Art Radar Asia

Contemporary art trends and news from Asia and beyond

  • Photobucket
  • About Art Radar Asia

    Art Radar Asia News conducts original research and scans global news sources to bring you selected topical stories about the taste-changing, news-making and the up and coming in Asian contemporary art.

Posts Tagged ‘AW Asia’

Contemporary Chinese photographic aesthetic captured at 3 top American museums

Posted by artradar on October 20, 2010


AW Asia, a private organisation that promotes the field of Chinese contemporary art through institutional loan and museum acquisitions, curatorial projects, publishing, and educational programs, has released a press release announcing that three major US institutions – The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum – will include works by Chinese contemporary photographers in major group exhibitions.

Exhibiting artists include: Weng Fen (exhibiting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York), Ai Weiwei and Zhang Dali (both exhibiting at The Museum of Modern Art in New York), Hai Bo, Liu Zheng, Song Yongping, RongRong, Wang QingsongHuang Yan, Qiu Zhijie, and Zhang Huan (all exhibiting at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles).

For more details on each exhibition, read the press release below:

For Immediate Release
June 15, 2010


Contemporary Chinese photography is becoming increasingly prominent in the field of international contemporary art. In the coming months, three major US institutions – The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum – will include works by Chinese contemporary photographers in major group exhibitions.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York recently acquired a collection of photographic works by Chinese artists from an anonymous donor. Contemporary Chinese artists whose photography is now represented in the Met’s permanent collection include Hai Bo, Sheng Qi, Song Dong, Zhang Huan, Hong Hao, Wang Qingsong, Xing Danwen, and Weng Fen. The upcoming group exhibition, Between Here and There: Passages in Contemporary Photography (July 2, 2010 – February 13, 2011), explores themes of dislocation and displacement in our progressively global society, and will feature work by Chinese artist Weng Fen. The exhibition will also feature works by international artists Dennis Oppenheim, Robert Smithson, Jeff Wall, and Thomas Struth, among others.

At The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today (August 1 – November 1, 2010) will feature photography by Chinese artists Ai Weiwei and Zhang Dali. This show examines the intersection between photography and sculpture, investigating how one medium informs the analysis and creative redefinition of the other. Bringing together over three hundred photographs, magazines, and journals by one hundred artists, the exhibition showcases work by both sculptors and photographers, including Auguste Rodin, Constantin Brancusi, Man Ray, David Smith, Bruce Nauman, Barbara Kruger, Hannah Wilke, and Robert Smithson. Photographic works by Ai Weiwei and Zhang Dali entered MoMA’s permanent collection in July 2008; this is the first show in which these works will be displayed at the museum in a group-exhibition context.

Later this year the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles will present Photography from New China (December 7, 2010 – April 3, 2011). Offering a contrast to the nineteenth-century views of China and other parts of East Asia by Felice Beato concurrently on view in the Getty Center for Photographs, this exhibition offers a cross-section of Chinese photographs produced since People’s Republic leader Deng Xiaoping ushered in a new era of opening and reform in the late 1970s. Highlighting the Getty’s recent acquisition of photographs by Hai Bo, Liu Zheng, Song Yongping, Rong Rong, and Wang Qingsong, Photography from New China showcases several approaches that are characteristic of recent Chinese contemporary art, including performance for the camera, the incorporation of family photographs, and an emphasis on the body. Supplemented by loans of work by Huang Yan, Qiu Zhijie, and Zhang Huan, the exhibition explores such themes as pre-revolutionary Chinese literati, vestiges of the Cultural Revolution, and newly rampant consumerism.


Related Topics: Chinese artists, photography, USA venues

Related Posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia for more on the movement of Chinese art and photography around the world


Posted in Chinese, Photography, USA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Which museums are collecting Chinese contemporary art? New database just released

Posted by artradar on November 22, 2009


The AW Asia gallery in New York has just released a valuable new resource for collectors and researchers intererested in Chinese contemporary art. Searchable by artist or museum its database, which is available online at no cost, lists Chinese artists held in permanent museum collections around the world.

According to AW Asia, the “Chinese Contemporary Art in Museum Collections” database is the first international compilation of its kind, which currently represents 42 contemporary Chinese artists and 67 domestic and international museums.

Artists include heavyweight internationally-recognised multimedia artists such as Ai Weiwei, Cai Guoqiang, Zhang Huan and Xu Bing, photographers such as Cang Xin, Hong Hao, Weng Fen and Hai Bo, ink artists Gu Wenda and Yun-fei Ji , Cynical Realist artists such as Yue Minjun, sculptors including Zhan Wang  and video artists Yang Fudong and Yang Zhenzhong.

AW Asia, a private organization in New York City that promotes Chinese contemporary art through institutional loans and acquisitions, curatorial projects, publishing, and educational programs.

