Chinese art market confidence

ArtTactic, Chinese Art Market Confidence Survey, Dec 2009

If anyone has a copy of this report, I would be very interested in taking a look (I might even cook you dinner). It would be fascinating to know what their criteria are for measuring “sentiment.” The report appears to look at a good range of artists1, so each one’s comparative results would be interesting to see. I’ve been hearing (mainly from auction results, so that’s pretty selective) that established names are recovering quickly, but the market for younger, less established artists is struggling (as one would expect). Most people I’ve talked to about this subject see these periodic downturns as, by and large, a “good” thing. I’m not denying the pain involved, but it’s a time in which everyone is forced to re-focus on their core strengths and if these aren’t sustainable then, perhaps, it’s time to move on.

The confidence in the Chinese Contemporary art market has strengthened significantly since February 2009, and is now back above the 50 level. The ArtTactic Confidence Indicator has increased from 16 in February 2009, to 57 in November 2009. The current level signals that there is more positive than negative sentiment in the art market. This is the first contemporary art market that ArtTactic has surveyed since the downturn, in which the Confidence Indicator has come in above the 50 level, which implies that the Chinese art market could be one of the quickest to recover.2

  1. Ai Weiwei, Cai Guoqiang, Cao Fei, Chen Wenbo, Fang Lijun, Feng Mengbo, Feng Zhengjie, Gu Dexin, Gu Wenda, He Duoling, He Yunchang, Hong Hao, Li Shan, Li Songsong, Liang Shaoji, Lin Tianmiao, Ling Jian, Liu Wei (B. 1972), Liu Xiaodong, Liu Ye, Lv Shenzhong, Mao Yan, Nie Mu, Qiu Zhijie, Shi Jinsong, Song Dong, Sui Jianguo, Tan Ping, Wang Gongxin, Wang Guangyi, Wang Jianwei, Wang Qingsong, Wang Wei, Wang Xingwei, Wu Shanzhuan, Xu Bing, Xu Zhen, Yang Fudong, Yang Shaobin, Yin Xiuzhen, Yu Hong, Yue Minjun, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhan Wang, Zhang Dali, Zhang Huan, Zhang Peili, Zhang Xiaogang, Zhong Biao, Zhou Tiehai, Zhou Xiaohu.
  2. ArtTactic (2009), Chinese Art Market Confidence Survey, Dec 2009. Retrieved from on 12 January 2010.
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3 thoughts on “Chinese art market confidence

  1. The report is really bullish on established, historical artists. Yang Fudong, Ai Weiwei and Xu Bing topped both the Confidence Ranking (Short-term) and the Longevity Ranking (Long-term). The report also pretty definitively states that prices should continue to trend upward, especially if internal demand keeps driving scarcity of those historical artists that are popular in the mainland.

    We recently covered the ArtTactic survey here:

    • Thank you JingDaily, good information there and you have an interesting website, I will be keeping an eye on it. A benefit from a dearth in the big names could be renewed attention on lesser known (and, in my opinion, more interesting) artists, thereby encouraging development in market content.

  2. Why should one collect chinese contemporary art
    Historically, great art comes out of periods of change — and certainly China is in one of those periods. There are significant issues for artists to address, and work is being produced that is no longer merely about Mao, but about issues of genuine concern — the largest population movements from rural to urban environments in history (and the resulting challenges and dispossessed), the transformation from pre-industrial to post-industrial society in a period of a few years rather than decades or centuries, the bombardment of the digital age, and the desire to reconnect with a disjointed history and rich cultural tradition.
    There has been a lot of money flowing around the Chinese art scene over the past few years that has had a dramatic effect on the art scene and the nature of the art being produced. This volume of funds is going to fluctuate in the coming year or so, which is not a bad thing. It might make artists reflect upon the quality of the work they are producing, and encourage some of the new galleries to formulate more productive strategies to deal with a slackening off in the market. So, hopefully, these recent events will have a positive impact.
    Many people in China today are only just becoming aware of the contemporary art produced by local artists
    As two years ago, few could name even a single Chinese collector of contemporary art. It was a truism that the Chinese preferred to spend their money acquiring antiquities and classical works. Since then several well-known mainland collectors have emerged on the scene.
    Looking at the continued innovations of the older generations of artists, as well as the growing number of young graduates from art academies around the country, I think we can safely say that Chinese contemporary art is far from an imminent demise. It might have been a bit under the weather in recent months given the mood of the international and the domestic art markets (and the media), but being still young, vibrant
    Sylvain Levy
    Founder of dsl collection
    dsl collection represents more than 90 of the most chines contemporary artits. the collection is exhibited on the web at

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