Art Beijing 2011 Contemporary Art Fair Proves an Outstanding Success
On May 2, 2011, the Art Beijing Contemporary Art Fair successfully concluded at Beijing’s New Exhibition Hall of the National Agricultural Exhibition Center. In the three days of the exhibition, an audience of nearly 40,000 visited the fair. The high quality of the fair also underscored Art Beijing’s theme and objective of “Blossoming at Home and Radiating Through Asia”. This year’s fair was a profound success in every aspect, winning extraordinary praise from all circles of the society.
There were nearly 100 exhibitors participating in Art Beijing 2011. Exhibitors came from nearly 20 countries and regions, and included 75 contemporary art galleries, 10 video galleries, and 13 special participating institutions. All key regions were represented with leading Chinese contemporary art galleries. The main Contemporary Fine Art Fair artistic theme exhibition, Photo Beijing thematic exhibition, and Fashion + Design Beijing special exhibition perfectly complemented each other.
Inquiries from buyers and clients who attended this year’s fair were numerous, and buyers from Beijing made a majority of the deals. Many young buyers appeared at this fair. Among these buyers, were cultural celebrities like film director Feng Xiaogang and film star Song Dandan. The presence of so many prominent people underscored the flourishing of China’s art market. Most galleries said that the art market was gathering strength. According to the exhibitors survey, more than 90% of the galleries made deals, and nearly all exhibitors stated that they intended to participate again next year.
Art Unforbidden – Ullens Contemporary Art Collection
Academic approaches and high marketability are hallmarks of Art Beijing. Many world-renowned galleries participated in this year’s fair. In addition, Art Beijing hosted theme exhibitions of a highly academic nature. “Art Unforbidden” has continued from the very first Art Beijing Contemporary Art Fair as a theme exhibition that embodies the responsibility and perseverance of Art to the development of contemporary art.
The Art Beijing Contemporary Art Fair cooperated with Poly Auction to bring the “Ullens Contemporary Art Collection Fair” to the public. The fair brought together the most representative works of 17 key contemporary Chinese artists, including Zhang Xiaogang, Wang Guangyi, Yue Minjun, Long Liyou, Fang Lijun, Zeng Fanzhi, Liu Xiaodong, Zhou Chunya, Yu Youhan and Liu Wei. Since the 1980s, Chinese contemporary artists have constantly reflected a high degree of art education and technique, engaging possibilities of various artistic forms in respect to the artistic languages and connotations of art. At the same time, these outstanding contemporary masters reflect society and its new ways of thinking in their works. From this special exhibition, it was clear that, for artists who will have their names recorded in Chinese art history, their works will coordinate the styles and patterns of Chinese contemporary art. These artists are challenging established aesthetic concepts and the interests of people, and creating personal artistic languages. This academic fair drew significant attention from visitors, collectors and the media. From both market and academic points of view, these are rare contemporary fine art masterpieces of extraordinary value.
Photo Beijing Thematic Exhibition– “N/1 Mixed Media”
The Photo Beijing Thematic Exhibition– “N/1 Mixed Media” focused on dialogues about the intersections between video, photography, mixed media and space. The exhibition was divided into six areas: “Fixed Patterns”, “Mind”, “Memories”, “Viewing Realms”, “Ideas” and “Wild Box Plan.” The fair invited the most representative video and photographic artists of China to participate, letting visitors discover the compelling images of these media. The stunning exhibition made clear that “beauty” is a permanent theme, central to understanding the perspectives art offers us for viewing past, present and future realities.
This exhibition won accolades and great appreciation from art circles. Viewer and participants discussed the interactions between various artistic media and our developing society, as well as the myriad perspectives that art offers on these issues. The space was gorgeously divided into a dynamic mixed space for viewing the masterpieces of these relatively new artistic forms.
