Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Indian art market lifted by financial crisis

Source - CCTV

The global financial crisis may have hit the art markets of New York and London, but according to experts in New Delhi, the Indian market is going strong. They've been attending the second exhibition of the India Art Summit.

Even before the art summit opened formally, quite a few of the participating galleries had sold their inventory.

The first gallery to sell its artwork was the Aicon Gallery, which has branches in New York and London.

They admit that it has been a tough year, with the global slowdown causing art lovers to restrain their spending.

But as many as 17 galleries from around the world are exhibiting at the India Art Summit.

Experts say the current situation presents an opportunity for these galleries to add new clients in emerging markets like India and China.

Anders Petterson said, "I think for foreign galleries, there is obviously a lot of opportunity to start building up new collector base or new clientele, you know, with the Western world- both US and Europe- dramatically slowing down and as I mentioned, both China and India offers new opportunities. I think there is, I think this shift will probably start moving. The Asian economies will be more attractive for Western Galleries going forward and we see that both in terms of Asian Art Fairs in China and and here in India. So, I think that's a trend that will continue."

Another work that was snatched up by an international museum was one from Indian-born artist, Anish Kapoor's. It was the first time Anish Kapoor's work was exhibited in India.

Besides being the single largest showcase of Indian art, the India Art Summit is also the first major exposition of international art in the country.

An important objective of the summit is its focus on education and raising awareness about art.

Associate director Neha Kirpal said, "Galleries here recognize the potential of the domestic market and they recognize that somebody has to come together and then cultivate those buyers within the market and this move the investment that everybody has made is completely rationalizing that. I think everybody here looks at this as a move to build a healthier art ecosystem, less volatile there has been a huge price correction but overall, the market seems to be picking up again. There is trade that has happened in the last two days and phenomenal trade."

At the entrance of the India Art Summit, there is a 600-square-meter open air sculpture park with large-scale sculptures that aim to create a dialogue with the audience.

There is also a Video Lounge which houses 99 video works by Indian and foreign artists.

According to the organizers, last year, the fair sold about 50 percent of the art on display, and attracted 10,000 art enthusiasts from India and overseas.

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