Is China the Undisputed King of the Art Market?

by Hrag Vartanian on February 27, 2012

A press release from Artprice, an art market information source, has some interesting stats — even if they sound far too sunny — about the state of art auctions around the world.

In addition to the 49% growth in auction revenue from artworks in China, a number of other Asian countries have also posted particularly dynamic growth, such as Singapore (+22%) and Indonesia (+39%).

And the supremacy of China?

… 12.1% of works sold in Asia sell for between $100,000 and $1m, versus 2.2% for the rest of the world. China, Asia’s leading economic power and world leader for sales of artworks, has surprised everyone not just by its acquisitive capacity but also by its independence. It accounts for the highest auction results (with 774 auction results above $1 million recorded in 2011 compared with 426 in the USA and 377 in the UK), mostly generated at auctions in Beijing and Hong Kong. Even if China were deprived of the strong Hong Kong sales of Christie’s and Sotheby’s, it would easily remain the first global marketplace!

Image via BigStock

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  • Daniel Larkin

    Well the surge in Chinese wealth is also changing other auction markets. At my favorite scotch bar in the village, I was told how the chinese are buying up scots like wild at auction. The thirst for luxury is now just as hot in the east as it was in the west. Okay, visual art and scotch seem a little far apart. But the point is that the market is re-callibrating to chinese wealth.

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