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The coming decades explosion of Chinese culture

June 7th, 2010 1 comment

Song Dynasty (AD 960-1127) Calligraphy by Ming Dizhu

Song Dynasty (AD 960-1127) Calligraphy by Ming Dizhu

China Daily has just reported a “Chinese calligraphy work sold for record $57.1M” at the Poly 2010 Spring Auction on June 4, 2010. This record price puts Ming Dizhu’s work within the same league as van Gogh and Picasso in terms of how much was fetched from an auction (“Portrait of Dr. Gachet,” $139million, inflation adjusted, van Gogh; “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust”, $106million, inflation adjusted, Picasso).

According to a Boston Consulting Group report in late 2009, the number of millionaires in China has reached around 450,000 by the end of 2009. Given the fact that China’s GDP has grown 8% to 10% annually for the last three decades, two phenomenons have occurred:

a. Demand for Chinese art has increased because Chinese citizens have become wealthier.

b. Supply for Chinese art (contemporary) has increased because more Chinese are freed from subsistence to pursue art.

In turn, the international art market expects Chinese art to become even more valuable for the above two reasons.  Foreign collectors – private individuals and  museums alike collect Chinese art.  Collectors also exhibit because further popularizing the pieces enhances the art’s value. (Here is a collection of works by some popular contemporary Chinese artist in Beijing – Art Scene Beijing.)
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