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Contemporary art trends and news from Asia and beyond

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Posts Tagged ‘Asian art market’

Globalisation of contemporary art market evident in growth of art fairs – The Economist

Posted by artradar on August 17, 2010


ART FAIRS ECONOMY

A recent article in the Economist comments on the globalisation of art and how art fairs accelerate the transnational exposure of artists, something that could become necessary for artists if they want to attract the attention of serious collectors and art investors. Importantly, it also identifies the current international art fair hot spots. Read on for our summary of this article.

Globalisation of the art market

Globalisation is one of the most important phenomenon in the history of recent art. Contemporary art needs the potential of a global market and thus enters the art fair. Biennials and landmark exhibitions help to initiate global change in the art scene. International art fairs spread belief in contemporary art through the help of banks and royalty, from Deutsche Bank to local rulers in the Middle East.

In addition, the article quotes Marc Spiegler and Annette Schönholzer, co-directors of Art Basel, as saying that private collections are becoming increasingly international. Collectors start by acquiring art from their own nation and eventually acquire internationally. In many countries contemporary art has become an economic project involving collectors, dealers and huge cultural districts with museums and art fairs.

Art Basel 2009.

Art Basel 2009.

For an art fair to be properly diverse, careful curation is essential. For good international fairs, this not only means that attending galleries show talented artists, but also that they show artists that live in the country the gallery is located in. As quoted in The Economist,

As Lucy Mitchell-Innes of Mitchell-Innes & Nash, a New York gallery, warns: ‘It’s a problem if four or five booths have the same artist’s work. A good international fair wants Chinese galleries to bring talented Chinese artists, not another Antony Gormley.’

International art fair hot spots

The locational hierarchy of art fairs differs from that in the auction market. For art auctions, the three most prominent cities are New York, London and Hong Kong, in that order. When talking about art fairs, Basel would come first, but what follows this lead is unclear: Miami or London, New York or Paris?

Even more notable are the art fairs currently sprouting up in Asian countries. These are creating alternate markets for art and challenging Western leadership. Adding to the hierarchical ladder are two newcomers: Hong Kong’s ART HK (Hong Kong International Art Fair) and Abu Dhabi Art, operating from the Middle East.

What art fairs mean for artists and their art

In general, art fairs can accelerate the transnational exposure of all artists represented. Art Basel is unrivalled in this category and it may be because it has always defined itself as international. The frenzied demand for new art peaked with the creation of smaller art fairs. Some of them work as satellites to the major European events, the biennials, art festivals and fairs such as Basel. These budding fairs cater to lesser known, emerging artists.

Within the art market, that an artist is “international” has become a selling point. Consequently, the local artist has become almost insignificant, while those called “national” are damned with faint praise.

Art fairs, with their aggregation of art dealers forming a one-stop shoppers’ marketplace for art, attract high-spending collectors, generate greater sales and have to some extent replaced galleries with their increasing drawing power. Still the globalisation of the art is not just about money. There are a growing number of non-profit biennials that are developing along with the market structures. As quoted in The Economist,

Massimiliano Gioni, a curator based in Milan and New York, who is overseeing the Gwangju Biennial, which opens in South Korea in September, recalls that the avant-garde was ‘built on a transnational community of kindred spirits,’ adding, ‘sometimes I long for that.’

This is an Art Radar summary of “Global frameworks – Art-fair musical chairs, first published in The Economist.

JAS/KN

Related Topics: art fairs, international artists, market watch – globalisation

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Posted in Artist Nationality, Biennials, Business of art, Collectors, Events, Fairs, Festival, Gallerists/dealers, Globalisation, International, Market transparency, Market watch, Promoting art | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

“Korean Eye: Fantastic Ordinary” exhibition tours London, Singapore, and Seoul

Posted by artradar on August 10, 2010


KOREAN ARTISTS WESTERN EXPOSURE

The Saatchi Gallery in London once again hosted the popular exhibition “Korean Eye“, which showcases emerging Korean artists to the West. This year the exhibition will travel; in October and November it will travel to Singapore and Seoul with the aim of reaching a wider audience.

“Korean Eye,” founded by curator David Ciclitira, specialises in introducing Korean artists to the international market, giving them recognition outside the Asian region. The first exhibition, “Korean Eye: Moon Generation” in 2009, was extended due to its popularity, reaching 40,000 visitors in two weeks, and ultimately drawing a total 250,000 visitors.

The 2010 exhibition “Korean Eye: Fantastic Ordinary” hosts over thirty works by twelve talented Korean artists with little prior exposure to the Western market. This year the show started off at the Saatchi Gallery in London, and will move to Singapore in October and Seoul in November, to coincide with the G20 Summit.