Although the database is not yet comprehensive, it starts to shed light on which international museums are validating contemporary Chinese art. If you are a curator or museum representative with additional information regarding Chinese contemporary art in a permanent museum collection, AW Asia would like to hear from you. Please write to

As the database is still under development Art Radar would like to suggest an additional feature:  a feed so that news sources can be alerted to the latest additions to museum collections. In the meantime, congratulations on creating a useful new resource.

Click to visit the Chinese contemporary art in museums database.

 Related Posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia for more collector and museum news


Posted in Art Index, Chinese, Market transparency, Museum collectors, Research, Resources | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Outlook for Chinese art market – interview Larry Warsh – Arttactic podcast

Posted by artradar on May 26, 2009


Larry Warsh of AWAsia in New York, a private organisation which provides Chinese contemporary art sourcing and curatorial services to global institutions such as MOMA and the Getty Museum, talks about his take on the outlook for the Chinese art market on Arttactic’s newly-launched free podcast service.

Warsh’s expertise lies in Chinese painting and photography by the first generation of historically important Chinese artists who came to prominence between 1989 and 1999.

Topics discussed include:

  • the evolution of US interest in Chinese art – Americans ‘came late to the party’, Christopher Phillips’ show at ICP ‘Past Present Future’ 2004-5 was the start


  • why the Cynical Realists appealed to the West



  • recommended books about Chinese art


  • weaknesses of Chinese art scene (as yet undeveloped education, infrastructure and curatorial skills)


  • opportunities in the market – Chinese photography


The promotion of Chinese art is Warsh’s self-confessed mission so it is not surprising that the bulk of the interview claims great investment opportunities for selected Chinese artists. He suggests that scarcity of supply (he says there are only 30-40 historically important contemporary artists) and the future potential of the Chinese buyer base (favourable demographics, population size and a growing interest in contemporary art) means that prices are bound to rise.

Asked why the top auction houses seem to be featuring less Chinese art in their recent sales, Warsh explains that he sees this as evidence of the scarcity of supply of quality Chinese art rather than lack of demand.

We are not quite convinced by this argument. If supply is scarce but the demand still exists, then the pieces that have been coming to the market recently would have made heady prices but instead they have fallen along with other art categories and asset classes. In Hong Kong’s Spring sales 2009 works by Zhang Huan failed to sell at Sotheby’s and at Christe’s a Cai Guo Qiang edition ‘Kaleidoscope Time Tunnel’ and a Yue Min Jun lot were passed in.

No matter, we like controversial opinions. Arttactic promises more podcasts with ‘key’ figures so we look forward to hearing a variety of views. To listen to this one go to ArtTactic Podcasts and search for Larry Warsh May 22 2009.

Unfortunately we cannot give you a direct page link – we hope that ArtTactic will iron out this wrinkle in its promising new service.

Related posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia for views about the Chinese art market

Posted in Auctions, Books, Chinese, Globalisation, Interviews, Market watch, Museum collectors, New York | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Chinese art market outlook 2009 – Arttactic, AWAsia

Posted by artradar on April 4, 2009


Why there are opportunities in Chinese 90s-made art and Chinese photography and how Western museums are impacting this market are some of the topics in the interview between Anders Petterson, Founder and Managing Director of ArtTactic and Larry Warsh, Founder of AW Asia.

Zhang Huan, Family Tree, photographs

Zhang Huan, Family Tree, photographs

Buying opportunities – 90s art and photography

AP: Where do you see buying opportunities in the Chinese contemporary art market in the short and long-term?

LW: In the short term-the next 12 to 18 months-there will be good opportunities to buy works by top-tier artists in both painting and photography. By top-tier, I mean the 40 or so who have gained art-historical recognition, have been internationally exhibited, and are being acquired by museums in the West as well as Asia. Historical works by these individuals -the first generation of Chinese contemporary artists, from 1989 through early 2000s-are relatively scarce and will continue to gain value. The global downturn has yielded some attractive pricing, particularly in comparison to top contemporary artists in the West, creating smart buying opportunities. In fact, art funds focusing on Chinese contemporary art have been formed to take advantage of this moment. Museums are also acquiring for their collections.

Chinese contemporary photography is a buying opportunity. It’s still undervalued relative to painting, which was the focus for collectors for many years. Quality works will become increasingly scarce, particularly as China develops as a consumer society with its own collector base. The Chinese audience with disposable income is growing, and a consistent percentage of those people will become art advocates and collectors.

The Chinese economy may be slowing down, but it is not in a recession. China will remain among the world’s most attractive investment destinations, and art will continue to parallel this direction. The result is that Chinese contemporary art will weather this economic downturn and will come out as an even stronger player.

Threats to Chinese contemporary art market

AP: What do you see as the main threats to the future development of the Chinese contemporary art market?

