Art Market in China: Guide to selling to Art Investors

Just like the other investment instruments, even art has experienced a drop in prices during the crisis started in 2012 but has promptly recovered and experts are convinced that the growth trend is destined to last several years. To push the recovery especially the Chinese market. China is the world’s leading art market with a share of 41%, followed by the United States (27%). According to a report written by, in 2017 the sale of works of art in China had a value of 5 billion dollars, the equivalent of 10 years of auctioning in France, 1.7 billion in more than the United States and 2.9 billion more than the United Kingdom (18% of sales turnover and third world market)

Art Market: The Difference between the West and China

Artprice experts explain how the construction of these two poles of the art market, the West and China, did not happen in the same time span. The first, now secular, is driven by the two large multinationals Christie’s and Sotheby’s, both born in the eighteenth century. They make a total annual turnover of 5.233 billion with the sales of works of art, in addition to those made in Hong Kong, and alone account for 42.65% of the global market (excluding Hong Kong) against 41.3% of market share in China, sales to Hong Kong included. The Chinese market, quickly shook the western dominance thanks to the disruptive economic growth of the country. It is a new market, driven by Poly International Auction, which in 2012 put out seven candles.

The second Chinese auction house is China Guardian Auctions, founded in 1993. These two leaders have a turnover of $ 1 billion in sales of works of art and hold 20.76% of the Chinese market. In Beijing, the purchase of art for investment purposes is stronger than elsewhere and this dynamic has raised to the stars a large number of works not yet ripe for the history of art and for criticism. However, as of this year, significant changes could be registered in the Chinese market. In 2012, in fact, the government and the auction houses took a series of drastic measures to regulate the art market in-depth, in order to ensure long-term development. Even the West has succumbed to the speculative temptations of the art market. As many as 80% of the works sold in the West are under the 5,000 dollar mark and this is proof of a pronounced taste for the collection as such, rooted in habits and not the assimilation of works of art to an activity financial.

Galleries and Museum

There are few public museums, there is only one dedicated exclusively to the contemporary, the Shanghai Power Station of Art. All the others show only occasionally contemporary art and more academic type. Furthermore, public museums must fight censorship more than private ones, so they can not collect and show political and critical art. But there are private museums, which have increased a lot in recent years and focus more on the contemporary.

When the galleries were born, many old school artists did not understand why they had to go through the galleries and continued to sell. This put the galleries in a difficult position because it forced them to compete with their own artists, without control over production and prices, without a contract, working only on the basis of occasional exhibitions. For some artists, it was harmful because the galleries have not invested in their careers, so they have suffered above all at an international level.

What kind of art Chinese people are interested in?

The general public is more interested in traditional art, also because it is not educated in contemporary art and it is difficult to understand it. It is the elite who are interested in contemporary art. But in the last ten years, several lifestyle magazines have started to give space to artists who until now were underground figures and who have now become public figures able to mark auction records of 24 million dollars, so they are becoming public figures, they are accepted between the elite and shown by the museums. It is a new phenomenon.

  • Decorative or demanding art

Political art is not a favorite genre because of censorship. Many prefer abstract, bold, large art, also because of the ever-larger houses. In fact, until the 1990s, Chinese houses were very small, there were no walls for large paintings. Today this has changed and there is greater awareness for what Americans call “wall power”: large, bold, colorful, glittering, shimmering works.

  • Chinese artistic tastes are changing

Chinese collectors are overcoming the geographical and cultural boundaries of China and Chinese art. In their search for Chinese classical paintings and works abroad, collectors have developed a strong interest in Western art. In November 2014 at a Sotheby’s auction, Chinese cinema magnate Wang Zhongjun bought the painting ‘Still life, poppies, and daisies of Van Gogh’, for a record amount of 59 million euros.T he percentage of Western artwork sold to Chinese is growing strongly, and outgoing tourism from China is one of the key factors in changing tastes.

In a nation like China, with over 5,000 years of history, cultural heritage has profoundly influenced the way we value and appreciate art. However, more and more Chinese travel abroad, visiting museums and galleries of ancient and modern Western art, whose works widen their cultural tastes and interests. The Western contemporary art sector is still a niche in China, but this niche has already brought significant benefits to the global art market.

  • Galleries, auction or own exhibition

Most of the galleries in China work on a system of one hundred percent markup: the artist brings his work and indicates his value, respectively, the gallery doubles this price and already such an impressive amount is claimed for sale. If the price goes down during the purchase process – the gallery bears this responsibility on itself, leaving the artist’s price for the one that is stated in the contract.

If you do not wish to cooperate with the gallery and give your creations in the fetters of contracts, a very good option may be a personal exhibition – in the event that you have at least 25-30 works for this.

How to reach and invite art investors to your own exhibition?

