Art fair draws top-notch galleries from around the world

Updated 2017-10-31 10:03:56 China Daily
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Several works by Monet are on display at the Guardian Fine Art Asia.

Several works by Monet are on display at the Guardian Fine Art Asia.

The just concluded Guardian Fine Art Asia, one of the top antique and design art fairs in China, which ran from Oct. 25 to 29 in Beijing, attracted about 40 galleries and antique dealers from across the world, and featured hundreds of artworks including classic paintings, Buddha sculptures, porcelain and antique furniture.

First held in 2014, the annual art fair organized by the Guardian Art Center and Fine Art Asia Hong Kong has always drawn well-known foreign galleries and antique dealers due to strong Chinese demand as well as art dealers' confidence in the market.

Gladwell & Patterson, a gallery established in 1752 in London, started taking part in the art fair in 2015.

"We are building our market slowly. Every year there are new faces and the number of Chinese collectors who visit our gallery in London is increasing," says Glenn Fuller, the director of the gallery.

He stresses the importance of the Chinese art market and says the demand for high quality Western art here is strong.

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The British gallery-which brought several Monets-was not alone in bringing museum-level works for sale at the fair.

One of Monets, the well-known series of lotus painted in 1919, was expected to fetch million and Fuller expected a potential buyer among museums in China.

Rossi & Rossi gallery offered an ancient Chinese painting dating back to the 15th century, priced at more than million.

The Lioness, painted in 1483, depicts two foreigners from Central Asia taming a lioness. It was a gift presented by a king of Uzbekistan to Emperor Zhu Jianshen of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Fabio Rossi, the director of Rossi & Rossi, says that the painter remained unknown.

Some scholars think it was done by a Chinese painter, while others believe that it was created by a Central Asia Muslim artist who was trained in Chinese painting skills.

Besides the painting, the gallery had thangka paintings and Buddha sculptures, done by artists from China, Nepal, India and Mongolia.

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Rossi says they come to the art fair every year because the sales are good.

"Collectors here are interested in Himalayan art and their appetite is diverse. It's a growing market," adds Rossi.

Kou Qin, the general manager of the Guardian Art Center that organized the event, says that staff from Chinese museums also visit the art fair every year. And the percentage of overseas galleries and dealers is growing.

Many antique dealers see the event as a good opportunity to display their artworks as well as museum-level antiques.

It gives more channels to the Chinese to buy Chinese antiques from overseas, says Kou.

Although the art fair tends to pay more importance to antique dealers, it also has room for younger visitors with lots of high-end designer brands joining in.

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Shang Xia, Hermes' Chinese brand, displayed its furniture series done with ink painter Pan Gongkai.

And Rare by Oulton from Hong Kong brought dozens of antique Louis Vuitton signature trunks that were produced between 1900 and 1920.

When the art fair was launched in 2014, they put the word antique into its name, but deleted it the next year.

Explaining why that was done, Kou says that they wanted the art fair to attract a diverse audience-from the middle-aged to the young, and from museums to art lovers.

The change has worked. When the fair opened for VIPs on the night of Oct 25, the spacious first floor of the nine-floor building was full.

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