May 4, 2015

Art Business students travel to Hong Kong, Shanghai to explore global art market

Claremont Graduate University Art Business students immersed themselves in Chinese art and culture over spring break in an effort to promote global literacy in contemporary art. The entire Sotheby’s Institute of Art Art Business cohort—33 students, three professors, and one alumni chaperone—traveled to Hong Kong and Shanghai to attend several art fairs, network with alumni, and gain invaluable cultural experience.

The trip exposed students to a global art market and increased their cultural aptitude in dealing with transcontinental business.

“When you’re on the ground and really running through the streets, you’re learning so much more first hand than you ever could from a textbook,” said Art Business MA student Milena Grgas.

The group attended Art Basel Hong Kong, Asia’s largest art fair. This iconic art show provides a platform for modern and contemporary artists to showcase their work to collectors, curators, and art connoisseurs and is a major hub for the international art scene. The students also attended the Shanghai Biennale, one of the most established contemporary art fairs in China, which took place at the Power Station of Art, a 40,000 square-foot industrial complex that now serves as China’s first state-run contemporary art museum.

The trip fostered networking connections with new contacts and program alumni. As a result, three students have secured summer internships in Asia.

Students coupled cultural diversity and experiences with professional development, and took a city tour of Hong Kong, visited Victoria Peak and Stanley Market, and enjoyed a sunset cruise in the harbor.

“Through this trip we’ve seen both the business and the art side of the Chinese art market and really learned about the Asian markets as a whole,” said Camilla Johnston, Art Business student. “I think that’s really valuable for anyone who wants to go forward in the art industry today.”

Next year, the program has plans to return to Hong Kong.

The Art Business master’s degree is offered through the Center for Management in the Creative Industries, a partnership between Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker School of Management; School of Arts and Humanities; Sotheby’s Institute of Art; and the Getty Leadership Institute.

The degree program focuses on the visual arts with an emphasis on the for-profit side of the industry and the institutions that manage, conserve, exhibit, promote and sell works of art.

See video from the trip at