with the Chinese Contemporary Art crash. Shanghai Daily stirs the pot on the hometown Contemporary art fair, ShContemporary:
There’s speculation that ShContemporary, one of the biggest and the most influential art fairs in Asia, will be suspended this year and “take a nap” due to the bad financial situation.
“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.”
The story goes on to point out that hard-pressed art galleries are coming up with imaginative ways to sell art–taking over hotel lobbies as temporary gallery space–and novel products for their artists to produce. Here’s Li Yirong, an artist in her thirties who had a sold out show two years ago:
Although Li is not in a position to sell her paintings – she couldn’t sell them for what they’re worth – some of her clients still go to her studio to buy other artsy things. “I designed and made a series of side-products such as scarves and dolls just for fun,” she says, “but I didn’t expect that many people would like them.”
Her subjects on canvas are typical floral patterns and kitty dolls, quite pleasing for many ordinary folks. Their prices, compared to paintings costing several million yuan to 10 million yuan (US$1.46 million), are 100 yuan to 1,000 yuan.
She’s not alone:
Li Lei, director at Shanghai Art Museum and a professional artist, is considering printing his art onto scarves.
“I haven’t decided yet,” he says. “My art is serious, and many friends give me different suggestions.”
However, in the face of financial straits, compromises sometimes need to be made.
“In this bad financial situation, the main thing for many non-established artists is to get their art exposed to more people,” says Li. “We have to do something instead of hibernating.”
Can’t Afford a Multi-Million Yuan Canvas? How About a Silk Scarf? (Shanghai Daily)