Bae Joon Sung, 'The Costume of Painter - Drawing of Museum R, J. L. David lie down Dress Inn', 2009, oil and lenticular on canvas, 181.8 x 259.1 cm.

Bae Joon Sung, 'The Costume of Painter - Drawing of Museum R, J. L. David lie down Dress Inn', 2009, oil and lenticular on canvas, 181.8 x 259.1 cm.

The ten artists participating in this years exhibit are: Bae Chan Hyo, Bae Joon Sung, Gwon Osang, Young In Hong, Jeon Joonho, Ji Yong Ho, Kim Dong Yoo, Kim Hyun Soo, Park Eun Young, and Shin Meekyoung. In addition, 2009 Joong Ang Fine Art Prize winner Jeon Chae Gang and Perrier-Jouet nominated artist Lee Rim will join the list of members.

The success of the franchise clearly shows a rise in interest towards Korean art, but may also have something to do with shrewd management. In a 2009 Art Radar interview, “Korean Eye” founder David Ciclitira revealed his views on the future of the art industry and his unique take on the management of art exhibitions, both of which should involve not only collector and auction house input but also government support and bank sponsorship.

What I’ve found interesting in this whole learning process is how unsophisticated the art world is, because when you work in major sports events, there are more dates, so much more research, everything is television linked to media values, and art feels amateur when you look at how they do things, and it’s no small wonder that when they need to raise massive money, they find it quite hard.

“Korean Eye” is funded by Standard Chartered, one of Britain’s largest banks, and features each of its artists along with a catalogue of their work to create an international selling environment for the brand new Korean works. It has opened up a window of awareness for Korean art in the West and suggests a rise in Korean contemporary art sales in future.

Plans for the 2011 and 2012 exhibitions have already been made and involve further expansion. “Korean Eye” will continue at Saatchi Gallery in 2011 and in 2012, and in 2012, plans have been made to expand “Korean Eye” over the entire gallery, where works will be selected and curated by Charles Saatchi and the gallery’s team.

MM/KN

Related Topics: David Ciclitira, gallery shows, Korean artists, venues – London

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Posted in Asia expands, Business of art, David Ciclitira, Gallery shows, Korean, London, Promoting art, Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Korean art hit and miss at Seoul Auction Hong Kong: New York Times

Posted by artradar on July 21, 2010


SEOUL AUCTION HOUSE RESULTS

A recent article by The New York Times explains the market trends of recent Hong Kong newcomer, Seoul Auction’s two highly successful auctions held in 2009:  Korean collectors continue to acquire Western contemporary artists, Chinese artists buy modern Chinese paintings and Korean art sales are a hit and miss affair. Read on for more…

Seoul Auction was established in 1998, and was for many years was the city’s only auction house. In 2008, it opened an office in Hong Kong, and since then has been gaining international credibility as a top-rate Asian auction house. Seoul Auction uses the auction platform as a way to introduce Western art to the Asian market, as well as introducing relatively new work from South Korea and other Asian countries to the international market.

Damien Hirst, The Importance of Elsewhere – The Kingdom of Heaven. 2006. Butterflies and Household paint on canvas. 292x243.9 cm

Damien Hirst, 'The Importance of Elsewhere – The Kingdom of Heaven,' 2006, butterflies and household paint on canvas, 292x243.9 cm.

Trends in Western art

Seoul Auction’s record-breaking 2.2 million dollar sale of Damien Hirsts The Importance of Elsewhere – The Kingdom of Heaven, arguably its most notable achievement, and similarly pricey sales of other Western artists have revealed a flourishing market for Western Art in Asia. Works from Damien Hirst’s “Butterfly” series have proven very sell-able, although Seoul Auction has avoided his brush paintings – a pair of silk screen prints failed to sell at their April sale.

Donald Judds linear block sculpture Untitled (Progression 87-26) and Robert Indiana’s Eight from his number series are among those that fetched the highest prices. Roy Lichtenstein has also been introduced and has had a healthy reception.

According to the chief executive of Seoul Auction, Jun Lee, “Korean collectors are very sophisticated.” He adds that they had been collecting Western contemporary art “for the past twenty years, even when the market was not that active, even in New York. They are very open-minded. It’s a survival strategy under these circumstances, in periods of recession. We’re trying to persuade our contacts with whom we’ve built relationships over the past ten years to sell.”

Popular Asian contemporary artists

The “Infinity Nets” mixed media sculptures by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama have been highly successful. Works by Anish Kapoor, introduced to Korea by Seoul Auction, have also been highlighted as having healthy sales.

