The Great Wave of China–
Not just a superficial bubble
RIDING THE WAVE!
Galerie Michael • April 12 , 2018
Where to begin? I guess my recent visit to Shanghai is as good as any place to start. I felt like Marco Polo embarking on his first voyage to Asia! For my western eyes, the sights, the sounds and the density of hundreds of skyscrapers was a remarkable experience. If I had access to the H.G. Wells’ time machine and could journey back in time to the late 1800s, I might have witnessed the same dynamic growth that occurred in New York, Chicago, or any other great American city. In the case of China, now the second largest economy in the world, continuous growth, and therefore power, appears inevitable—like a GREAT WAVE inexorably moving forward. The dynamics of industrialization and future economic dominance is evident in all its glory.
Now that I am finally back home after two amazing weeks, things are settling down. My jet-lag is gone and I’m now armed with an acute understanding and awareness of the new Chinese art collector. The private and public accumulation of fine art is not only tolerated, it is actively encouraged. Government support and sponsorship is viewed as an important tool toward furthering China’s national and cultural identities. By collecting European art from the 19th and 20th centuries, the Chinese are able to further develop their own cultural heritage and enhance their already-profound place in world history.
It is fascinating to see how Chinese affluence has evolved in the last decade. Wealthy Chinese aren’t very interested in owning sports franchises. They are however very interested in real estate and objects of tangible value, and items of great cultural significance, like fine art. The typical wealthy Chinese collector is one who consults with leading scholars, museum curators, and respected Chinese artists. The greatest badge of arrival for this group of collectors appears, in my observation, to be the successful collection and curation of private museums. One’s ability to build, stock and staff one’s own museum is the ultimate symbol of cultural awareness and arrival
in Chinese high society. READ MORE>>