The Chinese contemporary art market is soaring sky high. Contemporary art pieces like monochrome oil canvas of two bald, quizzical men, by Fang Lijun sold for three times more than estimated, bringing in $2.8 million. Even little known works of art by Chinese artists are seeing the prices of their work rise drastically over a short period of time. For some art advisors the speed with which Chinese art is selling is frightening, having always been a slower art market. An art collector can blink and the piece is gone.
Last June there was a sale of Chinese and Asian contemporary art in Hong Kong. Many bidders complained that security guards were keeping them from the main sale auction room for fear of overcrowding. It seems like collectors and investors are clamoring for a piece of the market.
According to art-market advisor company ArtTactic, the total value of Chinese art sold at auctions has grown from less than $1m in 2002 to $167.4m in 2010. But this figure could be muich larger as it does not take into account pieces sold in art galleries and fairs. Christie’s sale of Asian 20th century art brought in 484 million hong kong dollars. This was a 75% increase from 2010. Reproductions of paintings by Yue Minjun are selling rapidly in tourist markets in China and Hong Kong, which is a testament to the markets rising popularity.