Like any other brand, even an artist needs to advertise to reach their audience. Here are some strategies to use in China, to make sure that an art exhibition is widely seen

Create an artistic site

Most Chinese search for information on the internet, including art buyers. therefore the creation of a site in Chinese with all the information on the artist and the works of art is a good starting point, then creating a newsletter you can keep up-to-date art lovers on possible performances. After the creation, It is also important to have a good ranking on Baidu (Google Chinese) through an ad hoc SEO.

Wechat & Weibo marketing campaigns

Social media in China are ultra used. Many Chinese artists use it to connect with potential buyers and investors. The most used apps, in this case, are WeChat, and Weibo especially when it comes to marketing campaigns.

WeChat is the most popular social app in China, with over 1 billion users active every month and is used by over 93% of the Chinese population, and this is very well known by brands. Every day in China, WeChat is used to communicate with friends, book a taxi, or order lunch. Given the widespread dissemination and potential of the tool, there are more and more companies that decide to use WeChat as a real medium. The campaigns developed ad hoc for WeChat are a must-to-have for all companies working on the Chinese market.

Weibo is the second largest Chinese social media, with more than 650 active users. A lot of Companies use Weibo to increase users engagement through some mini-Video, Online events, Buzz… For example, some museums and art galleries such as the Louvre Museum adopt Chinese social media.

Advertise through an Influencers

The use of digital media is extremely effective in China, much more than in Western countries. It is clear that the commercial influence of celebrities in the Western world, although useful, does not have the same effect on customers as KOLs in China. KOL can now be very influential when it comes to marketing and sales. Consumers trust the information they receive from the KOLs that follow on social networks more than ads or advertising on other media channels. In addition, online KOLs are spreading not only information but also lifestyle, thoughts, and ideas about life, influencing people’s behavior and purchasing habits.

Therefore, using these Asian influencers in the art world can be a winning move to attract the right people to their artistic performance or directly to works of art

Gentlemen Marketing Agency: Your Art Agency

Gentlemen Marketing Agency, a team of specialists marketers, based in Shanghai, can help you with your business in China

Feel free to contact us through our website.

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  • China online art auction
    Ncal 9625

    • Josh Anderson

      Do you have a direct to Chinese buyers auction site? I have a large piece by Zhang Jingshou, which I think would do well on the mainland. He passed in 2016, but his pieces have sold for up to 500k plus. Thanks in advance

  • Oleg Matveyev

    Hello! I would like to discuss a possibility to sell my paintings (Scottish landscapes) in China. I am based in Scotland but so far I was selling my works mainly in Russia.
    Can we discuss this business opportunity?

    Best regards,

  • Hello! I would like to sell my original paintings in the Chinese market. Please take a look, you might be interested

  • I have been a private collector of fine art. I now wish to sell the collection to the Chinese market.
    I have many works of art available

    Thank you for your interest,

  • Soufiane

    Hi , my name is Soufiane an contemporary artiste based in frensh ,i Make a beautiful paintings based on my imagination ,i have been selling my art for a years and now am looking for a chance to develop my Work here is my Instagram Soufiane .Berkani

  • Hi,

    I would like to export a painting from Romania to China. I have a client that wants to purchase it.
    Can you please help me with any information regarding this type of export? Also, do you know what documents does my client need to have to import the painting or what taxes he needs to pay? Any information would be extremely helpful.

    Thank you in advance,

  • Hello, i’m European artist, based in Shaoxing, China. I’ve been living and working here for last 8 years. I have collection of my own work ( about 100 original acrylic paintings, unique hand-painted mirrors and home decoration) and i’d like to sell it all together as i need to move from China in March ( under unplanned circumstances). I’m looking for someone who can help me with selling all of the works. Thanks in advance! ☀️

  • Keith Hall

    Hello. I am an abstract expressionist artist based in Shanghai. I have been here for five years in China and I am looking for art collectors You can see some of my work at and on Instagram wonderu. Or I can be contacted via WeChat silver-light1999
    My work sells and now looking for a new auidence or gallery for exhibiting my work. Thank you for reading.

  • Hello, I am working with a world famous artist, who has an amazing portfolio of his personal artwork available for sale – valued over $750 million (USD).

    He holds several world records and has already gained interest from Chinese art investors / collectors.

    Please contact me directly, if anyone is interested in learning more.

  • Hello, I am an abstract artist From Colombia, Based in Panamá. I would like to do a presentation of my art in china. how to find someone interested in helping me ?

  • David Leow


    I have a large painting of the 108 heroes from “water margin”. Any interested buyer, please contact me by
    WhatsApp. My telephone number is +65-96380993.

  • roberto

    Hi Mr Wang nice to meet you,im an art dealer since 22 years ,could you be so kind to let me know which kind of Art are you interested,we have different art works very important ones like Raphael -Picasso-caravaggio please contact me

    • Tracy AuYeung

      Hi I am a artist and I like to know how to go about going to Auction my art work in near future and how many do I have to do in order to auction it. I heard of Chrisitne’s auction and they are very well known but like to know how to get sponsors for this if you can please kindly E mail me with more information . If receive money from auction it is mostly towards the needs . Helping those he are in need for food and home shelters. and other more. This project is coming from my heart I usually don’t need to have money but like to give back to society I am with congestive heart failure and I like to give some thing back . I hope you can E mail me return respond with some great details.

