The Global Chinese Art Auction Market report, compiled by Artnet and the China Association of Auctioneers asserts that overseas sales of of Chinese art has more than quadrupled since 2009. At the heart of the surging interest in Chinese contemporary art is, naturally, the artists themselves. China’s artistic styles are so rich and varied as the culture and generation from they emerge.
Based on the auction total sales the top ten selling living Chinese artists are the following:
1. Zeng Fanzhi
2. Cui Ruzhuo
3. Zhang Xiaogang
4. Fang Zeng
5. Zhou Chunya
6. He Jiaying
7. Huang Yongyu
8. Yue Minjun
9. Liu Wei
10. Liu Xiaodong
Their popularity will remain for a while as their art is so recognised by the international collectors. Never wrong to invest with the blue chips of Chinese artists.
The first funny art creation of 2017 would seem to be China’s 23-foot-tall Donald Trump-like rooster sculpture, welcoming the year of the rooster on January 28th. It is designed by Seattle based illustrator and animator Casey Latiolais in honour of the Chinese zodiac.
The fiberglass statue, located outside a shopping mall in Taiyuan in Shanxi province, features a Trumpian scowl with bushy eyebrows and a golden helmet of hair. It was created on consignment for a Chinese Real Estate developer but the Latiolais added the Tromp-like features are of his own accord.
According to the Chinese social media news outlet, the statue’s egg-shaped body and golden hair symbolise wealth and prosperity for 2017. The stud has been very popular in China, with several copies of the artwork for sale on Taobao, the Chinese eBay, even an inflatable version.
On this funny note I wish every reader a Happy New Year and a Happy Chinese New Year.
Uli Sigg created in 1997, the Chinese contemporary Art Award (CCAA) for the first prize to be set up in China for contemporary Chinese art. This year the biannual award recognised three artists with international careers.
The best Artist Award went to Cao Fei (1978), belonging to the xin xin ren lei 1990’s generation attesting to the globalisation and extension of contemporary China.
The Contribution Award was attributed to Xu Bing (1955) who has worked since the 1980’s on symbols of Chinese society. The artist spent 18 years in USA before returning to China 2013, where he then developed his “History without Words” project.
The Best Young Artist Award was won by He Xiangyu (1986). Criticising the effects of globalisation, he presented the Coco cola project, during which 127 tonnes of soda were transformed into solid material, as well as the Tank Project, requiring several thousand hours of work and tons of leather.
Cao Fei is one of the most innovative Chinese young artist to have emerged on the international scene with her installations, video and photographs. Her work reflect on the rapid and chaotic changes that are occurring in Chinese society today. She has already been represented in several international biennales in Shanghai, Moscow, Taipei, Istanbul and Sydney.
Leo Gallery in Hong Kong is exhibiting the first solo show by Chinese sculptor Dai Yun. His brick sculptures have gained him recognition and it now collected by several museums and collectors. He has also been featured in established magazines such as Chinese Avant-Garde Art 1979-2004.
He uses grey or red bricks and concrete to create contemporary sculptures that have become iconic. It could either be classical figures or daily objects, his usage of bricks bring about a liveliness to his art and that adds to its rich.
The gallery is located at SOHO 189 Art Lane on 189 Queens Road, HK.
The title for the Shanghai Biennale 2016 is “Why not ask again” and is on view at the Power station of Art in Shanghai until March, 2017.
The Museum’s huge second-floor atrium i taken over by Nou Sen+MSG moonscape installation The Great Chain of Being – planet trilogy, which consists of a an experimental theatre within a crashed spaceship, video sound and bees.
The curators Raqa Media Collective welded the title with works by 92 artists and collectives from 40 countries into a intelligent, provocative show that blends many layers revealed by questioning of facts and realities. The group brings visionary speculation to the table, compelling the views to do the same.
The environment for contemporary art in improving and the Shanghai Biennale is a platform for all art to interact. The venue is exciting and enables space for the viewers.
SKY LADDER is a new documentary on Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang directed by Kevin McDonald, a Scottish filmmaker. The film premiered on Netflix recently and looks at the dynamic practice of Qiang and his rise to the art world success, told from friends, family and himself. Qiang is best known for his explosive performance and works, in which he uses gunpowder and fireworks to paint the sky with smoke and flame. The film itself is named after one such work – perhaps his most ambitious to date (see above). SKY LADDER is a 1,650 foot “ladder of fire” Qiang produced above his hometown.
You can watch the movie on Netflix.
From September 19, through November 19, 2016, Ullen Center in Beijing will host a new solo exhibition called “Parcours” by Zeng Fanzhi.
This is his first institutional solo show in Beijing curated by Philip Tinari and Guo Xi and branded as his most prolific show held so far. Sixty artworks sourced from collections around the world. The exhibition moves seamlessly from early experiments in realism through a series of muted, masked figures following his arrival on the Beijing scene in the mid-1990s, onward to the strikingly coloured and monumentally scaled canvases that signal his international emergence after 2000, and arriving at the antiquarian serenity of rigorously perceptive works on paper of his own making in the current decade.
Anyone visiting Beijing should not miss this exhibition.