Considering the 50 new records in the time span of July 2011-June 2012, the domination of China is clear in the domain of art as nearly 58 percent of these were set by Chinese practitioners. Market research agency, artprice, provides a better perspective by analyzing the data in its latest Contemporary Art Market Report, as follows:
- The vast majority of the highest-priced Chinese artists are unknown by Western collectors because their work does not correspond to the requirements of Western ideals and taste. The dominance of Chinese artists is therefore economic in nature and very local - the fruit of an art often subsidized by the Chinese government or that has had to be approved by censors.
- Of the eight new records by Contemporary Chinese artists, three were related to figurative works that we might qualify as academic with a bias towards generic scenes (Yang Feiyun, Zhao Bandi and Long Liyou); three offered a revisited ver¬sion of traditional drawing (Wang Xijing, Yang Xiaoyang and He Jiaying). Only two Chinese artists can be said to enjoy access to a global market: Zhou Chunya (born in 1955) and Liu Wei (born in 1965).
- What are the keys to the incredibly rapid success of Poly International as an auction house? First of all, the operator is part of China Poly Group Corporation1 that was created by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).Subsidized by the Chinese government, Poly International immediately offered an aura of prestige and major financial resources. In addition, Chinese auction operators benefited from protectionism via the implementation of government restrictions on foreign sales companies in mainland China.
- In Beijing, as everywhere in mainland China, most auctions companies are under state control and collectors from mainland China almost exclusively buy works created by their compatriots.The majority of them are neither trained nor in¬terested in producing Contemporary Western art that happens to be far removed from their cultural codes.Meanwhile, Western collectors prefer expatriate artists who contrast strongly with the local subsidised production.
- It is in Beijing and Shanghai, aptly referred to as “villages of the cultural in¬dustry” by the Chinese state, that the new stars of Chinese painting and sculpture have emerged. However, Zhou Chunya, as Zhang Xiaogang and Zeng Fanzhi, who are among the artists collected by Westerners, began by selling in Taipei and Hong Kong before being sold in Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing.