A week ahead of Taipei Dangdai opening in Taiwan, there’s a lot of information coming out about the Taiwanese market; Thaddaeus Ropac hires more Asian talent; What do KAWS and George Condo have in common?; Two 30-year Manhattan residents are selling up.
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What Do Taiwanese Collectors Buy?
Georgina Adam helps preview Taipei Dangdai, the art fair opening next weekend in Taiwan by describing the emergence of a pan-Asian market for art. The trend has been driven in public auctions for a decade in Hong Kong where the auction houses have succeeded in making the Saturday night auction of pan-Asian art the tent pole event.
- According to Nick Simunovic of Gagosian Hong Kong, “Taiwan has always been an important collecting region, with serious, informed and motivated collectors. Recently there has been a radical shift from buying contemporary Chinese art to taking an interest in Asian names from the whole region.”
Indeed, in a piece mapping out the Taiwanese gallery universe, Jason Chung Tang Yen illustrates how the process worked:
- “Yayoi Kusama’s works were not famous in Japan in the beginning; her market really started in Taiwan in the 1990s,” says Hong Ping Tao, founder of Caves Art Center, one of the oldest commercial galleries in Taiwan. “A lot of collectors from Taiwan are still buying her works.”
Who are the artists Taiwanese collectors acquire? Adam gives us a sense with these two lists:
- Leo Shih’s collection which includes Chinese and Taiwanese artists such as Sanyu, Lin Fengmian, Xu Beijong, Yan Wenliang, Liu Haisu, Chen Cheng-Po, Liao Chi-Chun, Chang Shuhong and many more.
- Gina Yeh, a spokesperson for the local auction house Ravenel, notes that Taiwanese collectors still prefer works by the likes of Zao Wou-Ki, Chu Teh-Chun, Walasse Ting or Sanyu. But she says the younger generation are interested in Japanese and international names — Kaws, Jeff Koons, Banksy, Yayoi Kusama, Yoshitomo Nara and Takashi Murakami.
How Important Is Taiwan to the International Art Market?
The Financial Times continues its coverage of Taipei Dangdai with a look at how Magnus Renfrew brought the fair to life. Renfrew long knew that Taiwanese collectors were essential to the Asian market. But they have a preference for buying at auction where they believe they get price validation.
That observation raises the question of how the auction houses view Taiwain. The FT has the answer:
- “Sotheby’s takes Taiwanese collectors seriously,” a Sotheby’s Asia spokesperson writes, adding that “Taiwan has long been a market as integral as Hong Kong and mainland China, currently accounting for about 10-15 per cent of our auction sales in Asia.” Furthermore, Taiwan’s share is growing rapidly. “The number of Taiwanese participants in Sotheby’s Asia sales has grown by over 60 per cent in the past decade (2008-17),” continues the spokesperson, “The value of western contemporary art purchased by Taiwanese collectors across our global salerooms saw an almost fourfold increase from 2008 to 2017.”
Thaddaeus Ropac Hires Kyu Jin Hwang
Kyu Jin Hwang will work with collectors and institutions along with the gallery’s artists like Lee Bul. Kyu comes to the gallery from a private collection in Europe where she focused on acquisitions. She previously worked at Gallery Hyundai in Seoul.
- Kyu Jin Hwang joins the gallery as Associate Director, Asia. She will work closely with Nick Buckley-Wood, the gallery’s Director for Asia, across the continent and in particular in Korea. Based at the London gallery, she will commence by joining the team on our booth at the inaugural Taipei Dangdai art fair in Taiwan.
Who’s Driving the Market for George Condo and KAWS?
The Art Newspaper recorded a podcast between Victoria Siddal, Francis Outred and Thaddaeus Ropac to discuss their predictions for the market in 2019. Georgina Adam and Anna Brady interview the three where former Christie’s Contemporary art honcho Outred makes this comment about the two artists whose markets surged in 2018.
- Asia has been a very predominant growth field, particularly for post war [art] in the last six to seven years. […] You’re seeing that in the marketplace—the growth of interest in artists such as George Condo and KAWS is really driven by young Asian collectors.
There’s an interesting background to that observation. The Mugrabi family have been active buyers and bidders in the market for both artists which suggests the influx of new buyers is being met by added liquidity in the market (or vice versa, if you prefer.) That’s often a potent formula for advancing an artist’s market, as we’ve seen throughout the past year for both artists.
Art, Manhattan and Long-Held Real Estate
The New Yorker’s art critic, Peter Schjeldahl, is selling the apartment on St. Marks he’s lived in for 36 years.
- Located in the heart of the East Village, the spacious 1,250-square-foot unit boasts plenty of tasteful improvements and comes with lots of storage solutions for book lovers and their collection.
There’s no word on where the 76-year-old art critic is moving. Another long-time resident, Beth Rudin DeWoody who has lived in the same apartment for 30-plus years, is selling too:
- Located at 10 Gracie Square, a pre-war cooperative building which has been home to high-profile residents like Gloria Vanderbilt and Madame Chiang Kai-shek, the roughly 5,000-square-foot apartment has four bedrooms, said Maria Serena Torresy of Brown Harris Stevens, who is listing the apartment with colleague Cathy Angert. Large windows in the living room reveal boats on the river and the Roosevelt Island lighthouse. French doors in the dining room, which seats 16, lead out to a balcony. A staff wing contains two maids’ rooms and a bathroom.
DeWoody now lives in Los Angeles.