Fashion + Design Beijing – Asian Design Theme Exhibition
In its first year as part of Art Beijing Contemporary Art Fair, the Fashion + Design Beijing – Asian Design Theme Exhibition exhibited more than 20 art and design works from Japan, South Korea and China. The special exhibition attracted many visitors and won high praise for elegantly presenting Asian design style. Compared with contemporary artworks, design products are closer to most people’s lives. Art Beijing continues to spotlight excellent design products and new prominent designers.
With a theme of “Organic Combination – Contemporary Asian Design Lifestyles”, the exhibition was curated by designer Song Tao. Nearly 20 artists participated, including Song Tao, Sun Wentao and Kurokawa Masayuki (Japan). The exhibition also highlighted common themes in Asian contemporary design philosophy, which has its own approach to aesthetic appreciation. Many ancient Chinese designs continue to influence design work across Asia.
Salon de Future part was planned by Li Daheng, who has served as curator for London’s prestigious Saatchi Gallery. Li helped expand the exhibition to cover more fields, and included art, architecture, design and sound works by top artists like Gao Kangzhe, Jiang Chengxiao, Han Zhenzhu and Cai Enmei (South Korea).
Art Platform – Art Beijing Special Participating Instituitions
Art Beijing invited 13 cultural centers, embassies and non-profit organizations from the United States, France, Spain, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, Portugal and China as special exhibitors to take part in Art Beijing 2011 Contemporary Art Fair. These institutions primarily exhibited video and new media art works. Many interactive works collapsed the distance between audience and art. The exhibition covered a striking variety of countries and regions, reflecting the unique cultural features of each and making this year’s fair a powerful platform for artistic and cultural exchanges.
The “DRAP ART” by Instituto Cervantes Presented bold, compelling works in an exhibition that was filled with a sense of social responsibility. The special exhibition criticized the social patterns of consumerism and appealed for greater protection of the environment. Rare in the field of art, the exhibition presented strategies for best environmental practices, including recycling. The exhibition thereby forged real connections between art and daily life. It was lauded as one of the highlights of Art Beijing 2011. This “art platform” project enriched the fair with its unique academic nature and diversity, bringing new ways of thinking into Chinese contemporary art circles.
Institutional Cooperation and Complete VIP Services
The number of VIPs attending the fair this year increased by 33% over 2010. Total audience ticket purchases increased by 250%. The growth of both the VIP and regular audiences was made possible by Art Beijing’s continual development of its VIP and target audience strategies. VIPs are vital for the development of the fair, and Art Beijing continually searches for the right audience for its art fairs and exhibiting galleries and organizations. In order to bring in such crowds, a carefully honed marketing strategy and team works throughout the Asian art community, helping Art Beijing drive forward the sound growth of the art market.
The professional art fair is not only a service for exhibitors but also an important resource for collectors. Therefore, planning VIP services is of the utmost importance. The fair staff arranged forums, cocktail parties, activities and external exhibitions for VIP guests, including the “Art and Economy Summit Forum” on April 29 sponsored by and named for the Private Bank CCB. The event was also hosted by the BCDF, the Zhongguancun Science Park Yonghe Park Administrative Committee and the Art Beijing Executive Committee. It was carried out by the Art Market Research Centre. The Forum invited officials, finance business leaders, collectors and professional academics to speak and participate in the round-table conferences. The VIP event fully explored the current situation and trends of the art market.
Art Beijing 2011•Yintai VIP Cocktail Party
On April 30, the “Art Beijing • 2011 Contemporary Art Fair-Yintai VIP Cocktail Party” was held jointly by Art Beijing, Bazaar Art and Beijing Yintai Center at the Beijing Yintai Center Park • Life. Mr. Dong Mengyang, CEO of Art Beijing, Ms. Su Mang, vice president of Trends Media Group, and Ms. Zhu Xiaodong, GM of Beijing Yintai Center, made speeches at the VIP cocktail party. Guests talked freely about art and appreciated the works, as well as a live concert by the Chaliangfen Band. It was a night of extraordinary artistic and aesthetic flavors.
Art Beijing and Yintai Center have cooperated for many years, and the art organization’s selection of a high-end business partner that upholds the same values for cooperation plays a positive role in its art education and art collecting promotion programs. The cooperation also helps target and connect with key VIP groups.
