Works by Zhang, known for his somber, gray-hued paintings of Chinese families, fetched a combined $44.1 million at art auctions last year, followed by Yue’s $30.5 million and Zeng’s $30.1 million, according to Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun’s Shanghai- based publisher. Works by the top 50 artists on Hurun’s list sold a combined $410 million at auction last year. Artists on the list averaged 57.5 years of age.
While in the past mainly foreign collectors determined the art market in China, now also the Chinese investors have started to move, says Hoogewerf. That interest might possibly help this Chinese market from dropping too fiercely, along with the global financial crisis.