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Chinese Contemporary Art in the Global Auction Market examines the rapid rise of the global market for Chinese Contemporary art across the turn of the millennium. Focusing on key auction events, it traces the systematic and strategic role played by auction houses in promoting the work of ‘avant-garde’ Chinese artists, transforming them into multi-million-dollar global art superstars. Anita Archer’s research into this emerging art market reveals a powerful global network of collectors, curators, dealers and auction house specialists whose understanding of the mechanics of value formation in the global art world consolidated a framework for the promotion of Chinese Contemporary art to a Western audience.
In: Chinese Contemporary Art in the Global Auction Market
In: Chinese Contemporary Art in the Global Auction Market


The Singapore government has strived for decades to locate the island state as a central hub for regional and international art activity and transactions through successive cultural policies. Policy documents reveal that economic impetus has been the underlying motivator for many of its cultural initiatives. Over the same thirty-year period, the global art market has experienced shifts in agency across primary and secondary markets. Thus, auction houses have been dominant drivers of market expansion in emerging economies whilst, simultaneously, the international auction houses have expanded their global footprints.

In the context of this ascendancy of auction markets and Singapore’s policy driven activities to become a global art market hub, this chapter reveals chronological shifts of auction activity in Singapore that closely align with evolving public policy and global market expansion. The notion of ‘Southeast Asian Art’ as a nominal genre for art of the region is examined, particularly in the context of the hegemonic capacity of Singapore to corral market activities on behalf of its Global South, geographical neighbours. By demonstrating the prescient behaviours of auction houses in response to the cultural aspirations of regional collectors, this chapter exposes the fragile infrastructure of emerging markets driven by policy.

In: The Art Market and the Global South