While the Indian market is still overwhelmingly driven by domestic buyers, contemporary Indian artists are starting to gain a foothold in East Asia as a result of increasing exposure at exhibitions, art fairs and biennials.
Taiwan, which has a long history of investing in cultural commodities, is acting, with Hong Kong, as a regional entry point for contemporary Indian art, including into mainland China.
Above are are the observations from an article entitled ‘Asian Interest in Indian Art Grows’ published in The New York Times by Hillary Brenhouse (September 4, 2009). The writer adds:
“International interest in Indian contemporary art has risen fast, from small beginnings. When Christie’s first offered modern and contemporary Indian art as a single sale category in London in 1995, the sale took in just £390,482, or $613,837 at the exchange rate then. Last year, with sales in London, New York and Hong Kong, the category took in about $45.3 million.”Senior specialist (Asian contemporary art) at Christie’s Hong Kong, Ingrid Dudek, mentioned: “We’ve witnessed an increasing amount of cross-fertilization and pan-Asian bidding and buying o over the last several seasons.”
According to her, Chinese buyers have shown particular interest since 2006, when the auction house started to include top pieces from Indian artists alongside work from their contemporaries across Asia.
Sakshi Gallery, one of the biggest private art spaces in the city of Mumbai, is also planning to lead a group of Taiwanese collectors on a special contemporary art tour through the country this December having opened a Taipei branch in February 2009.
“When I first made the trip over to Taiwan,” Ms. Geetha Mehra of Sakshi said, “I realized that there’s a collector base there that’s very well informed, very liberal.” A Taiwanese client recently paid $50,000 for a work by Sunil Gawde, one of four Indian artists represented in the international exhibition at the 2009 Venice Biennale.