Chinese buyers ruled Asia Week New York once again in 2012. I try to attend Asia Week in New York each year, and this year I spent five days in the city, visiting museums, attending auctions, and talking to dealers, specialists, and other lovers of Asian Works of Art. We all marveled at the seemingly unstoppable frenzy of the Chinese art market, and wondered what this means for those who buy and sell Asian art in the West. For many, it has become a challenge to compete.
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I think Sung dynasty (960-1279) ceramics is a collecting area deserving of more exploration. The quiet, subtle beauty and simple, elegant shapes of these pieces appeal to the urban middle classes, scholars, and connoisseurs of fine ceramics.
Artisans created a wide variety of fine ceramics during the Sung dynasty, offering many choices to the collector of Chinese ceramics. It is not only the beauty that makes these pieces compelling to a collector, but also the high technical achievement , inventiveness, and quality of production that offers the collector a great deal to satisfy his curiosity.
“Fifty thousand,” came a bid from the phones. A moment later, a man in the audience shouted, “Five hundred thousand,” upping the ante tenfold. I could feel the tension in the room from my place on the auction block.