From The Times:
Chinese contemporary art has substantially increased in value in recent years. According to Su-Mei Thompson, vice-president of Christie’s Hong Kong, twenty-five of the world’s top one hundred contemporary artists currently rated by value are Chinese, three of whom are in the top ten.
Established artists, such as Zhang Xiaogang, continue to soar in value – in April his Bloodline: The Big Family No 3 went for HK$47 million (about £3 million) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, a world record for the artist at auction. To capitalise on this interest, Hong Kong’s first international art fair, ART HK 08, was held in May: art worth more than $65 million was on display by 850 artists through 100 of the world’s leading contemporary galleries. Collectors in the West have been buying as much as their Eastern counterparts, and have reaped some significant capital gains.
“The phenomenal rise in value follows directly on from the economic rise of China,” says Michael Hue-Williams, of the Albion gallery in London, which exhibited at the fair. “There has been a change in the attitude of the Government. Until 2000, government policy was based entirely on economics and politics, but now they’ve added a cultural element to it. Added to that, you have the emergence of Chinese billionaires, who want to put contemporary art on their walls.”