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Which Asian contemporary artists made Artprice auction revenue top 500?

In Uncategorized on January 11, 2011 at 8:00 am

INTERNATIONAL ART MARKET TRENDS ASIAN ARTISTS AUCTION REVENUE

Art Radar Asia has put together a list of this year’s biggest-selling Asian artists, compiled from the Artprice Annual Report (2009/2010). Out of the 500 international contemporary artists named by Artprice, 238 come from Asia.

And with artists like Yifei Chen (China), Anish Kapoor (India) and Takashi Murakami (Japan) topping the list, the results of this report are a testament to the continued growth of the Asian art market.

In terms of list entry, not by dollar value but by inclusion, Chinese artists dominate the list with a staggering 90 entries (between 7th and 500th place). In second place are the 23 artists from Japan (between 25th and 442nd place) and Turkey comes in third with 18 artists (between 140th and 475th place). China and India are the only Asian countries with artists in the top 10 and of the 15 Asian countries represented in the list only artists from China, India, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Korea and Iran make the top 100.

CHINA

A painting by Chinese artist Yifei Chen. Image taken from artodyssey1.blogspot.com.
•7 CHEN Yifei (1946-2005) – € 8, 880, 726
•8 ZENG Fanzhi (1964) – € 8, 064, 144
•12 ZHOU Chunya (1955) – € 5, 301, 760
•17 YUE Minjun (1962) – € 4, 227, 355
•18 ZHANG Xiaogang (1958) – € 4, 064, 425
•19 LIU Ye (1964) – € 4, 009, 978
•21 CAI Guoqiang (1957) – € 3, 743, 662
•22 WANG Guangyi (1957) – € 3, 564, 679
•26 SHI Chong (1963) – € 3, 205, 086
•28 FANG Lijun (1963) – € 2, 872, 800
•34 WANG Yidong (1955) – € 2, 220, 513
•36 LIU Wei (1965) – € 2, 047, 201
•38 LUO Zhongli (1948) – € 2, 018, 661
•42 YANG Feiyun (1954) – € 1, 747, 830
•43 LIU Xiaodong (1963) – € 1, 720, 204
•52 YAN Pei-Ming (1960) – € 1, 453, 005
•55 ZHAN Wang (1962) – € 1, 330, 839
•58 LI Songsong (1973) – € 1, 215, 090
•59 AI Xuan (1947) – € 1, 174, 279
•61 HUANG Gang (1961) – € 1, 124, 733
•63 FENG Zhengjie (1968) – € 1, 067, 935
•66 DING Yi (1962) – € 1, 007, 479
•67 YANG Shaobin (1963) – € 1, 003, 667
•68 CHEN Danqing (1953) – € 993, 605
•76 WANG Mingming (1952) – € 866, 041
•82 YE Yongqing (1958) – € 762, 952
•88 LENG Jun (1963) – € 699, 416
•93 XIANG Jing (1968) – € 681, 853
•96 CHEN Yanning (1945) – € 639, 427
•109 XU Bing (1955) – € 555, 440
•110 ZHANG Huan (1965) – € 554, 064
•111 CHEN Zhen (1955-2000) – € 553, 022
•113 YIN Zhaoyang (1970) – € 534, 837
•117 LI Hui (1977) – € 484, 764
•121 HONG Ling (1955) – € 473, 622
•125 GUAN Yong (1975) – € 454, 440
•133 FENG Dazhong (1949) – € 425, 324
•138 LONG Liyou (1958) – € 406, 548
•143 SHI Guoliang (1956) – € 396, 219
•144 HE Jiaying (1957) – € 395, 797
•145 XUE Song (1965) – € 392, 591
•148 CHAO Ge (1957) – € 384, 600
•153 HE Sen (1968) – € 376, 618
•157 XU Mangyao (1945) – € 341, 681
•158 PANG Maokun (1963) – € 340, 595
•159 TANG Muli (1947) – € 340, 413
•163 JI Dachun (1968) – € 332, 345
•168 LI Jikai (1975) – € 324, 453
•170 MAO Xuhui (1956) – € 321, 102
•175 QI Zhilong (1962) – € 316, 335
•179 LING Jian (1963) – € 311, 507
•181 GUO Wei (1960) – € 308, 688
•184 XUE Liang (1956) – € 298, 504
•185 CHEN Ke (1978) – € 298, 502
•186 YAN Ping (1956) – € 295, 164
•191 MIAN Situ (1953) – € 287, 108
•198 DUAN Zhengqu (1958) – € 274, 460
•199 DING Fang (1956) – € 274, 253
•201 ZHANG Dali (1963) – € 273, 490
•202 ZHONG Biao (1968) – € 273, 251
•203 WANG Shuping (1955) – € 268, 410
•205 CHEN Yiming (1951) – € 266, 188
•206 TANG Zhigang (1959) – € 265, 345
•207 GUO Jin (1964) – € 265, 195
•208 SHI Xinning (1969) – € 262, 937
•209 AI Weiwei (1957) – € 262, 611
•222 LIANG Zhuoshu (1953) – € 246, 295
•225 REN Xiaolin (1963) – € 237, 514
•232 WEI Jia (1975) – € 230, 813
•240 LIU Yi (1957) – € 222, 824
•244 ZHU Wei (1966) – € 217, 460
•249 CAI Zhisong (1972) – € 210, 277
•251 GU Wenda (1955) – € 207, 933
•259 JIANG Hongwei (1957) – € 197, 363
•265 WEI Ershen (1954) – € 195, 216
•267 WANG Mai (1972) – € 193, 534
•272 HUANG Yongping (1954) – € 190, 102
•275 SUN Liang (1957) – € 187, 672
•277 ZHAO Qing (1970) – € 185, 858
•278 PAN Dehai (1956) – € 185, 825
•286 FENG Yuan (1952) – € 183, 106
•288 WANG Xijing (1946) – € 182, 836
•290 CHANG Qing (1965) – € 179, 766
•294 KAO Yu (1981) – € 176, 756
•299 LOU Bo’an (1947) – € 174, 385
•305 MAO Yan (1968) – € 170, 344
•306 GUO Runwen (1955) – € 169, 944
•309 WANG Keping (1949) – € 168, 984
•310 WEI Rong (1963) – € 168, 711
•313 SHI Liang (1963) – € 166, 424
•315 YU Hong (1966) – € 164, 927
•322 FANG Chuxiong (1950) – € 161, 201
•328 XU Jiang (1955) – € 160, 010
•333 LI Guijun (1964) – € 158, 116
•334 WANG Xiangming (1956) – € 157, 315
•335 XIANG Qinghua (1976) – € 156, 615
•339 CHENG Conglin (1954) – € 152, 599
•340 JIA Aili (1979) – € 152, 352
•342 HE Baili (1945) – € 151, 428
•348 XIA Junna (1971) – € 148, 128
•350 SUN Lixin (1955) – € 146, 888
•354 LI Huayi (1948) – € 143, 178
•355 ZENG Chuanxing (1974) – € 143, 172
•357 XIONG Yu (1975) – € 142, 417
•358 QU Guangci (1969) – € 141, 792
•365 WANG Qingsong (1966) – € 139, 517
•367 CAO Li (1954) – € 138, 227
•371 ZHANG Yu (1959) – € 135, 559
•373 LI Tianyuan (1965) – € 134, 320
•374 HANDFORTH Mark (1969) – € 132, 602
•376 XIAO Huirong (1946) – € 131, 393
•377 QIU Xiaofei (1977) – € 130, 642
•381 HE Duoling (1948) – € 127, 730
•382 SUI Jianguo (1956) – € 127, 700
•388 WANG Jinsong (1963) – € 122, 631
•390 CHE Pengfei (1951) – € 121, 251
•396 CHEN Liu (1973) – € 119, 555
•399 JIAO Xingtao (1970) – € 117, 571
•400 YUAN Zhengyang (1955) – € 117, 537
•412 WANG Yigang (1961) – € 113, 104
•415 WANG Xinsheng (1949) – € 112, 493
•426 REN Jimin (1959) – € 108, 872
•430 LI Xiaogang (1958) – € 106, 839
•434 JIANG Jianzhong (1957) – € 105, 742
•435 QU Lei Lei (1951) – € 105, 523
•441 WU Mingzhong (1963) – € 103, 397
•444 KOH Terence (1977) – € 102, 045
•454 LONG Rui (1946) – € 99, 642
•455 WANG Guanjun (1976) – € 98, 870
•458 XIE Dongming (1956) – € 98, 065
•459 WANG Keju (1956) – € 97, 978
•468 TIAN Liming (1955) – € 94, 706
•469 CHEN Shuzhong (1960) – € 94, 671
•471 YANG Qian (1959) – € 94, 165
•474 SHI Dawei (1950) – € 93, 768
•477 SUN Weimin (1946) – € 92, 439
•483 CHEN Wenling (1969) – € 91, 433
•498 AH XIAN (1960) – € 87, 915
•500 HE Hongzhou (1964) – € 87 784

