Svetlana Kharchenkova | Contemporary Art Commerce in the 1990s China: The Case of Discontinued Sungari Exhibitions/Auctions
Where: Asia Art Archive in America
43 Remsen St.
718-522-2299 Price: Free
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With remarkable auction results and lively gallery districts, the 2000s is often considered to be a time when the Mainland Chinese contemporary art market blossomed. This presentation outlines the commercial aspect of contemporary art in Mainland China in the decade before this: the 1990s. Fieldwork and documentary materials show that the market was emerging in the 1990s. Although some institutions, like galleries or auction houses, were already present, there was uncertainty about how they should function. Roles of various actors, such as gallerists, art critics, and curators, were not clearly delineated. Commercial behaviour was experimental. The presentation zooms in on two Sungari exhibitions/auctions that were dedicated to Chinese contemporary art in 1996 and 1997. The presentation positions these two experimental events in the context of the contemporary art world in China at the time, and explains why Sungari contemporary art exhibitions/auctions were discontinued. These events are an example of a failed market experiment, which are characteristic of emerging fields.Moderator: Jane DeBevoise, Chair of the Board of Directors of Asia Art Archive Svetlana Kharchenkova is an assistant professor of sociology of modern China at Leiden University. Her research bridges contemporary China studies with economic and cultural sociology. In particular, she studies Chinese creative industries and cultural markets from a global perspective. Svetlana Kharchenkova received her PhD in sociology at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam. Her research on the development of the Chinese contemporary art market has been published in the China Quarterly, Socio-Economic Review, and Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts, among others.Buy tickets/get more info now