March 15, 2006:

[achtung! kunst] Art & Auction March 2006 special issue: The Chinese Art Market Phenomenon

PR Newswire US, March 8, 2006
Art & Auction Magazine Examines The Chinese Art Market Phenomenon

Art & Auction March 2006 issue cover. Image: Untitled (Bloodlines Series), detail, 1997, by Zhang Xiaogang. (PRNewsFoto/Art & Auction Magazine)


NEW YORK, March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- China, a rising world economic and military power, is buying up local art treasures at a pace and scope that could alter the global art market. Art & Auction Magazine (A & A), the widely-recognized "art world Bible," will focus its March issue on the implications of the burgeoning Chinese arts market and how the actions of Chinese art buyers reflect broader social trends.(Photo: )

Coinciding with China's economic growth in the past decades has been equally impressive growth in its art market, a change that has the potential to seriously alter the face of the global market for all forms of art. But according to Bruce Wolmer, editor-in-chief of A & A, "China's new money seems intent on pursuing trophies in its own backyard, reclaiming its inheritance. Call it the revenge of the local."

The March issue of A & A takes a unique arts-based approach to analyzing the larger issue of Chinese nationalism. Instead of having scientists analyze the importance of Chinese veneration of the past; this month's A & A presents Barbara Pollack's in-depth analysis of the preferences of Chinese collectors, and a report by Margaret Tao on the increased demand among the Chinese for old furniture pieces.

Pollack explores why globally-respected Chinese artists garner less esteem and smaller sales prices in their homeland than do works that come from previous generations of local Chinese artists. Much like recent concerns about the long-term stability of the Chinese economy, Pollack observes that, "with the high prices being paid for modern and contemporary Chinese art, there is a risk that the Chinese market will out price the Western market and lead to a bubble in Asia." Pollack's piece, in examining the desire of Chinese buyers to reclaim old works of art from Western owners, significantly contributes to understanding the ways in which Chinese nationalism motivates action at all levels of society.

In her look at the shortage of traditional Chinese furniture, Tao explains the insatiable demand for high-quality Chinese furniture from previous centuries, and how buyers are chasing down every piece they can find with historical value.

The nationalistic Chinese art market, while it may change in time, is currently defined by collectors interested in purchasing works of Chinese artists who represent the historical, idealized past, rather than the globalized future. China will not become another cog in the global arts market; it is blazing its own trail.

This special issue of A & A is not just for art world Sinophiles. It is essential reading for anyone truly interested in understanding how Chinese culture is reacting to the nation's new wealth, and the effects of the global presence that China is in the process of developing.


with kind regards,

Matthias Arnold (Art-Eastasia list)


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