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Art Stage Singapore to tap into growing Southeast Asian collector base

In Uncategorized on November 10, 2010 at 2:59 am

SINGAPORE CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR

Art Stage Singapore will soon be joining the international art fair circuit. The event is planned for January 2011, to be held at the new Marina Bay waterfront development. Japanese English-language contemporary art website ART iT conducted an interview with Lorenzo Rudolf, the director of Art Stage Singapore, the former director of Art Basel, inventor of Art Basel Miami Beach and co-creator of Shanghai Contemporary. Below we summarise the interview with Rudolf in which he discusses the plans for Art Stage Singapore and the potential for the development of a regional art market.

The 2011 logo design for Art Stage Singapore, a new fair for the country. Image taken from artstagesingapore.com.

As explained in the Art iT interview, Art Stage Singapore focuses on the Asia-Pacific art scene and art market and “faces the challenge of convincing regional and international galleries and collectors alike that Singapore can become a destination for high-quality contemporary art.” In the past few years, art fairs in the Asia-Pacific region have found it hard to meet their aims and expectations, often resulting in events that have little staying power. Art Stage Singapore is part of “a series of government-backed initiatives to promote contemporary culture in the Southeast Asian city-state.”

Art Stage Singapore strong on assisting regional art market

Rudolf describes how the art fair has a place in the regional art market. A large annual art exhibition, taking place at the Singapore Art Museum and other venues, will run parallel to the fair. Rudolf elaborates:

“Through this exhibition we want to do something that has never been done in Asia. In Europe or the US, you have major works by major artists hanging in public museums. That means there is public access to these works. In much of Asia, because you don’t have these public institutions – and if you do, few of them are actively buying – everything is in private hands…. So through this planned exhibition … we will bring together Asian contemporary art masterpieces from major collections in collaboration with the collectors themselves.”

Alongside the museum exhibition, an educational program will be put in place in regional museums and universities. In addition, Art Stage Singapore is backed by a “healthy task force” of Singapore’s government-run institutions such as the National Arts Council and the Economic Development Board.

Architectural plans of the Marina Bay Sands development, the venue for next year’s Art Stage Singapore. Image taken from artstagesingapore.com.

Local art collectors enlisted as “brainstorming partners”

Art Stage Singapore aims to attract local, regional and international collectors in order to be “commercially successful.” As Rudolf comments, the client is the collector not the gallery.

“I think we can attract local, regional and international collectors. Southeast Asia has a rapidly growing collector base, and these collectors dearly want to support this fair. When I invented the new concept for Art Basel in the 1990s, … we decided that the main client of the art fair is not the gallery but the collector. And it was absolutely right. So we are integrating the local and regional collectors here, not only as support, but also as brainstorming partners.”

