Can the Old Master market come back? That’s a perennial question these days as cultural currency and fluency seem to favor Modern and Contemporary art. At some point, however, the prices for Old Master works may simply become too attractive to ignore. In this New York Times profile of Wanwan Lei and Lin Han, we learn that the collector, who owns a private museum in the 798 District of Beijing, has picked up the scent:
Some dealers note that the younger Chinese collectors lack the buying power of their elders. But although they may not be setting auction records with their purchases, many are exploring and collecting lesser-known artists. And unlike their older counterparts, they are more likely to have spent time abroad. As a result, dealers say, many are less concerned with nationality and feel more comfortable buying works by non-Chinese artists.
Some dealers noted that the atmosphere overall seemed more muted than last year’s, with fewer collectors in attendance and less frenzied first-day buying. Credit Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times Mr. Lin’s personal collection, for example, includes works by Tracey Emin and John Currin, but also less established artists like Richard Lin, Ouyang Chun, Firenze Lai and Charles Harlan. Recently, he and Ms. Lei, who earned a graduate degree in arts administration at Columbia University, have taken a keen interest in old masters.
Art Basel Hong Kong Opens to Less Frenzy (The New York Times)