These sorts of trend stories quoting auction house specialists are always a bit of a chicken-and-egg affair. The South China Morning Post is putting out the idea that Chinese buyers remain a strong focus of Impressionist and Modern business getters which may mean the auction houses are focusing their efforts on those buyers and hoping the flattery will turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy:
Giovanni Bertazzoni, Christie’s deputy chairman and senior director of global auctions, said last year saw a 20 per cent increase in Asian buyers bidding for Impressionist and modern artwork. The increase in Asian buyers has measured a staggering 60 per cent since 2012, she said.
“From 2012 onwards, we see a strong presence of Asia in this category, in particular those from mainland China,” said Bertazzoni, who was in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China to promote Christie’s London Impressionist and modern art sale taking place on February 2.
She said unlike buyers from other markets, those from mainland China were bidding at the top, medium and low levels, all the way from Modigliani and Pablo Picasso to ceramics starting from £1,000 (HK$11,100).
Auction houses place bets on Chinese buyers picking up Impressionist and modern art in 2016 (South China Morning Post)