Went on a full day art tour recently, good contemporary art is always inspiring and make people think.
Contemporary Chinese art was born with the death of dictator Mao Zedong in 1976, whose Cultural Revolution had barred Western influences and stifled creative expression for years. Suddenly China started to get Western books and magazines and learn about all the Western art movements since 1949. So in the early ’80s, Chinese artist had their own versions of these movements.
From the performative works in the 80s to installations in the early 90s, art groups in Shanghai were always the first in China to experiment with new artistic languages and presentation tools.
People go to Shanghai and see it is an absolute boomtown with buildings going up every day, and they become curious about the history of Chinese culture and fascinated with images of contemporary life. It is not easy to cover Shanghai’s contemporary art in one day, as there are over 6 different major art areas in Shanghai. But just like the 798 Art Community in Beijing, M50 is a blossoming arts district that now is the center of Shanghai’s art scene.
However buying Chinese contemporary art is not for the faint-hearted. There are no museums in China to offer the validation that contemporary-art collectors in the West desire, and few independent critics or curators to judge whether a living artist’s work is good enough to stand the test of time. Yet that is not putting off buyers. Last year Asia accounted for nearly a quarter of global auction revenue, nearly twice what it was two years ago.