A photographer takes a picture of Yayoi Kusama, Venus No.1, Statue of Venus, Obliterated by Infinity Nets, 1998, Oil on canvas and fiberglass, 227x145.5cm, 68 x 60 x 21cm, at Hong Kong International Art Fair. Taken from freep.com

A photographer takes a picture of Yayoi Kusama's 'Venus No.1, Statue of Venus, Obliterated by Infinity Nets' (1998) at the Hong Kong International Art Fair. Taken from freep.com.

Korean art hit and miss

Although Korean works account for forty percent of Seoul Auction’s offerings in Hong Kong, sales of Korean art have been hit and miss. Kim Whanki’s abstract geometry paintings have sold well, but video artist Nam Juin Paik’s work has failed to sell. The article accredits this to the relatively short history of South Korean art in the international market compared to that of Japanese and Chinese artists, although in recent years sales to Western collectors have increased.

Chinese collectors prefer traditional art

Chinese art has been undeniably popular among Chinese buyers. Sanyu’s Flowers in a White Vase, Wang Yi Dong’s Girl and Peaches and Zeng Fanzhi’s Mask Series no 21 3-1 sold for good prices, some even exceeding their estimates.

Also popular among Chinese buyers are traditional paintings, such as works by Impressionists Chagall, Renoir, and Picasso, but they are less interested in less familiar American pop artists. According to an article by the Hong Kong Trader, there is also a trend for crossover art.

With the growing trend for crossover art (Chinese buying Japanese art, Japanese buying Korean art, etc), Ms Shim expects more Asian auction houses will look to set up a base in Hong Kong. By moving early, she says, Seoul Auction will gain a strong foothold. ‘We are preparing now for the good times ahead.’

As expressed in The New York Times article, the buying power of China is told only too well through the popularity of traditional works when contemporary works are struggling to sell.

Read the full article here.

MM/KN/KCE

Related Topics: venues- Hong Kong, collectors, market watch – auctions

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Visual culture of Shanghai on show at San Francisco Asian Art Museum

Posted by artradar on June 9, 2010


SHANGHAI ART SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM SHOW

For a long time in the West, the image of Asia has relied on popular, and almost always Western, media imagery. From medieval travel literature to films in today’s time, the tropes of the orient repeat itself with every kung fu movie. At Shanghai, at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the image of China comes from the subject itself.

Taking a cue from the 30th anniversary of the San Francisco-Shanghai sister-city relationship, “Shanghai” presents a portrait of a city evolving over 160 years. Accompanying the exhibition are year-long festivals, concerts, workshops, film screenings, talks and discussions. The exhibition features more than 130 artworks including China Trade oil paintings, Shanghai deco furniture and rugs, movie clips, revolutionary posters, and video and contemporary art installations.

Nanjing Road – From Series of Views of Shanghai, after 1937. By Zhao Weimin (dates unknown). Chromolithograph on paper. Collection of the Shanghai History Museum.

Mirroring the life pulse of Shanghai over a century and half are its art and art objects. Neatly divided into four time periods, “Beginnings” (1850–1911), “High Times” (1912–1949), “Revolution” (1920–1976), and “Shanghai Today” (1980–present), the exhibition presents a rare glimpse of Shanghai’s visual culture in transition from a modest Chinese port town to a bustling cosmopolitan city.

The success as well as the challenge of this exhibition lies in presenting a complex and multi-layered visual culture within the framework of a linear narrative. Beginning with China Trade paintings from the 1850s, painted in large numbers to document the world of European colonialists, the exhibition moves forward to highlight artists from the Shanghai School who broke away from the traditional mode of landscape painting and created expressive and dramatic works for wealthy Chinese patrons. The later arrival of print technology lead to mass production and there are a number of posters and other graphic art on display, including the infamous large-format colorful government propaganda posters.

Landscape-Commemorating Huang Binhong-Scroll, 2007. By Shen Fan (b. 1952). Installation with lights and sound. Courtesy of the artist.

Landscape-Commemorating Huang Binhong-Scroll, 2007. By Shen Fan (b. 1952). Installation with lights and sound. Courtesy of the artist.

Shanghai Todaypresents a rare opportunity to interact with works produced exclusively by artists based in Shanghai. Embracing installation and video art, this section features some important Shanghai artists. A highlight of the show is Shen Fans 2007 installation Landscape-Commemorating Huang Binhong-Scroll, an homage to one of China’s great artists of the twentieth century. This installation piece utilizes computer-operated neon lights and music.

