China auctions accounted for 36% of global market in 2020, new report finds

Greater China art auctions rebounded in 2020 after the initial Covid-19 outbreak, with the country accounting for 36% of the global art auction market in 2020, according to the latest China Art & Whitepaper. Wealth.

Compiled by China International Capital Corporation (CICC) Wealth Management, the Central Academy of Fine Arts School of Arts Administration and Education, and the Art Market Research Center, the report found that the value of national annual sales fell 20% to 39, 5 billion RMB (US $ 6.2 bn), with 98,000 transactions. The average price of the works sold was 400,000 RMB ($ 62,795) and 51% of the lots offered were sold, two records for China. While Chinese painting, calligraphy, antiques and porcelain still dominate auctions, sales of oil painting and contemporary art rose 3.3% to 9.3 billion RMB (1 , $ 4 billion) against nearly 5,000 sales, for an average price of RMB 1.9 million ($ 298,277).

“Due to strict controls on Covid in mainland China, the recovery has been very quick and very good, and auctions have resumed faster than the rest of the world,” said Shana Wu Shuang, who co-wrote and co- sought connection with Dong Rui. and Xu Wenhua. The Beijing region, including neighboring Tianjin and Hebei, particularly dominates sales figures, accounting for 53% of the national total (up from 44% in 2019) due to the rapid growth of the new Yongle auction and Huayi International’s move from Guangzhou to Beijing 2020. Holding the fifth and sixth place respectively in the auction house rankings, Yongle Auction and Huayi International recorded sales of 3.3 billion RMB ($ 518 million) and 2.6 billion RMB ($ 408 million) . % drop in revenue, from RMB 6.3 billion ($ 989 million) to RMB 5.4 billion ($ 847 million), with Sotheby’s Hong Kong in second place with a 12.1% drop in 6 billion RMB ($ 941 million) to 5.3 billion RMB ($ 832 million).

Shana Wu and Zhao Li, professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, presenting the report at the West Bund in Shanghai

Wu, who contributes to The arts journal, says the report excludes sales data from the less open fairs and galleries (it’s just not available), skewing the numbers to a low 11% (for 2019 and 2020) for the sales center the Yangtze River Delta which includes the Shanghai Art Fair and Gallery Hub. Auction data alone revealed that transactions of works above 5 million RMB ($ 784,941) increased to 55% in 2020, up from 48% in 2019, while average sales (from 100,000 RMB to 5 million million RMB) and low-end (less than 100,000 RMB) decreased, respectively from 45.5% to 40% and 6.5% to 4.6% year on year.

Now in its third edition, the report interviewed for the first time 100 collectors contacted through the CDMA and CICC networks, based in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. When asked what their main motivation was to buy art, 79% responded out of passion, 53% said investment, while 34% donated works to museums and organizations for purpose. non-profit. Auctions were the primary mode of purchase (69%), followed by galleries (62%), while 29% hire art consultants. Among their collections, 95% of those surveyed have works from Greater China, 54% each have works from Europe and the rest of Asia, and 31% have American art.

Although respondents are anonymous, Wu describes a musician from Beijing who started collecting works of art to make record covers, and a Sichuan born in the 1980s who collects and shows contemporary Chinese art as a means to promote Chinese culture. Despite a reputation for being investment-oriented and prone to twists and turns, Chinese collectors surveyed said they kept their works for six years on average, slightly below the Arts Economics world average of seven; 59% have resold works and 14% have kept their works for more than eleven years. The average collection time by respondents was 13 years.

Wu predicts that the 2021 report will show steady growth, “with no big changes up or down. It is healthy development. Attitudes towards collecting are more reasonable than before and more professional in understanding prices. There are fewer speculators and more knowledge. “

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