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Foreword by Wan Jie – founder and President of Artron Art Group, and founder of Art Market Monitor of Artron (AMMA)

2018 ushered in the start of a new era for Art Market Monitor of Artron (AMMA) and Artprice when, on 12 October, these two giants of the international art services industry further cemented their strategic partnership by signing a far-reaching cooperation agreement in Lyon, France, and established the comprehensive cooperation.

Artron has served Chinese art market for over 25 years, the deepening collaboration between these two organizations will provide Chinese users with a comprehensive insight into the global art market, and will allow Western art professionals, enthusiasts and collectors to better understand and participate in the Chinese art market, through the creation of a more open, efficient and reliable platform.

2018 saw the global economy endure its most turbulent year. This gloomy external environment has had an obvious impact on the art trade. However, collectors are still willing to spare no expense in the acquisition of rare, high-value items, as shown by the sale of Su Shi’s Wood and Rock scroll by Christie’s Hong Kong for $62 million. The modern and contemporary sector performed even more remarkably in 2018 – in addition to high-ticket items such as Zao Wou-Ki’s Juin-Octobre 1985, which fetched over $67 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, turnover in the sector as a whole continued to rise steadily throughout the year.

In the art consumption market, public desire for art is growing in everyday life. The boom in museum exhibitions, the debate around derivative works, and the rapid rise in online sales, all reflect an increasing public demand for cultural engagement, and this new demand for higher standards of living may become a new economic driver for the auction industry. At the same time, people’s pursuit of art and love, in fact, is the inner spirit of the yearning for beauty. This appeal has never been weakened by the turbulence of the external environment, provides an eternal source of strength for art trading, and contains a huge market potential.

As we enter 2019 and the mixed feelings towards 2018 begin to fade, there is growing optimism that the new year will bring new opportunities and new progress. We firmly believe that all of the hard work being put in at art houses across China (and indeed the world) will bear fruit and that all of the care and attention being poured into the industry will form a solid bedrock from which we can grow. This gradual progress over time, just like the partnership between Artron and Artprice, will continuously surpass itself thanks to integrated resources, optimized data, upgraded internet technology and diversified business cooperation models. The end result? A new Silk Road connecting the art worlds and markets of East and West.

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