The city as a direct subject is very much present in the works of installation artists Zhang Jianjun (b. 1955) and Liu Jianhua (b. 1962). Both artists deal with the contemporary realities of Shanghai and its city space.

Zhang Jianjun’s work Vestiges of a Process: Shanghai Garden is an installation composed of two silicone rubber Taihu rocks, manufactured from molds of real Taihu rocks that are prized in traditional garden culture for providing city dwellers with symbolic access to nature. The rocks are accompanied by a silicone rubber vase and both are arranged on a pavement of gray antique bricks which have been acquired from the demolition of Shanghai houses constructed between 1923 and 1926. Visitors are invited to walk through the installation.

Shadow in the Water (detail), 2002-2008. By Liu Jianhua (b. 1962). Installation with porcelain and light. Collection of the artist.

Shadow in the Water (detail), 2002-2008. By Liu Jianhua (b. 1962). Installation with porcelain and light. Collection of the artist.

Liu Jianhua’s Can You Tell Me? consists of a series of stainless steel books suspended from a vertical wall. Each book presents two questions about Shanghai’s future, one on each page, that are translated into five languages: Chinese, English, French, German and Japanese. Ever-changing, propelled by its role as an economic powerhouse, the city suggests endless possibilities, some of which Liu asks visitors to contemplate.

For sometime now, the video format has been the preferred medium for many contemporary Shanghai artists and the exhibition closes with contemporary video art, one of the mediums in which Shanghai artists are taking a worldwide lead. Yang Fudong (b. 1971) is a contemporary video artist who features prominently in this section with three video works: City Light (2000), Liu Lan (2003) and Honey (2003). A celebrated photographer, videographer, and film maker, Fudong frequently explores feelings of longing and displacement. His works often focus on the lives of young urbanites who, despite possessing admirable qualities such as education or beauty, may not be well-adjusted to the environment in which they live.

Shanghaiis on at the Asian Art Museum (San Francisco) until September 2010. It has been co-organized by the Shanghai Museum and the Asian Art Museum, with assistance from the Shanghai International Culture Association.

AM/KN

Related Topics: Chinese artists, events – museum shows, venues – USA

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Colin Chinnery, director of ShContemporary, on future of Shanghai Art Fair – interview Artron

Posted by artradar on January 29, 2010


SHANGHAI ART FAIR INTERVIEW

Colin Chinnery was in a precarious position as the new direction of ShContemporary, the Shanghai art fair, in 2009. The young art fair, having its 3rd incarnation in 2010, faced an uncertain future last year while the financial world dealt with the possibility of economic collapse. However, the anxiety leading up to the event was unfounded, as ShContemporary attracted over 30,000 visitors and decent sales. Colin Chinnery talks with Artron.net about the challenges of leading an art fair within such adverse economic circumstances, his plans for ShContemporary 2010, and Chinese art collectors.

Colin Chinnery, director of ShContemporary

The initial panic regarding the contemporary art market that followed the economic crisis of 2008 seems to have subsided. As you begin working on ShContemporary for 2010, do you feel an increased optimism?

The panic was understandable when the economy seemed to be in free fall, especially when there was a clear analogy (and connection) between the phantom wealth conjured by Wall Street and easy money bloating the art market. Everyone knew that something like this was around the corner, and when we finally hit that corner we had no choice but to do the necessary work in order to readjust. With ShContemporary, we have perhaps turned another corner. The 2009 edition saw a lot of optimism return to the market, and that makes life easier for 2010. The playing field is different because the number of players in the art market increased exponentially during the boom years, and now there are more mouths to feed, so to speak. As an art fair whose job is to fulfill these increased expectations, we have to prove ourselves every year, not just for one year. I don’t think the pressure will relent for many years to come, and that is a good thing. It keeps people at the top of their game.

The contemporary Chinese art market has experienced a significant downturn. How does this lack of confidence in contemporary Chinese art impact the fair?

ShContemporary includes art from all over Asia and beyond, so the slowdown in demand for certain Chinese artists’ works didn’t affect us at all. Certain galleries are very sensitive to the current demand, and bring the right works. Sales were good among Chinese galleries this year at ShContemporary. Those who visited the fair will have noticed that there were very few works by top-priced Chinese artists; the prices and the kind of work on offer represented a change in attitude. Now that the market is shifting [its] attitude, I think it’s an opportunity for different voices to be heard, which was very evident at the fair.

Given ShContemporary’s location and history, how much of next year’s edition do you expect will be focused on Asia, as opposed to having a more global perspective?

The fair as a whole does have a regional focus on Asia, and that is reflected in the participating galleries and the kinds of work being shown and sold; in 2010 it will have an Asia Pacific perspective whilst presenting work from Europe, the U.S., and other regions. The market should always help to mix up the regional DNA as much as possible. How much that is possible will increase each year.

