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Hungry for art – New billionaires = new collectors

Despite all economic odds, the world’s art collectors’ base is rapidly growing. According to last years figures by the 2017 Billionaires Report compiled by UBS and PwC, the number of billionaires grew 10%. Most of them rank among the world’s top art consumers.

Why is this good for the art market? As a result of these rich men and women financing private institutions and public museums, all kinds of art is much more accessible and available to the public now. The new class of ultrawealthy, popping up every other day in Asia, seeks out all forms of art as a means of investment. This phenomena is mostly perceivable in the USA and China at the moment, but I believe it is time for us Europeans to find our own Asian art lover billionaire investor.

China, being the second biggest art market in the world, greatly influences the global art market too. Its younger collectors are truly hungry for art. Just to name a few, take for example Lin Han, a 28-year-old Beijing-based art collector and founder of M Woods, a not-for-profit contemporary art museum. Using his own and his parents money, he regularly buys artworks from Chinese and international emerging artists. Another ‘hot’ young art lover is Kelly Ying, co-founder of Art021-Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair, who comes from the fashion world and is married to another big collector named David Chau. She has recently branched out into young international artists. Last but not least, look out for Adrien Chang, heir of one of the most influential property tycoons. He perfectly bends commerce and art. He established the first ‘Art Mall’ called K11 with branches in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Chengdu. A truly interesting new phenomenon in our consumer society.


Hungry for art – New billionaires = new collectors | GalleryTool

It’s definitely worth considering building connections with the Asian market, seeking out international collaborations and intercultural art investment opportunities. Our contemporary world is apparently full of young, keen and extremely well-off art enthusiasts who are constantly looking for new interesting art and projects to put their money into. Why not keep an eye out for them?

Author: Marta Balla

About Marta Balla
1980, lives and works in Budapest, Hungary
Marta Balla graduated from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), Spain. She holds an MA specialized in painting and art theory. She has exhibited in solo and collective shows in Croatia, Hungary, Mexico, Spain and the US. She is also involved in curating and social art projects and has been invited to international conferences to talk about her art and process. She is currently enrolled in a postgraduate course in Art Therapy focusing on the use of fine arts, music and storytelling in the therapeutic process. Marta has been practicing aikido, a non-violent Japanese martial art for 13 years. She has been engaged in contact improvisation dance for 2 years which lead her to more exploration in performance art.