The Much-Hyped Chinese Art Market’s Best Days May Already Be Gone, a New Study Says



The review of the latest TEFAF report on the Chinese art market paints a bleak picture.

“In 2011, turnover hit a record $5.1 billion for fine art and antiques in mainland Chinese auction..much of that activity was froth courtesy of pure speculators, most of whom have exited the art market during the turbulence in the succeeding eight years—and China has not yet produced enough genuine buyers to fill the resulting void.

As a limited number of Chinese buyers spends more money on contemporary art at western galleries, it will starve many Chinese contemporary galleries...And if Chinese contemporary galleries begin to fold at scale, so too will many of the homegrown Chinese art fairs that rely on them as exhibitors (and clients).

Based on her interviews with private-museum owners, Wu concludes that the operating costs of these endeavors, which ran from about $1 million to $6 million annually within her limited sample, are unsustainable without a major shift in state tax policy. She expects that many of the country’s approximately 1,500 private museums will be forced to either liquidate their collections or donate them to the state.”

Read the story here.


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