China is the second largest Art Market in the World
During the last 20 years, China has risen not only as a economic power, but an artistic one as well. When the cultural revolution was over, China needed to catch up with the rest of the world in many areas, including its culture. Actually auctioning of art remained rare until early 1990’s, when the government lifted restrictions on the sale of cultural works of art. Today, China possesses the second largest art market after the U.S. by revenue. China’s native Poly Auction house has risen to become the third largest behind Christie’s and Sotheby’s.
And while these and other auction houses are really the secondary market, they play an important relationship with the primary art market like galleries and art fairs. Zeng Fanzhi, Ai Weiwei Yue Minjun, Sui Jiangguo Wu Mingzhong and Zhang Xiaogang are only a few artists that has grown several times in prices on auctions and their artwork are regularly shown by the large galleries at Art Basel all three art fair locations as well as museums globally.
China’s explosion of creativity and the meteoric rise of its artists is deeply intertwined with the opening of its economic channels that is turn created space and opportunities for some cultural expression and liberalism. The Star Group, an avant-garde group, was the mover that opened the doors for Chines artists to experiment and express themselves like never before.
Many of the artists driven out and chased by the modernisation of China, represent the paradoxes they face as they are constantly trying to be censored by their own government. This is at the heart as why these artists and their work are attractive and valuable across the world, but also makes them historically important.