AS CHINA TAKES LEAD IN INTERNATIONAL ART WORLD, SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST ASIAN ART FOLLOWS STEADILY BEHIND
Pakistani, Indonesian, and Vietnamese contemporary art burgeon in
New York, NY (May 12, 2011)— As China just surpassed the U.S. in
terms of fine-art auction revenue according to Artprice (March 2011),
the recent surge of South and Southeast Asian art at auction,
galleries, and museums is proving to the Western world that it’s not
just China that can play with the big boys.
“Sure, China is hot, but that’s just the peak of the iceberg,”
states Lorenz Rudolf, former director of Art Basel and cofounder of
Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair. “This is not just about a group of
Chinese painters. It’s about a growing market going on in this
While nearly every major New York gallery has signed on a Chinese
artist, and prices for contemporary Chinese works have increased by
over 2000% since 2004, art enthusiasts are looking for contemporary
art that is fresh with intrinsic and appreciating value. Collectors,
dealers, galleries, and museums are turning to South and Southeast
Asian art not only for original perspective, but also for investment
Founder of AiBo Fine Asian Art, one of the first galleries in the U.S.
to focus exclusively on contemporary Vietnamese art, Glenn Aber, says
of the recent Southeast Asian art boom, “I invested in the
Vietnamese art scene about six years ago because it was in its nascent
stages and still relatively unknown in the West. I recognized the
value.” Mr. Aber is planning to open a gallery in Tribeca and works
with artists directly from Hanoi. “Now, Southeast Asian art is
exploding in the U.S. Take Dang Xuan Hoa, an original member of the
Gang of Five*. Dang garnered $85,700 at a Sotheby’s auction in
April. It’s really an exciting time.”
Sotheby’s hosted a Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art auction in
March featuring contemporary Pakistani artists (e.g. Mohammad Ali
Talpur, Ali Kazim, and Faiza Butt), Indian artists (e.g. Ravinder
Reddy), among others. The auction brought in $9.2 million.
Other areas in Southeast Asia, like Vietnam, are boding well for
contemporary artists. Vietnamese artist, Dinh Q. Lê recently had a
solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Dinh An-My Lê,
Pham Luan, and Nguyen Xuan Tien and other artists also have found
their art in museums, galleries and auction houses, getting reviews
from publications such as ArtForum, LA Times, andThe Village Voice. Le
Thanh Son, an artist from Hanoi, has had his art prices rapidly
increase in value and is collected by such luminaries as Bill Clinton,
Prince Andrew, and Bill Gates.
As South and Southeast Asian art continues to steadily grow in the
West, investors and art collectors are seeing the potential value of
the art in those countries and are looking south, specifically to
Vietnam, to see what’s next.
*Gang of Five- the first contemporary group to gain international
recognition outside Vietnam in the late 90’s
Without publicity a terrible thing happens… Nothing.
- P.T. Barnum