Enid Tsui follows up on China Guardian’s coup last month when it made a massive sale in Beijing of Huang Binhong’s Yellow Mountain (1955) for 345 million yuan (HK$396 million.) Huang hasn’t been among the platinum-plated names in Chinese classical ink painting like Zhang Daqian and Qi Baishi until now. But Tsui suggests there’s a bit more going on behind the scenes with this sale than simply the emergence of a new name in Chinese Classical painting.
First of all, the sale marks the arrival of China Guardian’s Guo Tong as powerful force in Mainland sales. Second, the Mainland is showing strength again after years of sales migrating to Hong Kong. Finally, the return of big prices in art in China itself may be a signal that other asset sectors are too clogged with government controls. The spillover is coming back to the art market.
Controls on capital leaving the country mean cash has to be stored in China at a time when there are fewer assets that can be accessed. The Huang was bought be a company, not an individual, adding to the speculation.
Here’s Tsui speaking to Guo: Continue Reading