“People’s Car Project” Makes a Special Exhibition Premiere at Art Beijing
As an auto brand that has long supported Chinese culture, art and social development, Volkswagen has sponsored and participated in the Art Beijing Contemporary Art Fair for six years. In the first five years of cooperation, Volkswagen participated with different themes and forms, supporting Chinese art with practical action and forwarding Volkswagen’s brand values of “Innovation, Value and Responsibility”. In 2011, Volkswagen’s ”People’s Car Project” brought innovative strategies to build awareness for the Volkswagen brand and help shape a new era of automotive design. The Volkswagen “People’s Car Project” exhibited its exciting “Flubber Cars” at Art Beijing 2011, which were designed to inspire the imaginations of people across China. The “People’s Car Project” lets everyone design their own dream cars and share ideas for the future of automotive transportation in an innovative online platform. The stunningly creative exhibition from Volkswagen was another highlight of Art Beijing 2011, and a high point in the cooperation between Volkswagen and Art Beijing.
Private Bank CCB Supports Art Beijing
After the success of the “Art Beijing 2010 • Fine Art Fair”, Private Bank CCB again offered significant support for the Art Beijing 2011 Contemporary Art Fair, and successfully held the “Private Bank CCB Art and Economy Forum” and other small-scale forums. As one of the first domestic private banks to participate in artistic crossover cooperation, the Private Bank CCB spared no effort in trying strategies for the collection of artworks and financial investment, along with providing new ways for participating in the field of art investment. It has significantly opened new channels for collectors to improve the mobility of their collections.
Samsung (China) Investment Co., Ltd. Participates in Art Beijing for Third Year
Samsung (China) Investment Co. Ltd. has supported the Art Beijing Contemporary Art Fair for three consecutive years. Its “Artist Cinema” project gave full play to visual arts and technology, featuring stunning high-definition picture quality, multimedia functionality and simple operations modes. This is another innovative collaboration that perfectly reflects the combination of visual art and intelligent technology.
Its intelligent web browser, wireless consulting services and other outstanding technologies and services open up new creative possibilities for artistic expression and cooperation at Art Beijing.
2011 VIP Education Forum
Since it was founded, the Art Beijing VIP Education Forum has aimed to cultivate art education and promote the popularization of art. It provides professional support and assistance for art collectors of various stages in the development of their collections. It is also one of the most important academic programs of all of Art Beijing’s fairs. This time, the Art Beijing VIP Education Forum project focused on key issues in art in Asia and emphasized Art Beijing’s objective of pushing forward art in Asia. The status of contemporary art and the Asian collection market were key discussion points. The forum also invited academic experts and senior professionals from home and abroad to participate and provide insight into art theory and the market. They conducted discussions in plain language with the audience and helped cultivate new collectors and collection groups.
1949 The Hidden City - Cocktail Reception of the Art Gallery Association of Beijing
Taking shape at the time of the Art Beijing 2011 Contemporary Art Fair, the Beijing Art Gallery Association organizing committee invited more than 100 art gallery representatives in Beijing to hold a special cocktail reception at the 1949 art restaurant on the night of Labor Day. to the event marked the gratitude of the members for the leaders and various departments of the Bureau of Culture, as well as to all relevant persons in the gallery industry, for their efforts in promoting the establishment of the Art Gallery Association of Beijing. People gathered together to celebrate the formation of this association for Beijing’s gallery industry and pledged to do their parts in promoting the sound development of the Chinese art market.
Guan Yu, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture, Cheng Xindong, representative of Beijing Art Gallery Association, Dong Mengyang, director of Art Beijing, and Lu Jiemin, the previous secretary general of the Taiwan Art Gallery Association, made speeches at the reception for the Art Gallery Associationof Beijing .
Deputy Director Guan Yu underscored the importance of the association for local galleries: “I hope this industrial alliance can unite everyone and better integrate this industry. The association can help recommend and introduce outstanding works and excellent artists, as well as our excellent art galleries. I believe this association will help integrate resources in a way never seen before in Beijing’s art community. I hope it also paves the way for more artistic educational institutions to enter this industry.”
