Hello Quartz members—
Two forces have ruled the global art market since its inception—Western money, and Western eyes. This week in our field guide, we examined China’s disruption of these historic realities. As China’s share of the art economy bloomed from less than 1% to 19% over the past 20 years, so too has Chinese influence, heralding the rise of a new generation of contemporary artists and buyers ready to upend the art world as we knew it.
What struck me about this guide is how China’s global presence in the art economy has in recent decades run parallel to China’s expansion in global trade. I’m curious to hear more about how art fits into Beijing’s ongoing campaign for economic and political influence in places such as Africa, which we’ll be discussing later today in our conference call (details below).
In the meantime, here are a few conversation starters from our guide:
TO DISCUSS WITH FRIENDS OVER DINNER…
- “Elegant bribery” can contribute to inflated art prices; the anonymous nature of art-buying provides a nice shield for money laundering.
- Thirty years ago in Paris, an art-world fight over global representation inspired an exhibition called Les Magiciens de la Terre. It questioned the establishment, and while falling short of defining a new non-Western approach to art, was a landmark event for the global art market that people still talk about today.
- Looking to strike it big with strategic art investments? Good luck. The meteoric rise of Chinese contemporary art is unlikely to be replicated elsewhere anytime soon.
- Artforum launched a Chinese edition in 2008, and with your excellent Mandarin (or Google Translate), it could be a gateway to keeping up with contemporary art.
…OR WITH US, TODAY, ON THIS CALL
Join us for a discussion of the Chinese art market today at 11am EDT/4pm BST. We’ll be taking questions and comments live on the video conference call with Quartz reporter Annalisa Merelli and editor Oliver Staley. The call is accessible at the usual location. If you’d like to dial in, use the following numbers:
- UK 0800 014 8469
- USA 866 226 4650
For both numbers, the access code is 722 994 440.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE TALK ABOUT?
We’re actively planning future calls and coverage. I’d love to hear more from you. What are you curious about? Are there topics you’d like us to cover on one of our calls? Reply to this email with your thoughts—I’m listening.
NEXT WEEK: CAN TECH MAKE US BETTER PARENTS?
Next week in exclusive reporting for Quartz members, we look at the wave of entrepreneurs focusing on a massive yet weirdly underdeveloped market: new parents.
Have a good weekend!
Kevin J. Delaney
Editor in chief and cofounder, Quartz