LW: Quality. As in the West, in China there are tens of thousands of artists producing all types of work. The quality varies widely. It is important to pick the artists who will have historical staying power, with solid records in terms of art-historical recognition, museum exhibitions, and curatorial interaction. In every country, the finest work by the top artists is expensive and sought-after, and it holds its value. In this, China is no exception. There are many levels of artists and art, and it’s essential to know the difference between the art business and art history. Also, over the past few years some dealers took a very aggressive approach to pricing, which shot up dramatically. A shake-out was almost inevitable, especially when the quality was not there.

I think there is not enough education regarding who the important artists are. In China, this is now starting to change. There are now more collector groups, and more lectures and seminars on Chinese contemporary art. It’s not enough, but it’s starting. There’s activity promoting education and the development of a collector base.

Western attitudes to Chinese contemporary art in future?

AP: Was Chinese contemporary art just a fad in the West? Why not? What developments are we likely to see in the West with regards to the Chinese contemporary art market?

LW: It’s not a fad, not at all. Pundits talk about it in those terms because of the speed with which Chinese contemporary art has grown and the impact it’s had on the art world. That’s consistent with the Chinese economy overall, which has seen rapid growth in many other sectors as well. We forget that the reopening of capitalism in China was a once-in-a-lifetime event, truly a phenomenon-a country waking up with such might in the course of 30 years.

There are also many notable curators, academics, writers, and collectors in the West who are studying, following, researching, and buying Chinese contemporary art, and were doing this years before it became a notable player in the marketplace. One trend that I see continuing is the integration of Chinese contemporary art into Western museum exhibitions and collections. Just in New York alone, the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and MoMA have acquired Chinese contemporary works. Other U.S. and European museums are completing acquisitions as well. And while this is entirely anecdotal, among collectors I’m in contact with, interest in Chinese contemporary art remains very high, and there is a shift happening now of new collectors who are buying, as opposed to speculators.

Chinese art has also been outperforming Western and European art in the contemporary non-Chinese sales. As recently as November 2008, at the Christie’s day sale in New York-which overall did poorly-14 of 16 contemporary Chinese works sold, many doing better than their Western counterparts. There was spirited bidding from absentee and phone bids, as well as activity in the room.

Shift from West to East

AP: As a result of the increasing economic powers of the East, are we going to see a shift away from the power of Western art model to an Eastern (Asian) model? What implications could this have for the Chinese art market?

LW: Chinese culture is 5,000 years old, and national pride runs deep. China will not collect our Western heroes and icons-not widely, at least. They will create, and have always created, their own. That’s where their collecting interests lie.

In art, the Chinese will adapt many of the Western business models, but they will also evolve their own dynamic approach to working with museums, galleries, and the international art market in general. We should not think that our way is the only way.

The strength of the Chinese economy has been underestimated in the West. With a population of 1.3 billion, China has an enormous pool of consumers. The Chinese middle class is now roughly equivalent to the entire U.S. population (and growing), and their collector base barely has been tapped. They may be spending more cautiously, but they still have money.

Major development – Government support

AP: What will be the most important event(s) for the Chinese contemporary art market in 2009?

LW: The Chinese government has recognized the importance of contemporary Chinese art, and has earmarked money to promote and solidify the field via the Beijing Culture and Development Fund. They are also supporting museum exhibitions in China and abroad. This is a major development.

Inflation-resistant investment with demand in many countries

Also, I think that in the near term, China will undergo more severe inflation than it’s seen recently, making high-quality work a good haven for protecting the yuan. This will also benefit non-Chinese collectors holding this type of asset. With its broad acceptance on the international art market-London, New York, Paris, Hong Kong, China-and its performance in Western and Asian auction houses, high-quality work will be salable around the globe, yielding the respective currency of choice. With the coming inflation, I predict that art will outperform other non-art investments, as it has done in the past. I project that within 24 to 36 months, prices will return to levels close to where they were, with some prices higher. Great work will achieve breakout prices sooner.

Asia is the future, and everyone in the West should be aware of this fact. Between China and India, the entire planet will be looking toward Asia as it leads the globe in new areas of development. The Chinese art market has tremendous opportunities yet to be realized. Chinese contemporary art is not going away.

Anders Petterson is the founder and managing director of ArtTactic.

Larry Warsh is the founder of AW Asia, a private organization in New York City that promotes Chinese contemporary art through institutional loans and acquisitions, curatorial projects, publishing, and educational programs. Previously the founder and publisher of Museums Magazines, he has been an active collector of Western and Chinese contemporary art for more than 25 years.

This article was originally published in the February edition of Rawfacts, ArtTactic’s monthly art market newsletter. The original text is republished here by courtesy of ArtTactic.

Related posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia for the latest market news

Posted in Uncategorised | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »