Saturday, 6 January 2018

China Looks to Take Next Step in Global Art World By Lin Qi, Bo Leung

Last year, China took the largest share of the market in global sales of art and antiques at open auctions. However, if one adds up transactions at auctions and through dealers and galleries, China ranked third by value, after the United States and the United Kingdom, according to a recent report.
The first Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report said Chinese auction sales accounted for 34 per cent of the world total by value, exceeding the US, which recorded 32 per cent, and Britain, which had 18 per cent.
However, China falls behind those countries when the bigger art industry picture is taken into consideration, because deals are also made by dealers and galleries at sales exhibitions and art fairs, as well as via expanding online sales.
The report said the US maintains the premier position. It accounts for 40 per cent of global share by value, followed by the UK with 21 per cent and China with 20 per cent.
It also said the global art market generated $56.6bn in total sales, and the top three marketsthe US, UK and Chinacemented a combined dominant position that has endured for a decade.
Last year, Chinese auctions brought several expensive sales in the classical Chinese paintings and antiques market. A 14th-century coloured ink-brush painting went for more than 303 million yuan ($44m) in December in Beijing. A 15th-century blue-and-white dragon-patterned jar grossed HK$158m ($20m) in a Hong Kong sale.
Works of 20th-century ink-brush masters also hit mind-boggling heights. Fu Baoshi’s The God of Rain and The Lord of Fate, and Zhang Daqian’s Peach Blossoms each sold for more than 220 million yuan, ranking them among the top three Chinese paintings at auction last year.
The annual report of the China Association of Auctioneers shows that there were about 436 houses in the mainland’s art and antiques auction market by the end of 2015.
According to the Art Basel and UBS report, auction sales dominated the market in China, with a share of almost 68 per cent by value.

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