Spear’s Wealth Management Survey’s site looks at the patterns of Chinese art collecting. Rory Ross makes the case that Chinese buying of Western treasures hasn’t yet had an impact on Western Art:
What next for the Chinese art market? The majority of art-world figures who have a stake in the game are making positive noises. ‘Chinese buying power is moving from traditional areas, Chinese art and paintings, to buying in jewellery, watches, wine and Western art,’ says Jonathan Stone of Christie’s Asia. […] One turn-off for serious collectors is the hobbled infrastructure of the local market. In a country without a single noteworthy modern art museum to equal MoMa or Moca or the Guggenheim, where there are hardly any permanent collections despite a thriving arts scene, the majority of Chinese buyers regard the art market as an investment medium to be exploited. Bidding abuses that would be illegal in the West are considered savvy business practice in China.
Serious but wary Chinese collectors have tended to take their cues from the West, just as they look to the West for luxury cars, fashion and fine wine. The most prized contemporary Chinese artists, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhang Xiaogang, Yue Minjun, Liu Ye, Wang Guangyi and Cai Guoqiang, all rose to prominence thanks to the efforts of international collectors and dealers. Their work was picked up by Chinese collectors and then ricocheted back and forth between East and West. […] Lorenz Helbing, the Swiss dealer, who in 1995 opened ShanghART, a pioneering gallery in China. ShanghART served as staging post for Chinese works destined for museums and collections in the West. ‘The art world in China is a strange one,’ Helbing once said. ‘The Chinese don’t buy or exhibit the works of their most important artists like Pu Jie and Ji Wenyu.’
Chinese collectors and museum curators prefer to watch what foreigners buy and then, once the work has achieved notoriety in the West, buy it back gift-wrapped in the greater glory of the West’s benediction. ‘The Chinese art market is not yet sophisticated or knowledgeable about its own artists,’ said Helbing.
Chinese Takeaway (Spear’s Wealth Management Survey)