As all the art fairs and events canceled or moved online in the pandemic year, the “live” Shanghai ART021 and Shanghai West Bund Art & Design Fair attracted the global art community’s attention during the planning stage. Through the week of excitement and hundreds of art exhibitions, the ART021 and WBAD proved a tremendous public success, fueling thousands of art collectors’ eager eyes.
Both art fairs aimed to provide a platform for gallerists, collectors, art patrons, museum associates to communicate and share. This year in aid of the pandemic, ART021 released a digital preview through Artsy on November 10-11. West Bund Group promoted streamlining art trade in China, which proposed VAT friendly policy in the Chinese market. The ART021 fair was hosted in the downtown of Shanghai, which welcomed over 80 exhibitors. The West Bund Art & Design fair took place in the new museum district, gathered 51 different galleries. Although there was no positive case in the city when the art fairs began, the art fairs were still strict in their prevention measured, requesting pre-registration and health QR codes. All the international representatives were required to have 14 days quarantine, but this did not damp down galleries’ passion for capturing this opportunity to talk to collectors.
The art fairs attract great public attention and many new and young collectors with high net worth, many of them are under 35. After months of the virtual initiative, these two in-person art fairs in Shanghai brought art dealers a rewarding experience.
According to Artnet, David Zwirner closed more than $5M trade on the second day’s morning. Every dealer found the sales results exceeded expectations. The meaning of both art fairs is not just the best sales or physical attendance during this challenging year for the art community, but the implied future for this vigorous and emerging market.
The reason behind the magnitude of the art week is that the Shanghai government recognized that contemporary art is an important thing and sees a bright future for the local market. Yet, the market is not as mature as New York or London; Shanghai sets its ambitious goal to become the market leader in the near future. A series of supports such as artwork transportation, free trade zone set up, and modified tax structure are under implementation with the authority’s support. This revival of the Chinese contemporary art market is also backed by an enormous amount of Chinese collectors’ hungriness after confinement and the restriction of global traveling.
Art is always a medium to connect cultures. In this city, Shanghai, which is full of dynamism and opportunities, art will find things far more common than different. We love to see more of these events happen, which aligns with our RevArt's mission of making worldwide accessible and bring more talented global artists to this vibrant market