Friday, November 2, 2012

Impressive growth trajectory of the Asian market

What are the pertinent observations and indications that the latest must-read research report by Artprice about Contemporary art market? We summarize it for our readers:

The Asian market, especially China, has emerged among the most upscale ones in the world, ahead of America and notches ahead of Europe. The performances in the Eastern planisphere once again belittled the American and European results. Asia accounted for roughly 43 percent of Contemporary art auction revenue versus just below 30 percent and 26 percent for Europe and America, respectively. China accounts for 90 percent of the Asian market and generated € 109 million more from contemporary art than America from almost the same number of works sold (Both countries each accounted for about 15 percent of total global transactions).

The performance of the Chinese market is bolstered by the ‘Chinese Dream’ that primarily relies on hugely successful businessmen, leaders of major groups and other investors who have flocked to the asset to diversify their investments. Partly driven by speculation and specialized investment funds sans much control, there is an influx of capital to the art market. For now, the power of auction houses in China is derived from their privileged positions owing to government support and monopoly situations. While the local Hong Kong market is highly dynamic, its power is mainly being fueled by the vitality of the city’s growing non-auction Contemporary art sector.

With Asian collectors having access to greater financial resources than European collectors, Asia is effectively the world’s most opulent market with 662 Contemporary artworks sold above the € 100,000 line (including 37 above the € 1 million line) between July 2011 and June 2012, versus 382 in America and 324 in Europe. The Asian market’s top end is therefore twice as powerful as Europe, though it alone accounts for half of the world’s Contemporary artworks sold at auction.

The UK now represents 22.5 Meanwhile, India’s auction scene continues to do well. More than a month ago, Tyeb Mehta’s oil painting ‘Falling figure with Bird’ went for Rs 9.63 crore (US 1.8 million) at the Saffronart Autumn auction, emphasizing the strength of Indian art market, and highlighting its impressive growth trajectory.

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