Why new Chines upper class buy contemporary art





Contemporary arts are different arts like photography, sculpture, painting, or video art produced in the present time. Most historians agree that the late 1960s and early 1970s is the beginning of modern art and that contemporary art began in the 20th century. Contemporary artists work in a diverse global environment. They make arts according to the taste of the modern people.

Chinese Art is the oldest form of art that existed, the earlier the Chinese arts dated back to the stone age. During the Hàn Dynasty in ancient China, the Chinese started painting and sculpture as a form of art. The emergence of communism changed the Chinese type of art to socialist Realism, which means the government chooses the kind of art their artists should make.

However, Chinese art became exposed to western art at the end of the Cultural Revolution around 1979. This exposure brought about a sudden change in the Chinese arts, and this was how Chinese art evolved into contemporary art. 

China became the world’s largest art market because of ancient art history. Chinese and foreign investors buy a great deal of the ancient Chinese arts, which enriched China and its artists. 

But since the last decade, young Chinese investors’ attention has been turned towards the contemporary western arts. Chinese buyers are ready to pay as much as possible for the new growing contemporary art for many reasons. Continue reading to understand some of these reasons below. 

Chinese buyers have turned their attention towards the contemporary art market mainly because they believe art is an investment. Because contemporary arts are not old like the traditional Chinese arts, they can resell it when it is older and more antiquated for higher prices than they bought it.

Some art investors complain about the quality of materials used for some contemporary arts because they want it to retain a good quality when they would resell it. A Singapore artist called Yeah Wee Here, who makes sculptures out of tapes, was questioned many times by Chinese investors about why she uses the materials. She said, ” In the U.K., that question never comes up, but in Asia and China, I get questions over why the material I use doesn’t last.” 

Another reason why young investors prefer western and contemporary arts is that they studied in the west, and they have grown fond of the west type of crafts. 

Apart from investing in the western arts, these young Chinese are interested in having skills that impressed them abroad in their homes after returning to China.

Also, contemporary arts include oil on canvas and brush works on paper, and young Chinese millionaires are interested in them because it is a different and unique type of art to the indigenous Chinese arts they know about since childhood.

Last year, the eagle’s contemporary art standing on a pine tree, a four-character couplet in seal script by Qi Baishi, was sold for $57.2m by China guardian. It shows how much the Chinese want to know about other arts different from their traditional crafts. 

According to a New York collector Richard Chang, the buyers of contemporary Chinese arts in China went from 15% to 85% in three years. He said, “Chinese buyers are keen on investment. Also, it gives them pride as people get interested in Chinese artists, and this increases their desire to buy these works as well”.

Also, Chinese collectors developed an interest in contemporary art because promoting Western art has opened up spaces at an alarming rate in the previous year. Chinese shares in the art revenues have grown immensely because of the Chinese interests in contemporary arts. This reason gave them more encouragement to buy more contemporary arts. 

More investors are investing in contemporary arts to increase China’s shares in the modern arts revenue and add to the worth of auction houses where they sell contemporary arts. 


Young Chinese millionaires are investing in contemporary art for the past few years because it is a substantial economic move. Buying contemporary arts would increase their country’s revenue in the world art market, and they can still resell these crafts at a higher price.



Ruiz&Polo, Barcelona, march 2021. 






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