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Updated: 2013-03-01 09:58
By Chen Nan ( China Daily)

Rare wares

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Limited-edition works by contemporary Chinese artists gain global appeal. Chen Nan reports.

The limited-edition works of some of China's hottest contemporary artists not only captivate domestic art consumers' interest but also shine at international art shows. The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art and UCCA Store will bring 28 works by 13 contemporary Chinese artists to the Armory Show for the first time. They include Liu Xiaodong's series of seven limited-edition lithographs, which were inspired by his popular 2011 UCCA solo exhibition Hometown Boy; Zhang Xiaogang's lithographs Threads of Blood, Planche No 14 and Comrades with Red Baby, Planche No 6; and Yang Maoyuan's painting Extinction Reincarnation Series, Zebra.

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The latest series of limited-edition prints - As the Days Go By, from Yu Hong, one of China's most important women artists - will also be displayed in the United States for the first time.

Held from March 7 to 10, the Armory Show is New York's biggest art fair and among world's most prominent. This year will mark its 100th staging.

"Worldwide art shows are important for us to premiere contemporary Chinese artists and their works," UCCA Store director Xue Mei says.

"Artists flock to them, and so does the public."

The store is China's first publisher and retailer of limited-edition artworks.

Meanwhile, at this year's Art 13 London, which will debut from March 1 to 3, roughly 130 galleries will sell modern and contemporary works from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Western Europe and the Americas.

UCCA Store will bring more than 40 limited-edition works by 22 Chinese artists, including photographer Ma Liang's Nostalgia series and Yu Fan's sculpture Dreamer.

UCCA Store opened in November 2007 as part of UCCA, a nonprofit art center located inside Beijing's 798 Art Zone.

In December 2008, UCCA Store participated in the Asian Contemporary Art Fair in Miami. It was the first time UCCA promoted Chinese artists' limited-edition works abroad.

In 2012, UCCA Store traveled to six art shows around the world, including Art Tokyo and Art Toronto.

Xue, who joined UCCA Store in 2009, says it has transformed over the past six years.

She says the dramatic change came from the contemporary Chinese art boom and the growing needs of ordinary consumers and collectors.

"Our products give art lovers, especially the young generation, a fresh new way to integrate creativity into their everyday lives on a budget," she says.

"Nearly all the limited-edition works brought to international art shows sell out fast, which shows how much the world is interested in China's contemporary art."

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