Art Stage Singapore ditches the art brands

To support and strengthen the market Lorenzo Rudolf aims to focus on “quality” and not make the art fair “too big.” He says,

Lorenzo Rudolf, Director of Art Stage Singapore. Image taken from Artintern.net

“There is a young, growing art market in Asia and it’s important to show this market quality. Even if the local art scenes are all growing here, many of them lack strong institutions. In other words, there aren’t hundreds of strong galleries to choose from, so you have to be careful not to make the fair too big. The focus of Art Stage Singapore will be on quality, and that means we will start with only around 100 galleries, with about half from the region.”

Art Stage Singapore will focus on “content not brands.” As Rudolf explains, the fair aims to include “galleries that already work with Asian artists, or galleries that represent artists that we want to introduce to the Asia-Pacific audience.” He goes on to say that “the goal must be to showcase the strengths of contemporary art in the region and to bring that art into a dialogue with the contemporary art from the U.S. and Europe that makes sense in this context, and to not only run behind brands.”

当代中国画悄然走进西方市场

In Uncategorized on November 10, 2010 at 2:54 am

20世纪90年代以来,中国当代艺术引发世人关注,很多当代油画家和观念艺术家成为艺术明星,然而,以传统水墨方式创作的中国画家却在很大程度上被忽略了。现在,情况在悄然地发生变化,近一段时期,美国几家大型的博物馆和美术馆都在举行与中国画相关的展览,不仅涵盖古代书画,当代中国画也进入西方观众的视野。当然,不能不说的是,这样的现状与中国画在金融危机之后拍卖市场的强劲表现不无关系。在西方视觉的关注下,中国画呈现出一种新的景观。

  继“中国画大师杰作——谢稚柳”个展之后,纽约大都会博物馆于9月拉开了声势浩大的“忽必烈的世界——中国元代艺术展”的帷幕。展出作品300多件,不仅包括以重金作为担保,从中国大陆各大博物馆借来的109件作品,而且还包括200多件来自中国台湾、日本、欧美博物馆以及私人藏家的藏品。该展涵盖不同的艺术流派和门类,旨在通过不同的艺术作品展现元代历史的发展,系统地向西方观众展示元代艺术的面貌。为配合这次盛大的历史文物展览,大都会博物馆已于8月份推出“元代书画艺术特展”。展览作品包括赵孟的《红衣西域僧图》、《人骑图》、《水村图》,盛懋的《老子授经图》,倪瓒的《六君子图》,日本大阪市立美术馆馆藏的龚开《骏骨图》,大都会博物馆馆藏钱选的《王羲之观鹅图》……

  元代艺术展的策展人认为“我的关注点在于寻求古代艺术品与不同文化背景、时代背景的观众产生一种交互感”。

  与此同时,与大都会博物馆齐名的波士顿美术馆最近发起了一个更有创意的艺术项目和展览——“与古为徒 —— 十位中国艺术家的回应”(Fresh Ink: Ten Takes on Chinese Tradition)。波士顿美术馆是美国收藏中国古书画最为丰富,精品最多的机构,其中包括名声显赫的唐代阎立本的《历代帝王图》,传范宽的《山水图》,宋徽宗的《五色鹦鹉图》,陈容的《九龙图》……

  “与古为徒”并非只是简单的呈现馆藏的中国艺术品,展览的真正目的在于以古为模,呈现中国当代书画的面貌。该展以波士顿美术馆收藏的古代书画为基础,邀请十位当代中国艺术家选择其中一件作为创作灵感,根据这些作品进行创作。展览中,当代作品与其相对应的古代作品并列展示,形成一对一的关系,从而创造一个精彩、互动的平台。“我希望将当代作品和古代作品并置时,对作品的阐释也是并行的,古代作品为当代绘画提供了一种历史背景,彰显当代对传统的承继,而新的作品又为古代画作增加了一种新的阐释方式。” 波士顿美术馆中国部策展人盛昊如此说,“现在有必要让更多人以审美、思考的方式了解中国”。

  “与古为徒”为西方观众展现的是一个中国艺术借古开今的面貌。这次展览选择的艺术家,他们以各自不同的方式在某种程度上都与中国画的传统发生关系,有的在寻求古代艺术的最高标准,有的却在有意破坏它们,然而,这些挑战都是基于对传统的深刻认知。喻红选择了12世纪早期的作品《捣练图》,她把画中的12位宫廷妇女转化为当代女性形象,直接用毛笔在绢本上进行写意性的创作。作品的媒材和内容都与《捣练图》发生关系。

  徐冰则有意避开馆藏名作,选用17世纪的《芥子园画谱》作为素材,从中找到一些山水画主题,将其聚合在一起,重新安排,用刻板、雕版印刷的形式,组合成新的山水画长卷。作品虽然保持中国画长卷的形式和组成山水的最基本元素,但不再纠结于中国画“笔墨”概念,是一件“无笔无墨”的作品,“看上去温文尔雅,但实际上具有强烈的颠覆性”。

  李华弋作品《龙潜山脉》整体布局是取于陈容《九龙图》的局部,他把作品中的阴阳符号转化为中国山水画中的“龙脉”,而画家采用的呈现方式则包括中国传统的屏风画和立轴画,最终展现为装置的形式,不仅体现了传统中国画的形式美感,还体现了中国画展示、装裱的美感。曾小俊《九棵树》也选择了《九龙图》,他却将作品表现为九棵树。

  唯一出生、成长于美国的艺术家张洪(Arnold Chang)则选择了一件非中国的作品——美国抽象表现主义大家杰克·波洛克的抽象画。之所以选择这件作品,张洪认为,“波洛克的绘画和中国绘画所追求的目标有很多相似之处”,在此基础上,他完成了一件具有相同维度的山水画。张洪从小学习古代书画,在美国的经历,使艺术家更注重对传统的吸收,他认为,“学取古法的观念是所有艺术创作的根本,也是中国艺术的深厚传统”。

  无疑,“与古为徒”是一次将中国当代水墨艺术介绍给西方的重大尝试,给西方观众一次接触中国当代水墨画的机会。现在的问题是,对中国古代绘画和近现代绘画的热情是否能波及至当代中国画作品?

