Better works on show

Updated: 2015-05-05 07:34

By Lin Qi(China Daily)

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Better works on show

A visitor takes pictures of the artworks with his cellphone at the annual Art Beijing, an event that serves as a launching pad for emerging artists and young collectors.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Art Beijing not only displays works by established artists, but also puts emerging talents in the spotlight and attracts new buyers. Lin Qi reports.

The 10th edition of Art Beijing concluded on Sunday, celebrating a decade of serving as a launching pad for emerging artists and young collectors.

The annual fair, held from April 30-May 3 this year at the National Agriculture Exhibition Center, brought together some 140 galleries and art institutions, a noticeable drop from last year when around 180 galleries and institutions took part. The smaller number is a result of stricter screening of applicants, according to Art Beijing's director Dong Mengyang, so that the fair would be more professional and feature work of higher quality.

There was a wide variety of works on show, many at affordable prices. Themes such as "political pop" and "cynical realism", which once dominated the fair, gave way to the non-representational category-abstract works in particular-hinting at a more vibrant and discerning market.

Xia Jifeng from the Hive Center for Contemporary Art says young artists' works priced between 100,000 yuan ($16,100) and 200,000 yuan have become highly sought after. The gallery located in Beijing's 798 Art Zone presented not only established painters such as Liang Quan and Ma Shuqing, but they also promoted emerging artists who graduated from art schools less than five years ago. Many of the young artists sold their works at the invitation-only VIP night on April 30.

Gallery owners hope popular young artists will attract new collectors. Young buyers may be less likely to spend large sums of money on a single work. They prefer works which are not too artistically challenging, are reasonably priced and are likely to appreciate in value.

Cheng Xindong, a gallerist who operates three exhibition venues in 798, says that the art collectors' market continues to grow with an influx of wealthy people from various industries. Cheng says lower priced works are a good entry point for many collectors.

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