  • Christo


    I’m a artist from South Africa and would want to advertise or post the paintings I’ve recently completed over the last couple of months

  • Hello Oliver,

    Thanks for providng this platform. My name is Rohan O. Henry, an abstract artist in New York, who is looking forward to travel to China as soon as time permits. I would like to get more engrossed with the Chinese market and would like your help. You can send me a response at and in the meantime, see some of my work at

  • Hello, Olivier. I represented Canada at the Chengdu International Design and Creatvity Exhibition in 2019 with fine art and sculpture. I spend time in China and speak a little Mandarin. I would like to increase my art presence in the PRC and would like to chat with you about that.
    Ted DeMarsh

  • I am looking to build a presence in China with my art. Please advise how to proceed

  • Please review my retrospective exhibition of 40 years of paintings and assemblages, exploring the tropics and collection of my original works at

    I am looking for an agent and respresentation in China.

  • Alexander Wang

    We are a group of private art investors, and we are searching foreign artists, that are already famous.
    can you contact me and get your offer .
    Alexander Wang

    • Daniel Geiser

      Helllo Mr Wang, my name is DJ Geiser I have a price of work, by Auguste Borget, 1838 Original WoodBlock and Gifted to the peop of Hong Kong, bye the Artist; and display at City Hall Gallery in Hong Kong, until it was “ Taken “ in World War ll actual price of art used to create one of the Postal Stamps in Hong Kong

    • Hello Alexander, I’m an artist and have artwork I’d like to sell in China. I’m currently residing in China. Could you please add my wechat for more discussion if interested. wechat ID: Lesy03

    • Mark Gozion

      Alexander – I have over a dozen hand-painted, signed lithographs, wood block prints & originals from all very famous artists, both alive & passed, and both modern (Matisse, Monet, Picasso) & contemporary pieces (KEF, Karl Striker). Please get back to me if interested.

    • Valentim Sousa

      give sirs,
      please give me your e-mail and i will send you some interesting images regarding my works

    • Marcy Oglesby

      I represent me Kamere Emosivbe of Nigeria. A brilliant painter of many masterpieces, we seek to move into the China market. Very interested in speaking with you.


      I collect contemporary paintings from talented Artists.
      I need buyers for what I collect.
      I have several Artists working for me.
      Contact me
      Geoffrey Njogu

    • Dear Mr. Wang,
      Hi, I am looking for an art dealer in China that would be interested in the works from Greek artist Olga Stamatiou.
      Olga has a long history of producing large bold works in many subject matters. She received her masters from Boston University in 1985
      Olga has created serval museum exhibits from her vast collection of works.
      Mine is below.
      Thank you and kind regards,
      Rocco Zappia

    • HORATIO BAugh


      Banksy from the North (not South), and we provide limited edition prints, such that his work is selling for £1,000.00’s each print, it’s an artist to watch and invest in NOW!


        Yes please…I’m DENNIS. Can we do business with your firm please?

    • roberto

      Hi Mr Wang nice to meet you,im an art dealer since 22 years ,could you be so kind to let me know which kind of Art are you interested,we have different art works very important ones like Raphael -Picasso-caravaggio please contact me

    • biljana bakalucamatic

      Hello, my name is Biljana. Are you still interested to work with foreign artists?

    • Hi Alexander

      I have paintings from contemporary artist mainly located in Europe and specially Spain.

      Feel free to see our website with some arts:

      we invest in art with a big sense of responsability and also we choose the best options.

      I do have also paintings from chinese well-known artistS.

      We can talk with a videocall so you see everything in real time and also more personal way.


      • Izavala

        Hi, am Isaac Zavala from Mozambique, I have ceramic and welding sculptures, fill free to contact me..

    • Greetings,
      I recently had a 40 year retrospective of my paintings and assemblages, “Exploring the Tropics” please visit my catalog of work or to see the exhibition catalog at
      I have over 2000 originaworkavailable.

      Sincerely, william Bock, (MFA)

    • Yes we will add you 🙂 thank you for contact me

      • Serge Landu

        Hi Alexander Wang. I am Serge an official mandate of the a famous psanish Artist of mignature painted art. Would like to exchang with you over the possibility you migt have to buying his private collection made of more 170 pieces of unique arts. Contact Serge Mbumba Landu
        Have a nice day!

  • lucas huybrechts

    We (Belgian family) would like to sell our selfmade paintings (see on the Chinese market, also through WEchat. As European (Belgium) we need the support from a Chinese person who has a WE Chat account, in order to be able to open a WEChat account. Is there any such person who would be willing to transfer our telephone number through his app to the WEchat administration ? For more information…please send a message to (Belgium)

  • Ben Clarkson

    My name is Mr Ben Clarkson I am a legitimate Loan lender here in UK feel free to contact me to launch a digital marketing campaign in China



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