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Posts Tagged ‘Shanghai art fair’

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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Posted in Business of art, Fairs, Interviews, Market watch, Professionals, Profiles, Shanghai | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Three recession strategies for selling art in Shanghai – Shanghai Daily

Posted by artradar on April 20, 2009


CHINESE ART MARKET

Art galleries are hooking up with hotels, art projects are on hold, and artists are printing fine art onto silk scarves. Just about everyone in the art world is compromising in the economic downturn, reports Wang Jie for the Shangai Daily.

ShContemporary art fair

There’s speculation that ShContemporary will take a break this year but this has not yet been confirmed and the fair began active media promotion last month.

“No comments, but more details will be given later,” says Gu Zhihua, director of the organizing committee of Shanghai Art Fair, and the Chinese partner of ShContemporary.

Last month, Gu and his team began media promotion and planning for the 2009 Shanghai Art Fair scheduled for September at ShanghaiMart – a half year earlier than usual.

“We will try to find buyers for galleries coming to our fair,” says Gu tersely. “The size of the fair won’t be reduced, it still covers 24,000 square meters.”

 Galleries partner with hotels

Dealers are making moves to show their works in hotels including the Hilton, Renaissance and 5 star Shanghai Xijiao State Guest House to broaden exposure to their works and attract new buyers.

“A five-star hotel could be a helpful venue,” says Zhang of Simply Noble Gallery. “I want to give more exposure to the art in my gallery instead of locking them in the warehouse” due to hard times.

 He might be onto something. Hotel guests are mainly businessmen and tourists who aren’t visiting to satisfy their aesthetic sense, but a picture might just catch their fancy.

At the Hilton, enquiries have already been made about some of the works on show from their local gallery partner.

Cheaper products

The Hilton Shanghai has also developed some art side-products, such as postcards and albums. Other art products being sold by artists in Shanghai include art dolls, limited edition silk screen prints and scarves.  

For full article read Shanghai Daily: Can’t afford a multi-million yuan canvas? How about a silk scarf? Apr 2009

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Posted in Fairs, Galleries, Market watch, Recession | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »