Asia: The Art World’s Future Mega-Collector Powerhouse

Christie's Shanghai

Christie’s April 2014 auction in Shanghai. (Christie’s)

When it comes to the world’s top art collectors, a new ARTnews list finds that Chinese buyers have a significant presence this year—and it’s only likely to get bigger in the years to come.

The magazine’s recently released annual ranking of the 200 top collectors in the world finds that 7.5 percent hail from Asia with many Chinese names on the list. Notable mainland Chinese collectors listed include Yang Bin, one of China’s biggest car dealers, Dalian Wanda CEO and China’s richest man Wang Jianlin, media baron Thomas Shao, and investor Liu Yiqian.

While these collectors’ interests are diverse, the list notes that virtually all of them invest in blue-chip Chinese contemporary art. Many are interested in Chinese antiques as well: Liu is known for his recent purchase of a record-setting $36 million porcelain Ming dynasty “chicken cup.”

In order to gain a visual perspective on where the world’s top collectors hail from, which industries they work in, and what they’re collecting, art blog Hyperallergic has compiled an infographic based on the information in the list. The Asian collectors category is one to watch: China is already the world’s second largest art market, and the rapidly rising number of Chinese millionaires and growing Chinese interest in art collection mean that more major Chinese art buyers will pushing the percentage from Asia into the double-digits in the years to come.

ARTnews-top-2014-BIG

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Art & Auction, Culture