Bao Yifeng, Ying Qinglan and Zhou Dawei (from left) co-found Art021 and Jingart. (Photo provided to China Daily)
He says that while visitors to the Shanghai fair showed a collective preference for modern and contemporary art which is the primary focus of Art021, leading buyers in Beijing tended to favor "traditional, classic" works, while the young generation of buyers were inclined to seek contemporary and international products.
The inaugural lineup of Jingart was set up to address that mixed demand, and future shows will continue to do so, say the organizers.
There were top international galleries such as Hauser & Wirth and David Zwirner, both of which have gallery spaces in Hong Kong and were making their Beijing debuts at Jingart. Leading local galleries also participated, including the Shixiang Gallery and Shanghart Gallery. Both Hauser & Wirth and the Shixiang Gallery worked with the Wu Dayu Foundation to show paintings by Wu, a 20th-century pioneer of modern Chinese art.
Also on show were many antique works of art, furniture and jewelry by contemporary designers. Many galleries sold works on display.
"Whether it was for trade, artistic exchanges or just out of interest, there were many reasons people are willing to invest the time and money to visit an art exposition," says prominent Beijing gallery owner Cheng Xindong.
Bao says the participants were selected to meet the varied interests of visitors and provided the featured galleries with a great opportunity to "share their client resources".
Competition for new collectors has grown dramatically as emerging art hubs like Chengdu, Wuhan and Shenzhen continue to boom. While established art fairs in major cities like Art Beijing, which has been running for more than a decade, continue to appeal to middle-class buyers who are willing to spend tens of thousands of yuan on a work, Jingart appears to be targeting the higher echelons of buyers: those who come from affluent background.
Bao says that while young collectors who attend their fairs come from many different backgrounds, some are from a family of antiques collectors, while others may have accumulated wealth in the finance or internet industries. They seem to be united by the fact that they are willing and able to spend hundreds of thousands of yuan, or even more, on artworks.
Shanghai gallery owner Hua Yuzhou, who attended Jingart, says the quality of the inaugural fair was a refreshing addition to the capital's scene.