  20世纪80年代伊始,中国当代水墨画运动就引发了欧美学者、藏家的关注。而随着当代艺术在金融危机遭受重创,中国画在拍卖市场上的杰出表现,当代水墨画再次激发了西方人的视野。加利福尼亚大学艺术史教授、理论家、批评家沈揆一认为,中国当代艺术的所有形式都能与水墨画的传统相结合。水墨是一种观念,一种美学诉求,它们能反映当代人的观点。“在目前,很多西方人不是真正理解或者介入中国水墨画,但当前任何一个关注水墨画发展的人都明白,这是一场真正重要的运动。”独立策展人、关注中国当代艺术的学者林似竹(Britta Erickson)这样说,目前,他正在制作一系列关于当代水墨画家的视频。

  在世界各地,也有很多画廊开始经营中国画,比如纽约的前波画廊(Chambers Fine Art),Ethan Cohen Fine Arts画廊和文良画廊(China 2000 Fine Art);伦敦的戈士豪画廊(Michael Goedhuis)和Eskenazi画廊;“我一直致力于推介中国新水墨画,不仅是因为它们的艺术价值被低估,还在于它们的价位相对适中。因此,在当前,当代中国画家创作了很多有意思的作品,藏家能够建立很好的收藏。”专注于中国当代艺术的画廊老板麦克·戈士豪(Michael Goedhuis)这样说。他现在代理一些中国水墨画家,其中包括刘丹、秦峰和李津。据他本人介绍,这些艺术家作品的价位在7.5万美元以下,而一些采用更为传统方式表现的画家价位则相对高些,比如李华弋,他的作品价位在30万美元到100万美元之间。秦峰的作品最高可卖到50万美元,他的作品在拍卖场上的最高价格为45万美元。另一些实验水墨画家的作品价位也并不高,在香港,邱志杰的水墨画作品价位在2万美元至20万美元之间;用燃烧的香烟在宣纸上创作书法作品的艺术家王天德作品的价位则在15万美元以上。

  纽约佳士得中国艺术专家伊丽莎白·汉默(Elizabeth Hammer)介绍:“当前,我们看到,对中国当代水墨画感兴趣的人群不断增大。但是,当代水墨画显然不会沿着中国当代艺术发展的那种步伐,因为这两个领域的藏家、市场发展模式和针对人群一直就不同,而且这种差异还将继续。”

  就中国画的海外推广和鉴赏而言,目前也面临众多困难,而其中障碍之一在于西方人对传统中国艺术方面所受教育有限,在这一领域没有培养其相关的鉴赏能力。因此,他们无法辨别中国绘画在各个时期和当代的细微差别,更无法找到当代的中国画作品的欣赏语境。一直致力于推广中国艺术的大都会博物馆亚洲部主管何慕文(Maxwell Hearn)讲到:“我在美国博物馆工作,展示中国最优秀的艺术品。然而,要让西方人真正理解这些作品非常美丽,也非常重要,是极具挑战性的,西方观众对中国艺术的理解还尚待时日。”

Curators announced for Central Asian Pavillion, 54th Venice Biennial

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2010 at 1:59 am

VENICE BIENNIAL CENTRAL ASIAN PAVILLION ART CURATORS

How and with whom does the contemporary art of Central Asia communicate? To whom is it addressed? In which language does it speak? Does it use a lingua franca, the language of most effective communication, or does it twist its language towards outsiders?

This is the proposition set down by the curators for the Central Asian Pavilion at next year’s 54th Venice Biennial. Georgi Mamedov (Moscow) Boris Chukhovic (Montreal) and Oksana Shatalova (Rudnyi) have sent out an open call to artists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to submit work under the theme of “Lingua Franca”. The project has been commissioned by Asel Akmatova (Bishkek) and Andris Brinkmanis (Venice) with Beral Madra (Istanbul) and Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Jumaliev (Bishkek) as special consultants.

Oksana Shatalova, ‘Red Flag’, 2008, five lambda prints on dibond, 180 x 155 cm each.
The focus of the pavilion looks to play upon the gap in artistic communication, similar to the project Making Interstice that featured at Venice two years ago. The curators maintain that in communicative terms, the contemporary art history of Central Asia is balanced between two poles; communicating with the international “Western” art scene and with the “local” community.

How far are these respective forms of communication effective? Next year’s project will explore not only this gap in communication but how they might be brought together.

Installation view of Making Interstices, Central Asian Pavilion, 53rd Venice Biennial, 2008. Image taken from centralasiaart.org.

Asian artists overwhelm Artprice list of top ten artists under thirty

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2010 at 1:58 am

EMERGING YOUNG ASIAN ARTISTS

The “Alternate-Friday Top Series” is a series of lists, produced fortnightly by Artprice, which provide artist ranking on various themes. The September 10th edition lists the top ten artists aged under thirty that have achieved the highest auction results in the first half of this year. Asian artists overwhelm artists from other areas and we name them here.

Artprice has listed ten artworks by eight artists, Peng Si and Kao Yu appear twice in the list, and of those ten, nine have been created by artists from Asia. The number one spot, however, goes to an artwork by American Dash Snow.

As Artprice summarises, “What do these artists from such different backgrounds and cultures have in common? They have all managed to carve a place in the art market before reaching their thirtieth year, have all exhibited their work in numerous exhibitions … and all have plenty of potential to continue their artistic careers.”

