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ArtTactic Limited

ArtTactic Limited

Art Journal
Chinese Contemporary Art Market Report - March 2010
  The confidence in the Chinese Contemporary art market strengthened significantly from February 2009. The ArtTactic® Confidence Indicator for the Chinese art market increased from 16 in February 2009 to 57 in November 2009. The current level signals that there is more positive than negative sentiment in the art market.

The ArtTactic® Speculation Barometer for the Chinese contemporary art market decreased from 7.1 in February, to 6.7 in November 2009. However, the respondents remain concerned about the prospect of a new speculative bubble.
The second half of 2009 turned into a very strong period for both the international and domestic Chinese auction houses, with the volume of Chinese art reaching $1.21 billion vs $928 million in 2008, a year-on-year increase of 41%.

ArtTactic® Auction Indicator for contemporary Chinese art has recovered from its lows and is now standing at 40. However, as long as the Indicator remains below the 50 level, the Chinese Contemporary art market remains a buyers’ market.

Whilst major sale records used to be achieved in Hong Kong, London and New York, 2009 clearly showed the strength of the domestic collector base, and the ability of domestic auction houses to get top quality consignments. Poly Auction’s sale in the autumn of 2009 became the highest ever grossing sale in mainland China.

In 2009, the state-owned Poly Auction house, also became the biggest player in the Chinese contemporary art market with a total turnover of $20.5 million, surpassing both Sotheby’s ($17.2 million sale) and Christie’s ($14.7 million sale). Poly’s aggressive entry into the market and its rapidly gaining market share, shows that the auction house is likely to be a serious challenge to the international duopoly that Christie’s and Sotheby’s have been enjoying for decades in the Chinese art market.


- Chinese Art Market Trends
- The Chinese economy recovers, but the risk of new asset bubbles puts the country on alert
- Confidence returns to the Chinese art market, although 30% of the market remains negative to the short-term outlook.
- Mainland auction houses increase their market share in the global Chinese art market
- Poly and China Guardian overtake Sotheby’s Hong Kong in the autumn of 2009
- Chinese contemporary art suffers, but domestic auction house eyes new opportunities
- Sotheby’s Hong Kong takes lead in the recovery process
- Lower estimates sees buyer confidence returning
- Poly Auction acquires prime position in the contemporary Chinese art market
- ArtTactic® Auction Indicator – The contemporary art market remains a buyers’ market

For more information contact Nathan Engelbrecht,
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