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Interview with Christie’s Global President

By Rani Singh, contributor of Forbes

Christie’s 250th anniversary is being celebrated with a series of special sales.

The auction house is active across the world and has been making inroads in Asia for several years now. At the launch of its summer season, I spoke to Christie’s Global President, Jussi Pylkkänen, and its UK Chairman, Orlando Rock, about what they were discovering about Asian art market behaviour.

Ken Yeh, deputy chairman of Christie’s Asia gestures in front of a painting by Andy Warhol entitled “Lemon Marilyn”during an auction preview in Hong Kong, 2007. AP Photo/Vincent Yu

Image courtesy of Forbes

What are the current trends in the art market, specifically in Asia?

Jussi Pylkkänen: The art world has changed; most top collectors buy in seven or eight different categories. Currently most international collectors come from Asia and they have the broadest taste. Asian clients don’t just buy works of art and paintings and fresh ink pieces by Asian artists. They’re now buying great European furniture, great American pictures by post-war artists, Picasso, Monet, and now moving into other areas where they’ve not been before-European porcelain, works like Meissen porcelain and even works by English manufacturers.

As these new collectors come into the market with a perspective driven by their own Asian culture, so the values of art in those areas change. Major institutions in China are seeking loan exhibitions of works of art from nations that perhaps they didn’t have close links with before.

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