Sunday 16 September 2012

Image of Chinese Art Market Continually Trashed

Art connoisseurship was well established in China well before the first dollar bills were printed. There nevertheless seems to be a tendency among western (led by the US) media opinion-makers to be increasingly dismissive of the art market in China. It has been going on for quite a while now, the market has grown considerably over the past decade or so and it seems making some feel uncomfortable. So instead of this being an expression of a new prosperity in China, or the growing of a new awareness, new social needs, the Western media portray it as an illusion, a thoroughly dirty business. According to the western media, the whole Chinese market is "fakes" and "corruption". It is in no way, they argue, comparable to the western markets with their longer traditions.  So we read "Chinese businessmen buying art to launder dirty money", Art Media Agency, 12 September 2012. As we all know, there are "no" fakes sold on the western art market, all deals are above-board, and there are "no" illicit transactions going on. The western art market is as pure as the driven snow, and texts like this try to convince us that its just those grubby backward Communists that don't really know how it should be done. To what extent is either picture a true reflection of the markets discussed? 

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