Towards Asia

The annual turnover of auctions sales of art’s works in the world jumped by 21 % in 2011 (a crisis? what crisis?), reaching an unprecedented 11.54 billion dollar level (8.7 billion euro). And China is leading with a market share above 41 % (!), according to data published by the Artprice company.

For the first year in history, sales of paintings, installations, sculptures, drawings, prints or photos exceeded the 10 billion dollar threshold, and it has to be noted that this exceptional growth of the art market was continuous all year long. After a record first half of the year, the second half-year was the best second half-year of every time (since the second half-year 2007).

China, that already was the first marketplace for art sales in 2010, consolidated its leadership. With 3.6 billion euro auctions, it now enjoys a market share of almost 41.5 %. The United States keep the second place but already far behind with 2.05 billion euro sales and a 23.6 % market share. Great Britain is third with 1.7 billion euro sales and 19.4 % of the market.

France lies, as in 2010, at the fourth place with 393 million euro and a 4.5 % market share. Germany is fifth with 161 million euro and a 1.85 % market share.

By city, the Paris marketplace is only fifth behind London, New York, Beijing and Hong-Kong, and is shoulder to shoulder with Shanghai. All in all, the market share of Asia amounts to 43 % in 2011.

And this is not to end. If the forecasts by international experts of the art market confirm, the market share of Asia will reach 54 % at least in 2012. Maybe because with the financial crisis, art really became a safe investment? We could notice, in the last months, banks developing their purchases of art’s works for purposes of investment. At least, some banks…

And what is the track record of art’s works as an investment? According to experts, above 15.000 euro for a work of art, the buyer does not risk to loose money:  in the worst case he will make a neutral operation. Above 150.000 euro, the buyer is assured to enjoy an annual rise by 12 % to 15 % of his investment in the years to come. Another significant data: in the 1950s there were approximately 500.000 collectors, and now there are at least 300 million of “art consumers ” (amateurs, collectors).

To prove, if needed, how the art’s market in moving to Asia, here are two other facts: the highest bid of year 2011 amounted to 57.2 million dollars for a work of the Chinese artist Qi Baishi, was entitled ” Eagle Standing one Pine Tree “, sold on May 22nd in Beijing. And out of 1.688 ‘millionaire bids’ (over the million dollars) of year 2011, 774 took place in China.

There is thus no doubt: the market is moving to Asia. This is where new amateurs and the new millionaires are. We will have to examine in future articles, the reality of the art’s market in the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China), countries called emerging and which, in the field of art, at least, have well emerged.

Tags: Art, artists, Asia, China

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