The South China Morning Post is already talking down the art market in China and the cycle of sales that begins this weekend. The paper points to China’s anti-corruption campaign and general economic slump.
But Sotheby’s Kevin Ching, who has his own sales in a few weeks, counters:’
“When the market is volatile, more money goes to tangible investment that is less conventional like art. It is wise to put art in one’s portfolio to reduce risks,” Ching said.
He said there was no lack of buyers despite the slowing economy. “But it is more difficult to convince sellers to part with their top pieces,” he said.
The composition of buyers has changed amid the mainland market slowdown. Ching said that back in 2011, mainland buyers contributed 50 per cent of Sotheby’s business in Asia.
“But as of last year, business from mainland China accounted for 20 to 30 per cent of our business. Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong are now equal players,” said Ching.
He expected prices to be more reasonable and categories such as Chinese paintings and works of art, which have a longer history in the market, would perform because of a bigger collector base.
China’s economic slump set to hit art auctions in Hong Kong, insiders say (South China Morning Post)