Representative Cheng Xindong also spoke at the event: “The Art Gallery Association of Beijing will be a bridge between Beijing’s art galleries and the government. It will help formulate regulations and industrial standards, as well as integrate social resources. Together, China’s art galleries can help China’s voice be heard throughout the world.”
The reception was held during the Art Beijing 2011 Contemporary Art Fair to help unite a consensus and highlight the profound influence of Beijing’s art galleries. Not only did multiple art galleries in Beijing enthusiastically participate in it, but overseas art galleries, including those from Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea, attached great importance to the activity and participated, expressing eager expectation for the establishment of the Art Gallery Associationof Beijing . The association has now been preparing for more than half a year, and is at its final stage of approval. With the launch of Art Beijing 2011, those in the Beijing Art Gallery Association gathered together to demonstrate their consensus and prepare for the association’s official establishment in the autumn.
Interactive Media Publicity
Art Beijing 2011 attracted key Chinese art and fashion media, as well as art media from across Asia and beyond. Meanwhile, the SINA Collection Channel, the SOHU Cultural Channel, the Artron Net, and 99 Yishu set up special interview areas for interviewing important distinguished guests and holding small-sized forum activities in which important artists came together. Numerous on-site reports were published. During the exhibition, a large-screen microblog was integral to audience participation in interactive online activities. 15 viewers won exquisite gifts provided by Aigo, the SINA Collection Channel and Art Beijing. The combination of online and offline activities was perfect for promoting Beijing’s art galleries.
Art Beijing also carried out important ticket cooperations, including the return of its preferential cooperation with TIME OUT Beijing. An online ticket purchasing cooperation with China Ticket was also successful. Meanwhile, group purchases for tickets and exhibition books were also offered through Haomai. The range of ticket activities increased attendance and won enthusiastic feedback from art lovers. In order to best integrate the brand of Art Beijing 2011 in Asia, publicity was strengthened, forging new cooperations in Southeast Asia and India. In addition, publicity resources were exchanged and shared with various organizations, including SAGG and Artpocket Guide, MAGG, Indian Art & Deal, and the Art Summit exhibition.
Special Charity Program: Siyuan Torch of Love Fund Joins Art Beijing to Create “Rose of Love Valley” in Sichuan.
Since 2009, Art Beijing has proudly supported the Siyuan Torch of Love Fund. In every activity held by Art Beijing, there is a corner decorated with red roses to help raise awareness for the “Rose of Love Valley” poverty alleviation program and post-disaster reconstruction efforts by the Siyuan Torch of Love Fund. With the help of Art Beijing, this humanitarian program has won great support and achieved amazing work in Sichuan.
The “Art Beijing Rose of Love Garden” was officially established in Tuqiang Village, Xi’nan County, Mianzhu City, Sichuan Province, in 2010. At the time, Cheng Zhuo, president of Siyuan Torch of Love Fund, and Dong Mengyang, president of Art Beijing, released a joint statement: “We hope more and more artists, enterprises, and concerned persons participate in ‘Sponsor to Cultivate a Rose of Love’. Through our efforts, every flower contributes to this gorgeous rose valley in the disaster area. At Art Beijing this year, Torch of Love met with artists who generously donated money. Donators included Xu Lei, Cai Zhisong and Li Xiangqun. Such artists and donators were issued “Touch of Love” donation certificates. In addition, the Torch of Love Fund met with groups of special donators, including 20 members of “Small Ambassadors of Chinese Culture”. They brought their own art works to donate to the fund. The “Art Beijing Rose Garden” fundraising activity proved to be an outstanding success.
In conclusion，we can say that, today, Art Beijing is a central force and hot topic in art circles. The organization has grown, along with new confidence in the art market, over the past year. The Asian art market has turned an important corner, overcome the challenges of the past few years, and is on the road to sustainable, stable growth.