The Chinese art bubble seems to be deflating rapidly.Abigail Esman at Forbes posted ominous comments from a top Chinese auction house:
“Three years ago the market was very strong and prices very high, but it has come down because of economic strains and because it has been too high,” notes Wang Yannan, China Guardian president. “It would not sustain on that level.” Further, she adds, the real demand for Chinese Contemporary remains domestic, suggesting that early expectations for a strong global market in the material are fading.
James Pomfret at Reuters heard similar talk from a Hong Kong ceramics dealer:
“The Chinese collectors don’t have the same energy anymore. There are fewer objects going for over HK$10 million. It was crazy in 2010 and 2011, but it has cooled down,” said Joey Low, a ceramics dealer in Hong Kong.
While there are still occasional record-setting sales—like that $27 million Chinese bowl sold in April—the overall market is weak.
Indeed many of the biggest sales at auction never materialised, like that $83 million Chinese vase that turned out to be a hoax or the $44 million bronze Chinese sculptures that were never paid for.
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