The purpose of this paper is to explore how art production and marketing in China is attempting to move up the value chain as increasing number of Chinese replica-selling galleries seek to break free from the image of Chinese art towns as skilled but imitative centres of art production.
In-depth interviews were conducted among seven gallery owners in Wushipu art village over three weeks to discover how art production in China has evolved and to chart its future growth.
In the Chinese setting with its distinctive cultural patterns, tensions between the emergent national pride in original art and the facile and commercial moneymaking potential of simply selling industrially produced art are revealed.
The changing dynamics of arts markets in China provide marketers and researchers a glimpse into a parallel trend: the gradual but rising shift to innovation, originality and luxury occurring in the China-based manufacturing centres of material goods.
The attempts to break from the imitative mass production of art and strike a balance between creating and meeting the art needs of the Chinese consumer indicate how domestic market priorities and economic growth are likely to serve as the new fuel for contemporary China’s socioeconomic development.
Via an interpretive look at contemporary Chinese modes of arts production and marketing, the paper revisits the antagonism between the creation of original art and the production of industrial art in a context not well-known in the west, the massive art production centres of China.
The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge the helpful comments received from the anonymous reviewers and editor Larsen that helped to improve the paper and better present the research.
Dholakia, R.R., Duan, J. and Dholakia, N. (2015), "Production and marketing of art in China: Traveling the long, hard road from industrial art to high art", Arts and the Market, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 25-44. https://doi.org/10.1108/AM-10-2013-0023
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