(Published by Xinhua.net (web affiliation of the China News Agency) at: http://news.xinhuanet.com/finance/2015-03/28/c_127631891.htm)
The international economic slump of recent years has strained business livelihood and development; as real estate, petroleum, finance, and other industries across the board end up in precarious situations. Terrible business environment and gloomy market forecasts caused many investors to lose confidence. As a result, they shifted large sums of hot money to the collection of artworks. The flood of large amounts of capital created even more space of appreciation in the world of collectors who can lay their hands on the valuable commodity. Following this trend, works of many master artists were auctioned at astounding prices.
On March 22, at the Spring Auction held at New York International Art Center, a Caucasian man in his sixties won the competition for the contemporary painting “Ink Lotus” by Dorje Chang with a record price of US$16,500,000 (more than RMB96,000,000). This is not only the highest price of all artworks sold at auctions on that day, but also trumped the selling price of works by famed historical and contemporary masters such as those of Shi Tao, Wu Changshuo, Yun Nantian, Qi Baishi, Zhang Daqian, Xu Beihong, Fu Baoshi, Pan Tianshou, Li Keran, Huang Binhong, Wu Guanzhong, and even the Five Dynasties’ Juran, the Southern Song Dynasty’s Su Hanchen, and Wen Zhengming and Zheng Banqiao of the Ming/Qing Dynasty.