The marketplace for Chinese modern art has actually established at a feverish pace, coming to be the single fastest-growing sector of the worldwide art market. Given that 2004, costs for works by Chinese modern artists have actually increased by 2,000 percent or more, with paints that once sold for under $50,000 currently bringing amounts over $1 million. Nowhere has this boom been really felt more significantly than in China, where it has generated large gallery areas, 1,600 public auction residences, as well as the initial generation of Chinese contemporary-art enthusiasts.
This trend for Chinese contemporary art has actually additionally generated a wave of criticism. There are charges that Chinese collection agencies are utilizing mainland public auction residences to improve rates and take part in extensive supposition, as if they were selling supplies or realty. Western collection agencies are also being implicated of speculation, by artists that say they get jobs affordable and afterwards market them for ten times the initial prices-and occasionally a lot more.
Those who entered this market in the past three years located Chinese modern art to be a surefire wager as rates doubled with each sale. Sotheby’s very first New York sale of Asian modern art, controlled by Chinese artists, brought an overall of $13 million in March 2006; the exact same sale this past March amassed $23 million, as well as Sotheby’s Hong Kong sale of Chinese contemporary art in April completed almost $34 million. Christie’s Hong Kong has had sales of Eastern contemporary art since 2004. Its 2005 sales total amount of $11 million was towered over by the $40.7 million total amount from a single evening sale in May of this year.
These numbers, outstanding as they are, do not begin to convey the remarkable success at public auction of a handful of Chinese artists: Zhang Xiaogang, Yue Minjun, Cai Guo-Qiang, Liu Xiaodong, and Liu Ye. The leader this year was Zeng Fanzhi, whose Mask Series No. 6 (1996) cost $9.6 million, a document for Chinese modern art, at Christie’s Hong Kong in May.