A bi-weekly conversation series on the issues that matter with the people that matter to artists and the organizations that support them, CBMArts presents ‘Arts and Culture Conversations’.
The Chinese Art Market Post Pandemic—Galleries, Art Fairs and Private Museums
While the rest of the art world is still trying to cope with the tremendous impact caused by the outbreak of COVID-19, the art market in China has witnesses the fastest recovery post pandemic. Local galleries have started in-person visits in late Spring, the art fairs in Beijing and Shanghai are taking place as originally scheduled, and a number of private museums were launched with groundbreaking exhibitions. In this colloquium, we will be joined by Beijing-based collector Liu Gang and Shanghai-based Lorenz Helbling, Founder of ShangART gallery, to discuss how the Chinese art market achieved normalcy after the impact of COVID.
Liu Gang is one of the leading lawyers in the Asian capital markets and received the Legal Profession Lifetime Achievement Award by Chambers and Partners in 2010. He has been collecting artworks for more than 27 years. With his unique taste, he assembled a series of Chinese oil paintings covering the period from 18th century to the contemporary era. Besides the collection, Mr. Liu is very active in art circles. He is an art columnist, a curator, and patron of several art institutions. In 2017, he published an art review book, which won the Best Art Publication of the Year awarded by China Art Power 100.
Lorenz Helbling, founder of ShanghART Gallery, born 1958 in Switzerland, studied history, Chinese and art history at the University of Zurich and Fudan University in Shanghai in the mid 80s. In 1995, he came back to Shanghai and established ShanghART Gallery as one of the first independent spaces for contemporary art in China. It became the first gallery from China to participate at the major international fairs. Today ShanghART has spaces in Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore, maintaining an exhibition area of 1400m2 and represents more than 60 contemporary artists with a strong focus on artists living and working in Shanghai.
Kejia Wuis a columnist for the Financial Times Chinese and an adjunct faculty member at Claremont Graduate University. She is the author of TEFAF Art Market Report 2019: the Chinese Art Market and a co-author of the Global Art Import and Export Tax Report commissioned by the China Association of Auctioneers and the Chinese Ministry of Culture. In 2019, she was presented the Asia Art Pioneers Award by ArtReview Asia, LEAP, and The Art Newspaper China Edition.
Before joining Claremont Graduate University, she was a member of the faculty at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York. Previously, she oversaw Asia projects and strategies at Sotheby’s in the Office of the CEO while based in New York. Wu worked in Asia for more than a decade advising various art organizations on projects including the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the first Gerhard Richter retrospective at the National Art Museum of China, the Chinese Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, Art Dubai, and ArtSingapore. She is co-founder of the East Modern Art Center (EMAC), the first nonprofit contemporary art center in Beijing, and was in charge of its contemporary art programs and operations. The art performance created at EMAC, Dancing with Farmers, was featured at the Chinese Pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennial in 2015.
Wu is a graduate of Yale University and Renmin University. She is a trustee of the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture (NYSS), as well as a board member of the nonprofit organization Elimu Strive. Wu has lectured and spoken at numerous institutions including Columbia University, NYU Shanghai, Tsinghua University, NYSS, TEFAF, UCCA, and the City University of Hong Kong. She was named by the Financial Times Chinese as a spokesperson for its “Ten Year Ten People” Anniversary Campaign in China in 2015.