Indonesian Art Sales Among Fastest Growing in the World

Indonesian Art Sales Among Fastest Growing in the World
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Indonesian art saw the largest growth in auction revenue in 2011, and was part of a global surge in art sales, despite a weak world economy. Last year, Indonesia led the art world in auction revenue growth with 39 percent, followed by China’s 38 percent growth and Singapore’s 22 percent, according to a report by Artprice, a France-based world leader in art market data. The report showed that global art auction sales rose to a record $11.5 billion last year (exceeding the $10 billion mark for the first time ever), with China cementing its spot as the top market, research showed Wednesday. China, which took over the first place in global auction sales in 2010, held on to the top spot with $4.79 billion in sales, or 41.43 percent of the market. “This exceptional growth did not fade through the year,” Thierry Ehrmann, Artprice founder and chairman, told AFP, adding that in a time of financial crisis “art has become a truly safe investment. “Once a work of art is worth 15,000 euros [$19,800] or more, the buyer is not taking any risk of loss. At the worst, it will maintain its value,” Ehrmann said. “And once you’re at 150,000 euros, the buyer can bank on earning 12 to 15 percent on his investment in years to come. In the 1950s there were 500,000 collectors. Now there are 300 million art consumers.” The United States was in second place with $2.72 billion in sales, or 23.57 percent of the market, followed by Britain with $2.24 billion, or 19.36 percent of the market. The year’s best result was also generated by an Asian artist, China’s Qi Baishi, whose 1946 painting of an eagle perched on the branch of a pine tree sold at auction in Beijing last May for 425.5 million yuan ($67.6 million). Agence France-Presse

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