Chapter I

Wang Keping, Idol, 1979 Wood

The first Stars art exhibition, hung on the fence outside the National Art Gallery in Beijing, September 1979

East Village, Beijing 1993

Zhang Huan, 12 Square Metres, 1994

Yang Fudong, Seven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest, 2003, Video

Wang Guangyi, Great Castigation Series: Coca-Cola, 1993

Jin Jiangbo, God, Go Ahead with Chatting, 2008

Gu dexin, 2005.03.05, installation

UCCA, Beijing

Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai

Guangdong Art Museum, Guangzhou

ShanghART Gallery, Shanghai

Pace Gallery, Beijing

Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou

Different types of galleries: - Art critic/dealer: The Courtyard Gallery, Boers Pi Li (Beijing)
Risk taker and trend setter: Shanghart (Shanghai), Vitamin (Guangzhou) Chinese-collector oriented: Tang Gallery (Beijing) The leading gallery: Hanart Gallery (Hong Kong) The foreign galleries: Pace Gallery (Beijing), James Cohan (Shanghai)

 

Role of galleries in art distribution - Beijing and Shanghai exhibits establish system for viewing new art
- Galleries are the major player in stabilizing the local structure and in teaching collectors and other audience - In China, galleries are much along the sames lines of galleries in the West

Cai guoqiang, Ancient Branding (detail), 2003, Gunpowder on paper, 400 x 1000 cm

Yan Pei-Ming, Bruce Lee, 1999, Oil on canvas, 400 x 300 cm

Huang Yongping, The Nightmare of George V, 2002, Installation

Yang Jiechang, Another turn of the screw 1998 – 2004, acrylic on canvas

Magicien de la terre, Pompidou Center, 1989, Paris France

Biennale di Venezia, 1999, Venizia Italy The revolution continues, Exhibition in Saatchi Gallery, 2008, London UK

Yue Minju, Gweong-gweong, 1993 Christie's Hong Kong, may 2008 Sold for 54,087,500 HKD (6,941,948 US$) Zhang Xiaogang, Bloodline: The big family no. 3, 1995 Sotheby's Hong Kong, April 2008 Sold for 47,367,500 HKD (6,083,363 US$)

From 2000, tremendous commercial growth as contemporary Chinese art incorporated into global art market Increasing number of foreigners living in and visiting China, expands the mainland’s collecting base Contemporary Chinese art becomes the focus of numerous academic and curatorial efforts by leading Western curators, which generated greater awareness about Chinese art while also expanding its viewing public Market growth was fueled by a combination of an expanding collector base and speculation

Chapter II

« To Chinese artists, appropriation is only a method… aims to achieve modernization of art and to establish new values » Huang Du, Art critic

2a. What is “Chineseness”?
 « Chineseness »:

term coined by the West during the early 1990’s to describe a particular quality of the art and the people of the Middle Kingdom, has been the catalyst for a refinement and review of the essential characteristics of China. modern art was an anomaly. Its ideas were not native and its forms were acquired.

 Chinese

Many critics – in the West and at home – accuse Chinese artists of imitating Western art For these artists the challenge was in making themselves relevant to a Western aesthetic hegemony without being marginalized by their Chineseness Development and subsequent discussion of the idiom“Chineseness” is colored by multiregional and often-contradictory views of what it means to be Chinese

Speech delivered at Songzhuang Art Festival's Conference of Collectors of Chinese Contemporary Art in 2009

 

Collection: a kind of cultural creation Collectors face value standards, but value standards in a progressing era are of a very uncertain ideological form Collectors — through their behavior — have to confirm whether they’re qualified to build these value standards in the era in which we live.

  

In China, there’s a different history and understanding of art museums Art appreciation is a lifelong form of education Building an art museum system is long and difficult in such a short amount of time, not least because it is not only about constructing a building but also about what to put in and how to run it Value standards are like the core of a culture, the artistic values of the system

  

The government should recognize the value of a contemporary art value system. «China should establish its own value and no longer refer to the Western ones.» Li Xianting expresses his frustration that much Chinese art remains at surface level, work he feels is simply cashing in on the China art boom in the West, but lacks any deeper questions

«I’ve always insisted that we have to have our own art critics and exhibitions if Chinese contemporary art wants to find an audience at home. We have attached too much value to the response of our Western audience, because anything that attracts attention in the West will also be recognized at home. These forms of contemporary art have thus become very monotone.» - Shen Yubing, art critic

 Every

country has its specific social problems  Focus of art varies in different countries, a result of globalization and imbalanced development of world politics  Political topics refer to different problems that are formed by the public opinion in specific countries.  The discussion of Chinese contemporary art involves its regional politics.