Peng Si (ranked 2 and 3 out of 10)

Peng Si, a Chinese artist based in Beijing, holds second and third ranking, with Portrait of a Man in Red (2006) and Portrait of a Man in Yellow (2006) which sold for USD51,359 and USD48,791 respectively at Christie’s May 2010 sales in Hong Kong (Asian contemporary art). Peng Si produces oil paintings that have a dreamlike quality, mixing classical Chinese imagery, while equally expressing a unique modern value.

Peng Si, ‘Portrait of a Man in Red’, 2006, oil on canvas, 188 x 118 cm. Image taken from artnet.com.
Erinç Seymen (ranked 4 out of 10)
Erinç Seymen, a Turkish artist who lives and works in Istanbul came fourth. His Untitled (2010) fetched USD32,306 at Sotheby’s in London in April’s sale (2010). The work combines car paint, aluminium, steel and fibreglass and represents a pink butterfly with a body in the form of a grenade. Untitled (2008) and Civilian (2006) bear the same pink tonality.

Yang Na (ranked 5 out of 10)

Chinese artist Yang Na’s Gold Coined Hibernation (2008) (acrylic on canvas), sold under the hammer for USD31, 381, at 33 Auction in Singapore in May, 2010. Yang Na is part of the new wave of artists that grew up during rapid economic expansion in China, becoming exposed to a technological world of new media. The art communicates the artist’s experience of this technology and media. She often creates simplified characters, with exaggerated features that lie between the metaphysical and irreality.

Yang Na, ‘Gold Coined Hibernation’, 2008, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 150 cm. Image taken from artnet.com.
Kao Yu (ranked 6 and 9 out of 10)

Chinese artist Kao Yu, takes third and ninth place in the rank, Love Tear Gas (2004) fetched USD30,217 in June, 2010 at the Shanghai Hosane Auction Co. and Ultimate Taste of Capitalism (2009) fetched USD23,038 in April, 2010 at Phillips de Pury in London.

Zakaria Ramhani (ranked 7 out of 10)

Zakaria Ramhani, a Moroccan artist holds seventh place with Faces of the Other (2008) that fetched USD30, 000 at Christie’s April, 2010 sale in Dubai. Living and working in Tangier and Montreal, he uses his mother tongue and the language of the Other, French. Moving between speaking the two languages inspired him to create visual and audio portraits. The portraits explore human identity, investigating issues of self and other by establishing a dialogue between painting, writing and sound.

Zakaria Ramhani, ‘Faces of the Other’ (2008), acrylic on canvas, 240 x 200 cm. Image taken from http://www.menasart-fair.com.
Noriko Yamaguchi (ranked 8 out of 10)

Noriko Yamaguchi, a Japanese artist, holds ninth position in the rank. The three telephone girls Keitai girl suit 3 (old model) Keitai girl suit 4 (silver) Keitai girl suit 5 (white and red) fetched USD25 679 in Christie’s Hong Kong in May, 2010. The “Keitai Girls” are futuristic archetypes that explore the future development with the human body and its interaction with technology.

Ariadhitya Pramuhendra (ranked 10 out of 10)

The final artist on the list is emerging Indonesian artist Ariadhitya Pramuhendra. Memorable 2 (2008) fetched USD21,827 in May, 2010 at Christie’s in Hong Kong. The charcoal portrait on canvas reflects his continual questioning of his religious, social and art world identities.

Art Expo Malaysia 2010

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2010 at 1:55 am

Oct 28 – Nov 1
Matrade Exhibition & Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur

The International Art Expo Malaysia is where Art’s at. Old and New, East and West. Whatever forms, whatever styles, whatever media. Paintings, Sculptures, Assemblages, Installations, New Media (Digital Art). Astonishing artworks fromall over the world – Asia, Europe – Eastern and Western, the United States, Latin America. A true United Nations of the Art People from all over the world since 2007. It’s a place not only to SEE Art but be a part of the whole ART experience. Buying, selling, networking, building bridges, sharing expertise and ideas and most of all, having FUN. It’s Malaysia’s best known INTERNATIONAL art event.

Exhibition Opening Hours : 28 – 31 October 2010, 10.30 am – 7.30 pm
1 November 2010, 10.30 am – 5.00 pm

Art and collectibles insurance market set for higher growth

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2010 at 5:14 am

SINGAPORE – The insurance market for art and collectibles has seen strong growth recently and it looks set to scale even higher in line with the booming market for such expensive rare items here.

Market experts expect art sales to continue with its stellar performance in the months ahead on the back of the improving economy and rising appreciation for art pieces here.

Singapore’s position as a wealth management centre, which may attract more high net worth individuals looking for alternative investments, is another factor that may boost sales of expensive art and collectibles here.

One major player that has benefitted from the rising opportunities in this niche sector is AXA Art Insurance, a dedicated art insurance arm of European insurance giant AXA.

The company told MediaCorp that its total premiums here have risen over 75 per cent from January to July, compared to the same period last year.

AXA Art Insurance Singapore spokesperson Mr Charles Liu also said that the company’s sterling achievement in Singapore has outpaced its performance in the European market over the same period.

Mr Liu added that he foresees total premium earnings from art insurance alone to hit over $1 million this year.

“Firstly, Singapore is not as badly affected by the financial crisis as compared to Europe. Secondly, art insurance is still very new in Singapore and there is a market demand,” said Mr Liu.

Meanwhile, leading auction house Christie’s said that its Singaporean clients have spent a total of HK$54.6 million ($9.5 million) during its Hong Kong 2010 spring auctions. This is a whopping 169-per-cent increase from the same period last year.

It added that its Singapore clients have increased their spending across the different categories such as jewellery, watches, Asian contemporary art and Chinese 20th Century art, as well as South-east Asian modern and contemporary art.

