Spurred by sales of Gutai and Yayoi Kusama works, the Japanese art market is stirring from its long torpor, according to Reuters:
“Abenomics has had a positive impact on the art market, surprisingly rather more on the seller side due to the weakening yen,” Yasuaki Ishizaka, the president and managing director of Sotheby’s Japan, founded in 1979, told Reuters recently.
A weaker yen usually helps bolster business and investor sentiment because it boosts the exports that are a key driver in Japan’s economy. It also encourages collectors to sell their art to foreign buyers since buyers are willing to pay more because their money goes further.
Turnover in Japan’s art market for the first half of 2014 hit $30.7 million. That puts it on course to top last year’s $54 million and possibly challenge 2012’s $76 million, the highest since 2009.
“Buying is increasing in Japan, but because of the long period of stagnation, the market is still in the midst of regaining momentum,” Ishizaka said. […]
Japanese auction houses, which deal with mostly domestic clients, are also seeing better times.
“There is an increase in purchases, definitely a sign of recovery from when the art market hit rock bottom during the economic crisis in 2008,” said Hirotarou Ando, a spokesman for Japan’s largest domestic auction house, Mainichi Auction.