when my husband, bob, and i lived in london, i had the pleasure of meeting many brilliant scholars while i was completing my post graduate studies and masters degree in asian art at the british museum and the school of oriental and african studies (soas) at the university of london.
‘…unrivaled in its design, its painting quality, shape and size…’
the ‘fish swimming in a lotus pond’ design is inextricably associated with daoist literature. in ‘the pleasures of fishes’, a famous passage from the 4th century BC daoist classic zhuangzi, fish are associated with freedom of expression because they swim wherever they choose.
if you had the freedom to buy whatever you choose, would you pay an unprecedented price for an object of unrivaled quality?
his 27 october 2011 lecture at the san francisco fall antiques show about collecting opportunities: the rise of the asian art markets could be considered controversial.
howard-sneyd believes that the bubble could eventually burst. but, he also thinks that this is one of the great periods of artistic endeavor in china, so a correction in pricing probably wouldn’t destroy the market for contemporary or traditional chinese works of art.
even though the demographics of the market are currently dominated by chinese dealers and collectors, in the long term, he thinks that western dealers and collectors are also very important.
but, howard-sneyd questions whether or not the phenomenal growth of the leading chinese auction houses, such as poly, china guardian, beijing hanhai, or council, can be believed. according to published figures, the turnover in asian art at these four auction houses now dwarfs the turnover in asian art at sotheby’s,christie’s, and bonham’s. but, howard-sneyd also noted that, using data from xinhua, a chinese government news agency, a chinese newspaper journalist implied that the actual volume of these four auction houses could be closer to 25% of the published figures, based on the amount of sales tax that they paid.
all of the rumors seem quite controversial, don’t you think?