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Globalization and Future Development of Chinese Art

by Daniel Donna

The last two-three decades have experienced huge economic, political, and social changes in China. Artists in the Chinese cities, and even elsewhere in the country, such as Taiwan and Hong Kong, have responded to the fast-evolving changes, and particularly, globalization, with artworks that are both bewildering and exhilarating. Therefore, Chinese art continues to be one of the most sought after in the art market today.

If you take a flashback to 2008, Christies Hong Kong auction, it reported a record sale of $315/£217 million. This made it one of the most valuables series of artwork sales in Asia. As more traders, companies, and investors “head” to China and the entire Far East, it is the perfect time to look at how globalization is affecting Chinese art.

A Brief of the Chinese Art after the 1980s

In the 1980s, young Chinese artists started working on installations that followed Robert Rauschenberg’s Overseas Culture Exchange project, which brought mixed works of art, including objects found in the China National Art Gallery. Still, around the same time, the government started art journals, which had a western art agenda. See the bigger picture here – China was preparing itself to play a bigger role in both global business and art.

By promoting innovation, the Ministry of Culture in Beijing was presenting art as an important item to the world. Chinese contemporary artists started working even harder to take the Chinese culture to the rest of the world, creating a stream of influence and success. The effects of these efforts are now being felt. The growing demand, as we will highlight shortly, and in agreement with one of the leading Chinese artist, Jiang Jian, is not just about producing scripts with the work of an ink brush, but empowering it to take a living form.

Globalization and Chinese Art

Today, Chinese art is taking place under the influence of fast-growing globalization, leading to the big question, “Will the artists succeed in taking the art to the next level?” Unlike the period before the 1980s (colonial era) when works of art largely took a West to East approach, the reverse is now true. So, will Chinese art influence the west?

The outlook of the global art market is complex than an individual culture. Therefore, it requires a comprehensive framework that draws appeal from different countries. When presenting Chinese art to the west, the cultural difference comes into play, with some symbols not being easily understood. However, this is not standing on the road because every piece of Chinese art comes with detailed information, available in multiple languages for clients to understand and own. Take the example of the collections by John Dodelande, one of the fastest upcoming collectors. His work is one of the most sought after in the globe today.

The translations and detailed explanations of every piece of art have drawn great interest in Chinese art exhibitions. This is why Chinese art is very common in most western art museums and cultural centers. Some of these include:

  • Xu Bing’s “The Living World” exhibition at J. P. Morgan Library’s in New York, (2011).
  • “Modern Chinese Ink Paintings” at the British 122 UNSETTLED BOUNDARIES Museum in London (2012).
  • Zing Fanzhi, a Chinese artist, was exhibited in Satschi, 2011, and Gagosian, 2012, 2013

The main expectation of the growing influence of globalization is the suppression of Chinese art, but it appears things are different. With the government of China working harder to promote it culture, Chinese art is expected to continue flourishing. The truth is that there is so much to learn from Chinese art, and you should not be left behind in discovering it by participating in different exhibitions.