The art market analysis of China


When a painting by Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci was sold for an enormous 450 million dollars, many people in the art market thought that the buyer had to be Chinese.  Eventually, the mystery buyer was a rich Saudi-Arabian royal.  Despite the mystery buyer of the da Vinci painting not being Chinese, the painting was eventually taken to Hong Kong before it was auctioned off. So, the Chinese market is growing more and more important and is becoming the core of the international art market.

This article will showcase the role of Chinese consumers, the highlights, and the most important developments of the Chinese art market. In other words, in this article, you will find a complete analysis of the Chinese art market.

The role of Chinese consumers

As mentioned earlier the mystery buyer wasn’t Chinese, but this article will explain that Chinese consumers still have a big role in the global art market. So, in what kind of style of art are Chinese consumers interested?

Firstly, we have rare classics. By this, I mean creations of famous artists such as van Gogh, da Vinci, and Picasso. Chinese art lovers absolutely adore their work. But I must mention that these rare classics of well-known artists are very difficult to find because these masterpieces are usually owned by national museums. Hence, why classics of van Gogh are being sold for record prices.

‘’The recent record price for a da Vinci is one more proof that blue chip fine art is big business and a great, unique way of investing where the value of your investment is only likely to appreciate,” said Johnny Hon, chairman of venture capital firm The Global Group and an art investor.

Chinese classics

Secondly, next to masterpieces of da Vinci, Picasso, and van Gogh, Chinese big-spenders are also interested in artworks of their own heritage. Surprising or expected? Of course, Chinese art consumers are interested in their own Chinese antiques.

 Contemporary art

And finally, Chinese buyers also have an interest in contemporary art. They buy these artworks of unknown artists in the hope they can later resell the artwork for a much higher price and thus can make a profit out of it. So, you can say that buying artwork also is a smart investment. But this is definitely a bit tricky because the value of an artwork is very dependent on the demand of consumers and of the opinion of art experts. Therefore, the value of artwork could easily drop. And buyers will not make a profit at all.

A luxury car, some nice jewelry, or an apartment, all these things have an expensive price tag. So how much cost a piece of art? That’s more difficult to decide, isn’t it? A painting can be worth one hundred dollars for one person, while another is willing to buy it for one million dollars.

It’s already difficult to set up a price for a piece of art but deciding the value of contemporary art is even harder. For example, Singapore artist Yeoh Wee Hwee makes sculptures of cheap material that will not last. In Western counties, this may not be an issue but in Asia and in particular, for Chinese buyers, it definitely is. Chinese buyers are searching for a good investment when it comes to Contemporary art. So, for Yeoh Wee Hwee it is a difficult task to sell her sculptures in Asia. “In the U.K., that question never comes up, but in Asia and China, I get questions over why the material I use doesn’t last,” Yeoh Wee Hwee told CNBC.

Chinese art market developments

Did you know that China has the third-largest art market in the entire world? In 2017 China’s art market accounts for 20 percent of total sales in the 57 dollars billion global sectors. But that wasn’t china’s record, in 2011 the art market of china accounted for a staggering 30 percent of the entire sales of that year.

Another point that proves that China is slowly conquering the art market is that the total art buying from Asia went up from a year ago in the first half of 2017, stated Christie’s, a well-known auction house. In addition to that, Asian consumers accounted for 20 percent of new art buyers. And for the first time in history, Asia was taking the lead in art sales globally.

You can say Chinese big spenders are gradually taking the lead in the art industry. So, what kind of art Chinese consumers are interested in? Here you will find the varieties of art that are popular with Chinese buyers.

Chinese art market 2018

The Chinese art market is growing at the moment at a steady pace. And besides that, China also offers an enormous amount of its own classics. Thanks to China’s lengthy history the country is in a position to offer a huge legacy of art.

On 18 December 2017, a collection by Qi sold for enormous 931 million Chinese yuan, which boils down to 171 million American dollars at a Beijing auction, setting a record for a Chinese artwork sold at an auction worldwide.

As mentioned earlier the Chinese market is growing more and more important. Major auction houses are moving towards Asia and in particular Hong Kong. The reason is that they are located outside of mainland China, and art dealers want to avoid taxes and issues with Chinese customs.

Need help or some more information for your business? Gentlemen Marketing Agency is a specialist in marketing to China. Feel free to contact us.


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