Dethroned last year by the USA, China has regained its leadership in the international art market ,according to the latest Artprice report. In the decline during the first semester of 2016, the new was a surprise, the economic context of country (Second World Economy) being decreasing.
The strongholds of New York (-49%) and London (30%) show large declines. In this context, China finds his world leader. With a business volume of €2.1 billion (+ 20%), the Middle Kingdom represents 35.5% of the public auctions in the world, against 26.8% for the USA. In China, demand remains strong for ancient art, a segment become marginal in West. The country also benefits from the dynamism of Hong Kong (+ 10%), the only important place on the planet to continue increasing.
According Thierry Ehrmann (CEO of Artprice) : « there is an air hole. In an environment with interest rate to the floor, the sellers say they have an interest in retaining their best pieces, for art who will become an investment more and more profitable.«
More, China is the only major place of the world art market who continues to grow, particularly due to the return of some investor confidence, with the introduction of a new extremely severe legislation against unpaid.
What about contemporary artists sold in auctions ?
In the first semester, the invincible Pablo Picasso (that generated the amount of the largest auction of €178.7 million), is followed by Chinese painters as Zhang Daqian (€164.5 million) and Wu Guanzhong (€93.4 million).
Sources : Artprice, Le Monde, Le Point
Illustration : Zeng Fanzhi’s artwork, sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, November 2010.
Photos credits : Jing Daily