Jing Daily’s Top Posts for the Week
Preference for rare and historical works by the most established Chinese contemporary artists among Chinese collectors was the name of the game this week, with Zhang Xiaogang’s “Bloodline – Big Family: Family No. 2″ — the earliest example of this series to ever be sold at auction, and the first time this painting was seen in public — selling for twice its estimate at HK$52.18 million (US$6.69 million). According to Artinfo, the painting was acquired by the Indonesian-Chinese super-collector Budi Tek for display at his upcoming private museum in Shanghai, as was Fang Lijun’s “1993 No. 4,” which beat its pre-sale high estimate and sold for a whopping HK$28.66 million (US$3.67 million).
Looking back on the sale, Evelyn Lin, Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Asian Art, remarked, “In line with the development in the market for Contemporary Chinese Art we experienced during the course of last year, this evening’s buying was completely dominated by Asian buyers.”
When thinking of the world’s fashion epicenters, Beijing usually does not come first to mind. Although not quite to the extent it would have in the fad-laden cities of Paris and New York, the promising effort on Mercedes-Benz’s behalf allowed China Fashion Week 2012 to come alive in Beijing. Held in the industrious 751 D-Park, bordering the famed 798 arts district, as well as the city’s iconic Beijing Hotel, the veteran fashion week producers, Mercedes-Benz, transformed these somewhat bleak spaces into venues that were fit not only for the car manufacturer’s young and voguish spirit, but also for the vibrancy of couture.
Despite putting forth their best efforts, many of the local and domestic Chinese designers’ shows did not quite validate one’s connotations of a glamorous runway extravaganza.
Although China’s home-grown fashion industry is still in its infancy, a new generation of internationally trained young designers and digitally savvy fashion followers in the country could gradually transform it into a global player. With the emergence of Chinese independent designers and a dedicated, yet niche, buyer base, a handful of curated multi-designer stores have opened in recent years in cities like Beijing and Shanghai. As Jing Daily noted earlier this week, examples of Chinese multi-brand retail range from the very small scale — e.g., Beijing’s Triple-Major and Dong Liang — to larger department stores like JOYCE and Lane Crawford.
Officially opening its doors on October 10, 2010 in Shanghai’s Xintiandi neighborhood, the independent multi-designer boutique Alter stocks a hand-picked selection of 30 cutting-edge designers from around the world.
It’s becoming common knowledge in the luxury industry that relatively young, cashed-up (and often outbound) Chinese consumers continue to buoy the global market, but digging past the obvious facts and figures, many high-end brands are finding that a poor reading of what these shoppers really want can prove disastrous. Looking past the sound-bytes we’ve heard for the last several years about Chinese consumers “snapping up luxury goods” around the world, a new China Luxury Network report adds color to these macro-level observations of China’s emerging luxury consumer, giving brand managers and marketers a better sense of not only why Chinese shoppers are flocking en masse to luxury boutiques from London to Lanzhou but how brands can better attract and serve this increasingly important buyer base.
Launching in advance of the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Expo, American automaker Cadillac is set to run its “Dramatic Journey” (百年风范之旅) art and design exhibition from April 21 through May 15 at Beijing’s National Convention Center. Curated by Xiao Xiaolan, the exhibition will include works by dozens of renowned Chinese and international artists displayed alongside nine Cadillac models, ranging from antique to concept, tracing the development of the automaker’s design over the past 110 years. Artists to be displayed at the exhibition include Andy Warhol, David LaChapelle, Stuart Davis, Zao Wou-ki, and blue-chip Chinese contemporary painters like Wang Guangyi, Fang Lijun, Zhang Xiaogang and Yue Minjun.