Chinese contemporary artworks are on display at the Shanghai Exhibition Center during the ShContemporary.
A series of art events this month in Shanghai seems to suggest a prosperous contemporary art scene - the third ShContemporary, the warm-up exhibition of the newly born Minsheng Art Museum; the group exhibition Bourgeoisified Proletariat by more than 40 artists; and various cocktail parties for art professionals.
But, for people who attended the ShContemporary 09, which closed on Sunday at the Shanghai Exhibition Center, the impact of the world financial slowdown on the contemporary art scene was clearly visible, with only 78 galleries participating, a sharp fall from last year's number of 140.
"The impact of the financial crisis on the contemporary art market is far from easing. I think there is still a long way to go," says Sun Ning, director of Platform China, a Beijing-based gallery that participated in ShContemporary 09.
A recent Report of the Auction Market for Chinese Art Works released by www.artron.net, one of the most comprehensive Chinese art websites, also paints a bleak picture of contemporary Chinese art. The Artron Contemporary Art 18 Index, which is based on the turnover of 18 of the most sought-after Chinese artists such as Zhang Xiaogang, Liu Xiaodong and Zeng Fanzhi, has dropped 50.7 percent this spring auction season over the same period last year.