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Young collectors paint rosy picture for art market

Updated: 2021-11-30 14:05 ( China Daily )
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Pale Lime by Damien Hirst.[Photo provided to China Daily]


Scores of galleries attract buyers at key events in Shanghai

Young collectors are emerging rapidly in China's booming art market, bringing a new perspective to the industry-evidenced by a series of art fairs and events in Shanghai early this month.

For the past three years, November has been named Shanghai's Month of International Art, with dozens of exhibitions, art fairs and other events taking place throughout the city.

The municipal authorities recently took the strategic decision to prioritize the development of art-trading industries, as an important gauge of cultural soft power in the metropolis.

In the city's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) for cultural development, released in September, one of the objectives announced by local authorities is to build Shanghai into a global center for art trading.

Such efforts have paid off, and two major events held in Shanghai from Nov 11 to 14 showed that the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected the city's flourishing art market.

West Bund Art & Design, an annual fair that has attracted art galleries worldwide since it was first held in 2014, expanded its exhibition to the West Bund Dome, a space converted from the former Shanghai Cement Factory, making this year's event the largest yet.

Jin Yi, a spokesman for the fair, said more than 70 percent of exhibitors comprised overseas galleries and institutions, with half of them also showing at renowned international events such as Art Basel.

This year, West Bund Art & Design, welcomed some 130 galleries, with about 4,000 artworks on display.

Meanwhile, ART021 took place at the Shanghai Exhibition Center, attracting 134 galleries from 14 countries. Some of these galleries chose to take part in both Shanghai events, presenting different displays.

Traditionally, West Bund Art & Design places more emphasis on presenting institutions' academic aims, while ART021 focuses more on the market and sales.

The two events declined to disclose their sales volume, although Artron, a leading art industry portal, found that more than 80 percent of the institutions taking part in the West Bund fair clinched successful deals, and "a majority of them reached or exceeded their expectations," according to a summary of the event.

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