Specialised insurance for art or collectibles typically covers the item from the purchase date, including when it is transiting or is displayed in the house. It helps with restoration fees if the piece is damaged. However, it usually does not compensate for the loss of investment value.

The insurer will examine and conduct an annual valuation of items based on their quality, artists’ prominence and existing market demand.

They will also assess the storage conditions regularly. For example, AXA Art does not cover gradual deterioration due to weather conditions. However, it covers external and accidental loss – such as those caused by flooding – on a case-by-case basis.

Market players said that the biggest challenge in the industry now is the lack of skilled professionals.

“It is difficult to find someone with art expertise to evaluate art pieces and the business acumen to grow the company,” said Mr Liu, who was trained as an artist in China.

Apart from AXA, other market players include United Overseas Insurance which offers The United Fine Art Insurance Policy to selected clients.

However, Christie’s said that its insurance arm focuses its services mainly in Europe and provides coverage for items sold from its auctions for up to seven days or till they are collected.

Some gallery owners and collectors have turned to their existing home insurance policies to provide protection for their collections.

However, experts said such extension or option may limit the amount insured and can be invalid once the item leaves the house.

Sotheby’s Hong Kong Announces Autumn Contemporary Asian Art Sale

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2010 at 5:10 am

HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s Hong Kong will hold its Contemporary Asian Art sale on 4 October at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. This season, in addition to the regular various-owner sale, Sotheby’s is honoured to present Property from an Important European Collection, a single-owner sale encompassing 38 lots expected to fetch a total of over HK$30 million / US$3.8 million. The sale highlights seminal works by the likes of Zhang Xiaogang, Yu Youhan, Ding Yi, Li Songsong and Wang Du. Presenting important works by numerous Shanghai artists, this collection provides a rare opportunity to understand the creations of Shanghai contemporary artists as a group. Selected highlights will be on view throughout September in Asia and during Asia Art Week in New York, followed by an exhibition open to the public in Hong Kong from 2 to 3 October. See Notes to Editors at the end of this press release for details.

Ms. Evelyn Lin, Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Asian Art Department, said, “A systematic collection can illuminate the zeitgeist embedded within art works. Sotheby’s is honoured to present Property from an Important European Collection comprising major works by Fang Lijun, Zhang Xiaogang, Wang Guangyi, Li Shan, Ding Yi and others. These works are unique documents to help our understanding of China and the country’s expeditious progress. What makes this collection even more significant is the presence of major works by leading Shanghai artists, who are more attuned to scrutinising urban life compared with their Beijing counterparts. Among these important works are Gaudy Art representative Yu Youhan’s The Waving Mao and, for the first time ever, the complete photo and video masterpiece by Yang Zhenzhong, Light as Fuck I. We hope that this auction will help contemporary Chinese art collectors understand Shanghai artists and their environment as well as broaden their collecting interest.”

Avant-Garde Art in Shanghai
Property from an Important European Collection includes seminal works by avant -garde artists active in Shanghai in the 1980s and 1990s, in addition to other renowned contemporary Chinese artists, such as Zhang Xiaogang, Fang Lijun, Yue Minjun and Wang Guangyi. Ever since the implementation of its open-door policy, China’s avant-garde art movement has grown in leaps and bounds. Shanghai plays an indispensable role in contemporary Chinese art as a link between Chinese and Western styles. Following the legacy of Wu Dayu and other pioneers of Abstraction in modern Chinese painting, Shanghai artists have proven to be daring in experimenting with forms and styles. Among them are Ding Yi who responds to Western Minimalism from his unique perspective, and Yu Youhan and Li Shan, both of whom excel in Political Pop and Gaudy Art.

Navigating in a different realm from those in other regions of China, Shanghai artists are exceptionally independent and individualistic. Living in a crowded city where urban anonymity breeds indifference, Shanghai artists are intrinsically different from their counterparts from the North, especially Beijing. Often, Shanghai artists are more engaged with society; they observe and respond with sensitivity to issues such as urbanisation and consumerism. During the 1990s Gaudy Art became popular, with Yu Youhan being its most prominent proponent. Having taken leave of Abstract art, Yu appropriates Mao Zedong’s image in his Political Pop art which made his name heard. Living in a bustling metropolis where materialism reigns supreme, Yu experiments with vibrant colours and popular subjects to reflect and to analyse the excesses of urban consumerism. Among the Property from an Important European Collection are also works by Yang Zhenzhong, Pu Jie, and Liu Jianhua, all of whose works render their perspectives on the highly commercial world that is Shanghai.

Among the highlights of this collection is Yu Youhan’s (b. 1943) The Waving Mao (Est. HK$700,000-900,000 / US$90,000-120,000) which is similar to an earlier piece by the same artist. Political Pop emerged as a principle avant-garde movement in the post-1989 era and Yu Youhan is among its best advocates. While inspired by propaganda posters from the Cultural Revolution, Yu Youhan is also influenced by Western Impressionism and Modernism. His series of works featuring Mao Zedong’s image reflect the changing circumstances of China’s economy, politics and culture since the beginning of Communist reign, transforming the almost sacred image of Chairman Mao into mere ornament. The Waving Mao was commissioned by fashion designer Vivienne Tam in 1995. The Chinese inscription on the lower right corner of the painting reads: “Made for Madam Vivienne Tam, Yu Youhan, 1995”. An earlier work from 1990 with the same title was featured in the groundbreaking exhibition China’s New Art: Post-1989.

