How is ShContemporary curator-friendly?
You have work that can’t be collected, or work that is defying the market. It is work that is not about the commodity of art. Some of it is subverting the whole idea of the art market. The curated exhibition is very strong. It’s very smart to position it as the opening experience. It sets the caliber of the exhibition as a whole. In that case, they set a very high bar for themselves. Curatorially and intellectually, it is gutsy.
Not to mention the politicization of Chinese art…linking the art world to Beijing seems to invite this.
Actually, a lot of the artists and galleries in Shanghai and Guangdong have been very influential. If you look at the artists that were part of that move, many of them came from the South. Shanghai isn’t getting the credit.
The Chinese collector is a huge presence and absence. Any insight?
The class of Chinese private collections is going to get stronger and more sophisticated. We’ve seen a lot of buying. I think a lot of that buying has been stimulated by speculation. Those collectors that are even buying in depth are often flipping that work. I think that’s very unhealthy because what an infrastructure needs, what an art culture needs, is dedicated support, almost partnerships between artists and collectors—long term commitments where an artist can grow with the nurturing support of dedicated collectors. I’m hoping that the number of collectors that are collecting for the long term will make their museums or will donate their collections to museums in China or abroad.