to take the initiative to make a collective appearance at the European and American Art Center in New York. While Chinese collectors have become the most important group of buyers in the world art market, domestic art market practitioners have chosen to take the initiative to fight against foreign auction giants and grab the right to speak in the market.
Chinese galleries collectively appear in the Armory
Completely present the current situation of domestic contemporary art
While the Chinese auction giants collectively voiced the voice of the Chinese auction industry at the Cross Hotel in Manhattan, New York, the Chinese gallery industry made its first large-scale appearance at Pier 94 on the other side of Manhattan. The theme of the Armory Focus Exhibition is "Focus: China", highlighting the works of more than 30 artists from the 85th New Wave period to the recent new generation. These works and galleries show the vitality of Chinese contemporary art to colleagues and audiences in Europe and the United States. The US "Art News" commented on this: "This is the first exhibition to fully present the current state of Chinese contemporary art in the United States since 2000."
The participating galleries include 16 Chinese galleries including ShanghART Gallery, Beijing Commune, Beijing Art Gate Gallery, Aye Gallery, etc., which in general brought a side of Chinese contemporary art that is not familiar to the West. Without the "Chinese symbols" familiar to Westerners such as "Political Pop" and "Cynical Realism", this time "Focus: China" brings more contemporary art in the eyes of Chinese people. Installations, videos, and performance art come in various forms, and indeed many foreign audiences see a different contemporary China.
"Focus: China" curator and director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Tian Feiyu, told the media that the focus exhibition of domestic galleries' large-scale appearance in the Armory is considered to be "returned by all expectations." In recent years, Chinese collectors have been in the world art market. The purchasing power of the above has attracted the attention of the world, and Chinese contemporary art works have repeatedly set new highs, and they have long become the most expensive collectibles in terms of price. However, many European and American audiences only know many high-priced auction records and do not have an intuitive perceptual understanding of the Chinese market. This time China has become the theme of the Armory Focus Exhibition. On the one hand, it opened a window to European and American industries and audiences, displaying the best contemporary art works in the Chinese market, and telling European and American audiences "the aesthetic tendency of people on the other side of the earth"; on the other hand On the one hand, the European and American markets can also use this to know what works can achieve good sales in China, which is conducive to entering an already highly internationalized Chinese market.
TEFAF shines in China
Art consumption has become the hottest topic
China’s auction industry and contemporary gallery industry are actively demonstrating the power of Chinese art market practitioners in New York, USA, while another important part of the domestic art world, antique dealers and traditional galleries, have set their sights on the famous TEFAF (European Art Fair). This time TEFAF attaches great importance to exhibitors from China. Not only did they provide a large exhibition area to attract Chinese buyers in Europe, some old European galleries put Chinese art in the most important position of the exhibition hall, and even purchased them on site. Import Chinese art from some European collectors.
Fu Haiying, general manager of Shanghai Duoyun Art Gallery, who participated in TEFAF for the fifth time, told reporters that there are two differences between this exhibition and the past: The first is that buyers from China no longer only pay attention to Chinese antique artworks in Europe. "Remains Beads", there is also great interest in ancient European art. The second is that some gallery practitioners in mainland China pay more attention to the exhibition, sales, logistics, customs declaration and other links of their foreign counterparts. Both of these links indicate the degree of sensitivity of the Chinese mainland's primary market to the new policies of the bonded zone. Under the current situation that the bonded zone cannot sell Chinese antiques for the time being, it is possible to explore the possibility of selling overseas antiques in the free trade zone.
Qian Youshu, one of the curators of the Shanghai Contemporary Art Exhibition, told reporters that China has entered the era of art consumption, which has now become the consensus of the domestic gallery industry and art fair organizations, and the domestic auction industry dominates the market. The current situation makes the gallery industry extremely enthusiastic about promoting art consumption. In the primary market where the sales of mid-to-high-end works have encountered bottlenecks, they have aimed their development direction at the art consumer market. Judging from the works of the Chinese exhibitors of TEFAF this time, China’s primary market is expected to change the embarrassing situation currently attached to the secondary market as people’s consumption habits and tastes improve. This not only requires further support from national policies, but also depends on the market. The subject's own transformation.