more specifically Chinese approach: Contemporary ink painting global point of view: the artist Cao Fei


 Contemporary

Ink Painting

Contemporary ink painting fuses formal techniques with Western concepts and elements, presenting a new development of the tradition  Prominent examples exhibited in the West today: Cai Guoqiang, Xu Bing,Yang Jiechang, and Gu Wenda  Major collectors are often artists and scholars

Xu Bing, Square Word Calligraphy Study Sketch (detail) 1994

Gu Wenda, Psuedo Character 1989 Ink on paper

Chen Yufan, Become One, Mixed media on paper, 2007

Cai Ming, Metropolis in the Ups& Downs, Ink& Color on Paper, 2009

Cao Fei
In Fall 2009:  selected as a finalist for the 2010 Hugo Boss Prize  Exhibitions:    - International Center of Photography,  NY.October 23th    - Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, November 1 - Artissima in Turin, Italy November  7th              - Louisiana Museum of Modern Art,  Denmark. September 5 - January 10.  - RMB City, Lombard-Freid Projects,  Paris- October 22-25

Chapter III

 Artist with a strong Chinese market

Liu Xiaodong, Hot bed no. 1 China Guardian Auctions Co. Avril 2008 57,120,000 CNY (8,173,778 US$)

 Artist with a strong market outside of China

Zhang Huan

Zhang Huan, My New York #4, 2002 Sotheby's Hong Kong, Octobre 2009 Sold for 187,500 HKD (24,197 US$)

Zhang Huan, Youth,1998 Christie's New York, May 2009, sold for 212,500 US$

Artist with both a strong Chinese and international market

Zeng Fanzhi

Zeng Fanzhi, Mask series, 2001 Poly International Auction, May 2009 8,064,000 CNY (1,180,562 US$)

Zeng Fanzhi, Mask series, 1997 Sotheby's New York, Septembre 2008 Sold for 1,082,500 US$

Chapter IV

"Without a sound collection of Chinese contemporary art, we will lose a real and fresh documentary on Chinese transformation during the past several decades, which will be a huge loss to the Chinese people" Ma Fenghui, director of the newly founded Zhejiang Art Museum.

A presentation by Chris Gill
Chris Gill, Editor-in-Chief of Interfax China News Agency in Shanghai. He also contributes to many specialist Chinese and international publications and the Guardian newspaper. His blog:

China- art collectors
 The

modern capital v art relationship

 

In China since 1992. Writer for international press (Guardian, Art Newspaper, FT, etc) Artist – Yuanminyuan, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghart, etc Blog-

The past to the present

China Western collectors play a leading role in China Now Chinese collectors are emerging “New faces from the mainland” Sotheby’s autumn sales 2009 Who are the main known collectors of Chinese contemporary art?

 

Some of the leading collectors:
 Guan  Uli

Yi Chang

Sigg Rui Burger

 Johnson  Zhang  Yang


 Monique

Guan Yi

 artworks are increasingly expensive. My own personal ability, to

more accurately say, my economic ability, it is hard to keep up, as things are increasingly expensive, even young artists are expensive. So now, when we buy things, we need to be increasingly clear, on target, to choose the best art. No extra money to go and buy other things.
 So the name list of the artists I collect is very small- just a few

dozen. Wang Jien Wei, Xu Zhen, Yang Fudong, Zhou Tiehai, Xiao Liu Wei, Cao Fei, Da Liu Wei, they all represent this time.
 I won’t sell work at auction, but I will choose some, as you see

now works are too expensive, so I have 700, maybe even 800 works now. So, maybe, since I collected them, maybe now these works aren’t so important to my collection, or fit into my system.

 its very hard to write about Chinese art. There is no

education, there is no tradition, texts, to get an accurate answer to any question ,who can tell you? Chinese critics? There are far too many problems with them. Too many people have become business oriented, so you have no idea if he is telling the truth or lying. Turning it around, can we trust these national art museums and what have you? The art museums also, they are not clear, the time is too short, in China, and all this influence of the market. How can see a good work, how can you tell? So from this perspective, I rely on myself.

 in China a lot of young artists they come up with an idea, and that idea

they can sell several hundred pieces. In the 1980s an artist would have an idea, and then do perhaps 2 or three pieces, and then leave it and move on, as he would think, that idea I have finished. But now its become like a production line, that idea, several hundred pieces, that idea two hundred pieces…the factory model. Not a lot to do with art.
 The dead artists, their work its already settled, in the hands of certain

collectors, but with living artists they can make a plan. They can catch the living artists, it’s a capitalist’s game. Capital is becomingly increasingly important in art, and you must be especially careful of it, it’s a bad influence. Its like Marx said. I have re-read Marx and a lot of what he said is right. What does capital exist for? Its about control.

