Sotheby’s to Help TEFAF Launch China Art Fair –

ceibs art market Sothebys to Help TEFAF Launch China Art Fair   artmarketblog.comHow does a global art fair infiltrate a notoriously insular art market without appearing to tread on the toes of local businesses? Develop an initiative with a business that has already developed a presence in China, that’s how.  World renowned art fair TEFAF have just announced that they are in discussions with Sotheby’s to explore the possibilities of developing a high-end art fair for China through Sotheby’s Joint Venture in Beijing with GeHua. According to TEFAF, “‘TEFAF Beijing 2014′ would represent a ground-breaking collaboration between a leading international auction house and the world’s most important art and antiques fair.”

The announcement by TEFAF follows the 2012 launch of a 10-year joint venture between Sotheby’s and the Chinese state-owned Beijing GeHua Art Company allowing Sotheby’s become the first international auction house to operate in mainland China. Exactly what Sotheby’s would bring to the China art fair collboration, other than an inroad into the Chinese art market, is as yet unclear.

Commenting on the announced discussions, Ben Janssens, Chairman of TEFAF’s Executive Committee, said: “It has always been TEFAF Maastricht’s aim to be responsive to global trends in the art market. We feel now is the time to further develop our presence in China, one of the most important art markets.  As TEFAF has in recent years made great efforts to explore the market in China, we are excited to have agreed with Sotheby’s exclusively to explore the possibilities of a partnership with Sotheby’s Joint Venture to establish “TEFAF Beijing”. TEFAF is committed to contribute to the further growth of the market for European Art in China by facilitating a high end art market platform for Chinese collectors and international art dealers.”

Christie’s have also attempted to make inroads into the Chinese art market with the launch of an art market education program in partnership with the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS).  Jointly developed and designed by CEIBS and Christie’s, The Global Art Market program will “allow participants to explore both the theoretical and practical sides of the art world by utilising a variety of teaching methods. It will provide participants with opportunities to visit world famous museums, artists’ studios and private collection rooms, and to interact with experts as they explore all facets of the art world.”

**Nicholas Forrest is a Sydney/London based art market analyst, art consultant and writer.  He is the founder of the Art Market Blog ( which offers independent commentaries as well as research and analysis on the current art market, and has recently been published in Fabrik magazine, Verve magazine, Visual Art Beat magazine, Australian Art Collector magazine, Art & Investment magazine and many others.  Nic has made several radio appearances (both nationally and internationally) as an art market expert and has received press from the likes of the New York Times, Conde Nast Portfolio and Times of London.

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