WAN Jie – Founder and president of Artron Art Group – Founder of Art Market Monitor of Artron (AMMA)

In 2019, the Chinese Art Market did not record a growth in terms of number of sold lots, but this particular indicator does not reflect the overall trend in the country. We observe that the Chinese Art Market is undergoing a positive adjustment, improving its structure and developing online sales.

The distinction between the primary market and the secondary market is clearer than ever in China, regarding marketing strategy and brand positioning. On one hand, art fairs remains very popular events on the primary market and many of them now enjoy strong brand recognition, to become significant sales channels for art galleries. Meanwhile, the auction industry keeps following its strategy on the secondary market: selecting higher quality artworks and diversifying the offer, rather than having the highest volume of auction sales. In a context of reduced sold lots, the unsold rate has decreased, especially for Oil Painting and Contemporary Art, which records an increasing turnover against the overall trend. After several years of ups and downs, the Chinese Art Market has stepped into a virtuous circle. The key trends for 2019 were Restructuring, Quality enhancement and Diversification.

In addition, online sales are drawing more and more attention. Since the traditional auction art market is facing some difficulties in expanding in the short term, online trading platforms (mainly focusing on middle and low-end prices) are getting more popular on the Art Market, thanks to greater flexibility and lower operating costs. At the same time, online sales reach a larger number of potential collectors, leading to more opportunities to offer services such as online valuations or data analysis.

Although uncertainty is still a strong feeling in China in 2020 regarding the evolution of the Art Market, growth is still expected. With the growing number of individuals who enjoy the beauty of Art and who appreciate its cultural value, the Chinese Art Market should face a bright future. The “Great Wall” of cultural belief will be built.