Session - 27 November 2020
Michael Xufu Huang, Founder, X Museum
Queenie Law, Founder, Q Contemporary
Li Danqing, President, Asia, Lévy Gorvy Asia
Shaw Shu, Executive Director, HE Art Museum
To many, Chinese billionaire Liu Yiqian’s $170 million purchase of Modigilani’s Reclining Nude in 2015 heralded the coming of a golden age for Western art in China. Since then, Chinese auction houses, galleries, and exhibitions have all seen a rapid increase in demand for Western Art. What forms and styles are most popular and sought after? What are the reasons behind this surge in interest? How does China’s complicated relationship with Western imperialism and colonialism come into play? The flourishing of China’s Western art scene has in turn drawn attention towards how many Chinese artists engage and are in dialogue with Western art. Are they integrating themselves among, or deliberately revolting against, their Western predecessors and peers? Are they ‘westernising’ Chinese art, or ‘sinifying’ Western art? Should we be understanding their works through the lens of nationalism and postcolonialism? This panel discussion aims to explore these many strands of thought. Through an examination of the prominence of Western art in the market, among the people, and among artists, we will create a dialogue delving into the nuanced East-West dynamics that have always been a significant part of China’s society and culture.