How would you position ShContemporary in relation to the other fairs in China, including Art Hong Kong (ART HK)? What makes ShContemporary unique for dealers and collectors?

We want to create a fair that is thinking about the future in all kinds of ways, from artistic values to the structure of the market. I feel that can be reflected by the two new initiatives that were launched this year. On the artistic side there is the Discoveries section, a thematic exhibition and lecture series dealing with the topic, “What is contemporary art?” Instead of being a special section a side attraction peripheral to the fair, it became a central feature. It also deliberately included challenging work not necessarily suitable for the market, but necessary for the exhibition to make sense thematically. The exhibition dealt with issues relating to the term “contemporary” from different perspectives, ranging from pioneers such as Joseph Kosuth, Martha Rosler, and Marina Abramovic to social-historical perspectives such as Anri Sala, Liu Wei, and Shi Qing, and emerging Chinese and Japanese artists. As the first thing that visitors saw at the fair, it left a deep impression on collectors, curators, artists, and other guests, and seemed to define the fair’s identity…

See Artron.net for the full interview with Colin Chinnery on the Future of ShContemporary.

The 3rd edition of ShContemporary, the Asia Pacific Contemporary Art Fair, is Sept 9-12, 2010.

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Performance of Asia tops West for first timers at auction in 2008/09

Posted by artradar on November 17, 2009


AUCTION PERFORMANCE

It may be of some surprise that Asian artists have outperformed their Western counterparts in “first time auction results” during the height of the art market boom. According to ArtPrice’s 2008/2009 contemporary art market report, buyers are giving Asian artists new to the auction market stronger backing than new Western artists.

This support is evident in the high proportion of Asian artists achieving the top hammer prices:  64% of the “top 50 best hammer price for new auctioned artists in 2008” were given to Asian artists predominantly from China, Japan and Korea.

Of the top 10 best first-timer hammer prices, half were given to Chinese artists born between 1949 and the early 1960s. The top price of Euro 347,510 was given for a work by the artist You Jindong (b 1949)  known for his works created with gunpowder.

 

 

top 50

© ArtPrice, TOP 50 Best hammer price for new auctioned artists in 2008

Out of the three main Asian countries (China-24, Korea-4, Japan-3) represented in the list, Chinese artists’ prices have had the most dramatic reduction from the high point in 2008. Although times are different now, the price correction within the contemporary Chinese art market has significantly lowered the price barriers for collectors. It is considerably more economical to purchase “new auction artists” in 2009.

So Hing Keung

So Hing Keung's photograph titled "Central, Hong Kong, 1998" sold for USD 4,515 at Sothebys in Hong Kong on October 6th, 2009

In recent Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong on October 6th, the average price for a Chinese “new auction artists” was drastically lower at USD 12,000 compared to USD 130,000 during the previous year. In addition to Chinese contemporary art, the price barriers for contemporary Japanese and Korean art remains accessible in the current market.

Lee Kyoung Mi

Korean artist Lee Kyoung Mi's painting titled "San Francisco on the Table" sold for USD 12,255 at Sothebys in Hong Kong on October 6th, 2009

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SF/KCE

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Contemporary art market in Asia now bigger than US for first time says Artprice

Posted by artradar on November 11, 2009


ASIAN ART MARKET

Visitors enter a Sotheby's auction room in Hong Kong on October 6, 2008 of modern and contemporary art. MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images

Visitors enter a Sotheby's auction room in Hong Kong for a sale of modern and contemporary art on October 6, 2008.

For the first time ever, the total auction revenue from “contemporary art in Asia” is greater than the total of the United States artprice reports. The statistics are collected from a 12-month period spanning from July 2008 to June 2009. Asia generated €130 million versus the United States’ €123 million. China is the highest gainer out of this trend, having generated €95 million from contemporary art during the same period.  According to the report, this means China is continuing to “hold on to its third place global geographical art auction revenue ranking.”

The establishment of foreign auction houses such as Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Bonhams in Hong Kong, in combination with the financial strength of Hong Kong and Shanghai are to be accredited for China’s position. For those who are looking to begin collecting Asian art, this does not mean that the price of contemporary Chinese art is back up to its sky-high prices of a couple of years ago. Artprice’s report tell us that in the first half of 2008 the average price of contemporary works sold in China was $65,500, however, in the first half of 2009, this average dropped to $26,800.

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RM/KCE

Posted in Asia expands, Auctions, Business of art, China, Chinese, Hong Kong, Market watch, Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »