The Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time has a mini-profile of the artist Cui Ruizhou who first came to the West’s attention when Poly Auction accidentally lost one of his works that had sold in Hong Kong for $3.7m. Though Cui was not the consignor of the work, Jason Chow learned that the artist does sell a substantial amount of his own work through auction houses. Last year, his total auction sales were $35.3m; so far this year, he’s set a personal record by selling a $23.7m painting at auction:
Unlike most painters, Mr. Cui is shameless about his commercial aspirations and says he hopes to one day tops the list as China’s most valuable painter. In 2010, when his record price at auction was HK$15 million, he boldly predicted he’d sell a work at HK$100 million within four years. Since then, he has sold seven pieces over that threshold.
“I dream in ten years that my art’s value will surpass Dali, Monet and Picasso,” he said confidently. “I will be the best-known Chinese artist in the 21st century. My work is already making history.”
Unlike most artists, Mr. Cui eschews private galleries and says he mostly sells his works by auction. And though he has museum shows coming up next year in France and England, he says he doesn’t aspire to be recognized by Western galleries and museums. Instead, he believes Chinese collectors and their interest will continue to lift his career into stratospheric heights
“I think it’s useless to try to introduce myself to the Western audience. To understand my work, they have to learn Chinese and Asian art first,” he said. “The Chinese already know my art. And the stronger the Chinese economy, the more I can sell my works.”