Zhang Rui

 I met Huang Liaoyuan, the partner of my current art gallery (Art Now Gallery).

He had been dealing with rock and roll musicians as a planner and broker, arranging gigs and what have you. We were high school together actually. When we met again after a decade I mentioned my interest in art
 People of my generation received a Soviet style education. So most oil

paintings we saw were of a revolutionary nature and had combative content, reflecting the policy that art should serve political purposes.
 Since the end of 2002, I became a collector of Chinese contemporary art. Early

in 2003, when China was hit by SARS and everybody wanted to stay home, I interacted with those artists who were staying together drinking. I visited their studios and bought their works. At that time there was no local market for their work like today and the only active buyers were from overseas. So at my early stage of collecting, I did not spend a lot of money getting some nice pieces, the value of that work has gone up a lot by now.

Over the recent 2-3 years, I had a shift in my collecting approach. This is partly because I acquired good contemporary pieces for reasonable prices before the market came into being, and I don’t want to buy things at today's high prices. Secondly, I think art is a strange thing. Simply put, it is an outlet of people's emotions. Generally speaking, I agree with Li Xianting's popular assessment which divides the contemporary art scene into a few distinct stages, and several main stream segments.

I also like even younger artists today and people who are no longer young but have never become very famous, just because their artistic forms are not focused on reflecting their own life and therefore is not understood by or popular with mainstream audiences. More often they focus on society, their ideal and use satire. I like people of this kind who are serious enough to try to understand and remain critical of the society. For instance, I have among my collection pieces by Sun Yuan and Peng Yu, who are a couple in Beijing in their 40s. I have now been collecting contemporary Asian works instead of concentrating on Chinese pieces. Japanese, Korean, Indian. I feel art is without borders. We can have a narrow focus or we can collect anything in the world. I am not personally a nationalist. Since I was young I was not bound by geographical boundaries. This is also reflected in my collection practice. I don’t insist on collecting Chinese work.

Monique Burger

“My background is in finance, my husband is in banking and is an entrepreneur, so the arts give us a different angle, another way of looking at the world. Artists are very intelligent people, philosophers, they do a lot of research, they don’t just wake up in the morning and start painting, they have issues, they live a different lifestyle. In the beginning I was insecure, as I didn’t study art history, other collectors usually have advisors, but then someone told me I have courage, so that felt good.” Burger said. Now that Burger is making her collection public the discussion will begin regarding her collection. “David Tang he told me I’m stupid to do this to make my collection public. But I told him, for me, I want to take the collection to the next level. We are not trophy hunters, what I really want to do is give very young artists a platform to show their works.

 Following her move to Hong Kong in 2004 Ms. Burger explained she has had to shelve

plans to build a museum to house her collection, and has instead decided to take her collection public via this series of exhibitions, and will revisit the idea to open a museum once the series of shows has finished. “I had a vision, there is this beautiful museum in Switzerland, the Bayeler Museum. This would be a dream come true, one day, to have a space, open to the public, where you can have a park, where you can live, and have your outside sculpture, like a dream. When we moved to Asia five years ago, my husband and I, we knew we had to postpone that dream. We are not going back to Switzerland, we have started a new life here in Asia, here in Hong Kong where space is a big issue. So what do we do now? The idea to open a museum is further and further away, so we came up with a new idea, to hold a series of temporary exhibitions over the next 8-10 years. Because this is our lifestyle, we are global travelers, global citizens, so why not live like this with the art?”

Burger describes her collection as having a diversity in terms of geopolitical origins and contexts, specifically American-European, the Indian subcontinent and Asian. “The collection blends very established international artists and younger, up-and-coming artists while remaining resolutely contemporary and not becoming historical, with very few exceptions such as Rauschenberg,” Burger said. “I needed a curator, to be professional, but also because I’m too emotional, the way I collect is intuitive. You can see, I have so many different media in the collection. Daniel said he saw a thread going through my collection, which was very good for me to hear, because it represents my life. I have dedicated 15 years of my life to buying art. It represents my moods, my feelings, my moving around in the world, and also major things, like history, political issues, language, we are talking about more than 1000 pieces. I never had these topics in my head when I went out there to buy art.

Case study: the power 100 in China

Chapter V

Support for contemporary art in China has reached new heights: indicated by art fairs, exhibitions in state-run institutions, and even new forms of government funding. Still the underlying spirit aims at capital gain, market interests, and the business end of art production, with little, support for activities outside this sphere But changes will necessarly occur Li Xianting’s speech and awareness of the importance of Art as not just a commodity

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