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Does Price Matter?

Does Price Matter?

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Auction prices for contemporary Chinese art have been soaring. The contemporary Chinese art market is hot and draws remarkable attention from both the art world and the general public. High prices were achieved at auction houses worldwide. Along with this boom of contemporary Chinese art, important questions need to be raised: Who are the major players in this market? Is it a lasting interest or just an ephemeral trend? Will the fast boom result in a fast burst? Does the success in the market result in or derive from popular and critical success? Do the high prices affect the creation of artworks? How do the prices achieved for these art works reveal underlying meanings? By analyzing the price records of contemporary Chinese art at the main auction houses, which is readily transparent and accessible through a variety of databases, supplemented by case studies of key artists, collectors, curators and other major players, this thesis will investigate the reasons for and explore the meaning of current pricing of contemporary Chinese art. It will assess how high prices are not only significant for the art market but also impact the critical reception of the artwork.