Ding Yi’s (b. 1962) Appearances of Crosses – 6 (Est. HK$1.5-2.5 million /US$190,000-320,000) created in 2005 is another important work in this collection. Begun in 1988, the Appearance of Crosses series is among Ding Yi’s rare large-scale works and centres on one of the most common symbols of the human subconscious. Yet Ding Yi empties the symbol of its meaning by turning orderly patterns into painterly brushstrokes and subverting the viewer’s conventional response to the symbol, with the densely packed crosses probing the viewer’s spatial perception of the canvas’s surface. Depending on viewing distance, one is presented with distinct, textured shapes and a giant cross embedded within; patterns on the canvas are as vibrant as exploding fireworks. Conveying the inharmonious complexity of contemporary urban existence, this work is an inspiration to behold. Appearance of Crosses – 6 is among Ding Yi’s favourite works and was featured on the catalogue cover for the retrospective on the artist held by Birmingham’s IKON Gallery in 2006.

Other Highlights
Another highlight of this collection is Zhang Xiaogang’s (b. 1958) Bloodline Series: Yellow Baby (Est. HK$5-7 million / US$ 640,000-900,000) from 1997. Zhang Xiaogang’s Bloodline Series portraits are based on old family photographs and charcoal drawings. Cool tones are dominant and colour is usually limited to a small patch on the cheek, the thin red blood line, or an occasional flash of colour on the garments. Through them, we see Chinese people in the early years after Communist liberation, during a period of material depravation when men and women both wore the obligatory Mao suit, which de-emphasised gender and class differences. Each anonymous face looks virtually identical and iconic of an era of social suppression. However, Zhang Xiaogang’s meticulous care in providing colour on the cheeks or thin red blood lines still delineates individual character. The subject sitting in the chair in Bloodline Series: Yellow Baby appears to be female, although the hair and clothing suggests a male toddler, bringing out contrasts of identities in terms of age and gender. Despite the inviting, cottony softness of the background, it alienates the child from reality, seemingly isolated in its world, creating a paradox that evokes empathy from the viewer. It is one of the most representative works from Zhang Xiaogang’s Bloodline Series of the 1990s.

Put Down Your Whip (Est. HK$2-3 million / US$260,000-38,000) created by Li Songsong (b. 1973) in 2007 is one of very few of the artist’s works derived from another work of art: Situ Qiao’s painting of the same title currently in the collection of the National Art Museum. While Situ Qiao’s work was based on an anti-war play against the Japanese occupation, Li Songsong deconstructs and reconstructs the image in his unique style of Abstraction, distancing the viewer from the historical event, therefore dissolving the realism of the original painting and its nature as a record of history. In doing so the artist refocuses the viewer’s attention on pure artistic expressions and reveals the changing nature of Chinese art in the past century, which is truly thought-provoking. As Li Songsong once said, “No matter how you paint, there is no way to conceal the reality of history… but perhaps my painting can provide some scepticism in the way we look upon certain issues or ideas.”

Another highlight of the collection is Wang Du’s (b. 1956) No Comment (est. HK$1.2-1.8 million / US$150,000-230,000), which was exhibited in the opening exhibition of Palais de Tokyo – Site de création contemporain in Paris. Wang Du, who now lives in Paris, concentrates on the critical analysis and deconstruction of the power and ubiquity of the mass media. A person of influence in the Chinese art world for decades, Wang Du has established an international reputation as a leading conceptual artist. Created in 2001, No Comment is characteristic of Wang Du’s creations, with the artist’s beliefs conveyed effectively through both the medium and the message. The double meaning of the work’s title and the newspapers in the trash can both clearly reveal the artist’s conviction: that daily news is rubbish, and that people consume this media with as little care as they give their trash. The majority of the newspapers in the waste basket are the left-leaning Libération rather than the more conservative Le Monde, another detail that informs us of the artist’s beliefs. In the age of overflowing information, one live television newsfeed works as well as any other to convey the artist’s outrage.

The Art Market: Back in gear

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2010 at 5:09 am

The art world is definitely back in gear after the summer with a slew of events across the globe. In Shanghai, the fourth edition of ShContemporary continues until Sunday. This fair has changed considerably since its original ambitions to bring powerful western dealers to China: it now overwhelmingly features galleries from the Asia-Pacific region, from Seoul to Sydney. In Paris, the annual gallery trawl Parcours des Mondes, now in its ninth year, brings together 68 dealers in tribal art. African, Oceanic, Pre-Colombian and Asian works of art are on offer, with price tags that range from under €1,000 to six-figure sums. From Wednesday, the Grand Palais in Paris hosts its equally grand antiques-and-art event, the Biennale des Antiquaires, with everything from antiquities or tip-top 18th-century French furniture to modern art. In New York, Asian Art Week features auctions – including a single-owner collection of archaic bronzes at Christie’s on Thursday – and dealer shows, with Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Himalayan art. Erik Thomsen is showing a pair of enormous screens, “Vying Peacocks” from the Taisho period (early 20th century). And in an interesting initiative, Christie’s is co-operating with the Chinese Ministry of Culture to present work by contemporary Chinese artists at the Rockefeller Center. The firm, it will be remembered, was in bad odour with the Chinese authorities after the aborted sale of two bronze heads from the Zodiac fountain, looted from the Summer Palace in 1840. The heads were bought at the Yves Saint Laurent sale last year by a Chinese buyer who, as a patriotic gesture, never paid for them. This month’s show looks like an attempt to build bridges after that debacle. Asia Week in the galleries starts this week and continues until the end of the month.

The latest financial centre to sit up and take notice of art as an investment is the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. On September 22, the semi-governmental agency, Luxembourg for Finance, is holding its first conference on the subject. Organiser Elisabeth Kugel admits she was startled by the positive response: “We sent invitations to asset managers and bankers, plus some artists and gallery owners, and we already have 180 people signed up, coming from Luxembourg but also from Belgium, France and the UK. We didn’t expect nearly as many.”

The conference is being held in the state’s modern art museum and the main speaker is Michael Moses, co-founder of the Mei Moses art index and of Beautiful Asset Advisors. “We are always searching for new niches and, following the financial crisis, we think this is a good time to promote ‘emotional assets’ such as art,” says Kugel. “If the response is positive, we might decide to establish art as an investment for the financial centre, like microfinance or Islamic finance.”

