What Chinese Contemporary Art Needs Is A Great Museum

The Economist has a long, rambling and disjointed look at the Chinese art market. Among the many themes explored is the role of Beijing (home to artists) and Shanghai (home to collectors), Taiwanese interest in Contemporary art and Francois Pinault’s taste for Zeng Fanzhi paintings (he owns 15 f them.) The magazine also suggests Chinese Contemporary art desperately needs a reference museum and foundational collection to help create that reference:

The one museum that could set a new standard is M+, which is due to open in Hong Kong in 2016. Headed by Lars Nittve, a well-respected curator, the project is supported by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Currently, the most professional curatorial institution in Asia is the 21st-century museum of contemporary art in Kanazawa, Japan. M+ could leapfrog Kanazawa and become the Tate Modern of the East. Much like Tate Modern, M+ is looking for collections that need a long-term home.

The most important collector of Chinese contemporary art is Uli Sigg, a businessman and former Swiss ambassador to China. Mr Sigg, who owns 3,000 works and has created the best record of Chinese art history from 1979 to the present, wants to return the art to the region. Securing the Sigg collection would do much to confirm the importance of any new institution.

Chinese Checkers (The Economist)