Zhao Wuji tops Hurun's Art List for the second consecutive year
The Hurun Report,a luxury publishing and events group aimed at China's high net worth individuals (previously on Jing Daily), released their 2011 Art List this week, ranking China's living artists by the total sales of their works at public auctions over the last year. For the second year in a row, 90 year-old painter Zao Wou-Ki (Zhào Wú Jí, 赵无极) topped the list, with total sales exceeding 3 billion yuan (US$457 million), beating 41 other painters in the list of 50 artists.
A few standouts on this year's Art List include a myriad of modern oil painters and contemporary Chinese artists. The only painter working in the traditional Chinese painting style to make it onto the list was Shi Qi, who dropped 19 spots to rank 44th overall this year. Painter Zhou Chunya ("Artist of the Year" at the recent Art Power awards in Beijing), famous for his "Green Dog" and "Peach Blossom" works, rose in the ranks this year mostly due to red-hot sales of his "Stone" series (executed in 1999), which achieved total turnover of 96.72 million yuan ($14.7 million), placing him at number seven.
Remarking on this year's list, Chengdu's Huaxi Metropolitan Newspaper pointed out the number of artists from Sichuan Province increased in 2010, with Sichuan Fine Arts Institute graduate Zhang Xiaogang rising from number 13 in 2009 to number five via total sales amounting to 1.2 billion yuan ($183 million), and Sichuan-based painter Luo Zhongli ascending from sixteenth to eleventh. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Huashang Online bemoans the absence of a single Shaanxi Province artist on the list, chalking it up to Shaanxi's underdeveloped art market.