The contentious subject of artists, resale rights, the levy on the resale of work by living artists seems to be one element in the recent split between Bonhams, the London auction house, and Adam’s, Dublin’s long-established auction house. The two firms have ended their 12-year association and Bonhams will inaugurate its own Irish art sale in London in February. James O’Halloran, Adam’s managing director, says: “One of the problems in the market is the levy. Auction houses charge the buyers in Britain, but we in the Republic of Ireland have to charge the vendor. With the financial crisis, some art is being resold for less now than its purchase price, and the vendors feel it is hard to have to pay the levy when they’re making a loss, particularly if they had already paid it as buyer, when they bought in the UK.”

Irish art is a small market that saw a boom in the early years of this century but has since weakened considerably. Hopes that Irish-Americans would buy into the field never materialised. But O’Halloran says Adam’s has managed to weather the financial crisis in Ireland and the drop in prices, and has opened an office and gallery in the Northern Irish capital Belfast. “The market is consolidating here in Dublin,” he says. While sale volumes “went off a cliff” in 2008, “we had already persuaded our vendors that they couldn’t expect boom prices and we have been able to produce consistent sell-through rates of around 80 per cent,” he says.

A contested ‘Giacometti’ entitled ‘Homme qui chavire’

A second Giacometti faking case has opened in Stuttgart, Germany, following on from a related case heard earlier this year, which resulted in guilty verdicts for three men accused of forging Giacometti bronzes (a judicial review is pending). In this new case, four men and a woman are accused of counterfeiting some 1,150 bronzes and plasters by the artist, which the police found in a “secret” warehouse in Mainz. According to the prosecution, the defendants attempted to sell 300 bronzes and 100 plasters, valued at €50m, through a New York gallery in 2008 and 2009. The prosecution says fakes worth around €9m were sold by the accused to buyers in Germany and elsewhere, and that they also tried to sell 17 works, worth €1.3m, to an undercover police investigator.

Press reports have named one of the accused as Lothar Wilfried Senke, who allegedly claimed that he knew Diego Giacometti, Alberto’s brother, and had access to a series of works that had been hidden for years.

The expert witness in the first trial was Mary Lisa Palmer, director of the Giacometti Association (there is also a rival Giacometti Foundation, but that’s another story). She says: “The way to rid the market of fakes is through education, but in the meantime the best thing to do is contact our association, which is also attentive to ‘provenance’.”

Indonesian Artists Drawing on Experience

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2010 at 5:07 am

One of the good things about living in a city the size of Jakarta is that, no matter how obscure your talent or hobby, chances are you can find a group of like-minded people who share your interests and passions.

A good example of this is a new group called Kelir Buku Anak (Community of Children’s Book Illustrators). The group was formed in September as a means of improving the standards and professionalism of Indonesian artists specializing in the illustration of children’s books. The word kelir is slang in Indonesian for “to color.”

“We formed this organization so we would be better able to help struggling illustrators navigate the children’s book industry in Indonesia,” said 30-year-old Evelyn Gozalli, one of the group’s co-founders.

Today, the group has around 116 active members who regularly meet to share information about the illustration business in Indonesia and trade helpful hints drawn from past experiences as well as providing networking for job opportunities.

“I joined the group to have the chance to meet people who work in the same field as me and to get new information while building my network at the same time,” said 29-year-old group member Nikki Ayumurti Hartomo, a full-time illustrator.

Nikki, who is earning her master’s degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design in the US, has already published two children’s books titled “What Shall We Wear” and “Lula The Cannonball Girl.” She said she chose illustration as a profession because she liked both visual art and children.

“My father is a painter, so art has always been close to my life,” Nikki said.

An avid reader as a child, she admits to being raised on a steady diet of fantasy books. “It was so exciting to read those kinds of books because I could always go wild with my imagination.”

Nikki describes her drawings as an illustrator as “decorative, cute, humorous and playful.” She said she prefers to work with traditional techniques involving watercolors and colored pencils to draw her trademark subjects, a combination of cute monsters and animals. “I always imagine that God must have been laughing when he was creating all the animals in this world.”

Meanwhile, Evelyn describes her specific genre as “cartoons of romanticism.” She loves to draw her children characters with big eyes because, “that way I can show children’s innocence and curiosity.”

Nikki said there was no specific message that she wanted to spread through her drawings. “I just want to ask people just to have fun by looking at my drawings.”

“I love it when people can smile or be entertained from looking at my illustrations. When that happens, it means that I have accomplished my goal,” she said.

That’s why, she added, “I always have fun when doing my job.”

Evelyn said that, overall, illustrators of children’s books in Indonesia continue to make vast improvements. “Some of our illustrators are working on the same quality level as illustrators overseas,” she said.

Nikki agreed. According to her, young Indonesian illustrators who specialize in children’s books are getting better each day. “Their ability to tell a story through drawing is becoming more solid and varied.”

But Evelyn believes one main hurdle must be overcome before the growing talent level of Indonesian illustrators can be fully appreciated. She points to the persistent lack of reading habits among too many Indonesians, especially when it comes to children’s books.

The community is attempting to combat the problem by meeting it head on. They regularly conduct workshops, exhibitions and seminars, all of which are open to the public. In May, the organization’s members were involved in a World Book Day event held in Kuningan, South Jakarta. The event was a big success in reaching out to would be illustrators as well as the public.

Nikki said she hoped the illustration group will continue to help Indonesia improve its ranks of aspiring young illustrators while encouraging them to dedicate their talents to the development of children’s books in this country. “I hope illustrators of children’s books in Indonesia can continue to improve their work until it can consistently compete at the international level.”

The Community of Children’s Book Illustrators says it will continue to push for this improvement while helping readers to enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of a child.