Business / Industries

Tapping world's fastest-growth art market

By Huang Ying (China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-08 09:40


Tapping world's fastest-growth art market
The auction scene in Christie's 2014 Spring Auction in Shanghai in April. Christie's' global sales reached $7.13 billion in 2013, up 14 percent from a year earlier. Provided to China Daily

Auctioneer looks to China to build on record industry sales for last year

Six months ago Christie's debuted on China's mainland as a sole-funded international auction house. Cai Jinqing remembers the live auction well and talks animatedly about its unexpectedly warm response.

Cai became Christie's China president in February, promoted from managing director in the firm she joined in 2012.

Tapping world's fastest-growth art market
Christie's holds inaugural auction 

Tapping world's fastest-growth art market
Putting heart into the art 

Christie's is the world's leading auction house by sales and the first international fine art auctioneer licensed to operate on China's mainland independently.

That first auction, in Shanghai last September, drew attention across the industry, from art collectors, buyers, artists and investors. It grossed 154 million yuan ($24.98 million).

Pablo Picasso's Seated Man, sold for 9.6 million yuan. It was the first work to sell on the Chinese mainland by arguably the most important artist of the last century.

"We were really thrilled at the warm responses from all kinds of participants in the circle, from buyers to media reporters," Cai said. It "was far beyond our expectation."

About two-thirds of buyers came from the mainland, the rest from over the globe.

The sale showcased China's potential and fueled Christie's confidence to develop in the world's fastest-growing art market.

Christie's has embarked on building closer connections with local clients and improving services throughout the process; from storage to post-sale client services.

"We offer the global service experience to our local clients with our global team of employees, from experts in different art categories to the operational staff," Cai said.

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