Hurun Most Successful Chinese Living Artists 2021
The Hurun Research Institute today launched the Hurun Most Successful Chinese Living Artists 2021, a ranking of the top 100 Chinese artists alive today based on the sales of their works at public auction in the year ending 31 December 2020. CAFA National Institute of Art and Cultural Policy provided the data. This is the fourteenth year of the Hurun China Art List.
ZENG FANZHI, 57, BACK TO TOP 2, WITH SALES OF US$39MN, UP 5 PLACES
ZHOU CHUNYA, 66, RANKED 3RD WITH SALES OF US$37MN, UP 1 PLACE
LIU YE, 57, RANKED 4TH WITH US$31MN
ZHANG XIAOGANG, 63, SAW SALES OF HIS WORKS AT AUCTION DOUBLING TO US$28MN, RISING THREE PLACES TO 5TH
FAN ZENG, 83, RANKED 6TH WITH SALES OF US$20MN, DOWN 14%, AND FELL OUT OF THE TOP 5 FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 12 YEARS
TOTAL SALES US$470MN, UP 9%
49 ARTISTS SAW THEIR SALES AT AUCTION INCREASE, OF WHICH 8 RETURNED TO THE LIST AND 7 NEW FACES. 51 SAW THEIR SALES DROP
8 FEMALE ARTISTS, 3 MORE THAN LAST YEAR
NUMBER OF ARTISTS UNDER 50 YEARS OLD ROSE BY 4 TO 15, UP FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR
BEIJING STILL CAPITAL OF CHINA’S TOP LIVING ARTISTS, ACCOUNTING FOR 57% OF LIST. JIANGSU SECOND WITH 7
YONGLE AUCTION SOLD 6 OF THE TOP 10 MOST EXPENSIVE WORKS OF LIVING ARTISTS
26 LIVING ARTISTS ARE AMONG THE HURUN BEST-SELLING CHINESE ARTISTS, 4 MORE THAN LAST YEAR
272 ARTISTS HAVE MADE THE HURUN CHINA ART LIST TO DATE, OF WHICH 26 HAVE PASSED AWAY. 28 HAVE BEEN ON LIST FOR 10 CONSECUTIVE YEARS, AND 14 HAVE BEEN ON THE LIST FOR 14 CONSECUTIVE YEARS
WORLD AUTHORITY ON WEALTH CREATION HURUN RESEARCH INSTITUTE LAUNCHED THE HURUN CHINA ART LIST 2021
l Cui Ruzhuo, 77, topped the Hurun China Art List for the 7th year in a row with a turnover of US$113mn, more than double that of last year. A 2017 piece by Cui became the most expensive work by a living artist last year sold by Yongle Auction for US$27.6mn. 5 of the Top 10 most expensive works by a living artist last year were by Cui Ruzhuo, who also ranked 8th in the Hurun Best-Selling Chinese Artists.
l Zeng Fanzhi, 57, ranked 2nd with US$39mn, up 5 places. Zeng entered the Top 2 again after two years. One of his works was the fourth most expensive work by a living artist last year, sold by Yongle Auction for US$23mn.
l The cut-off to make the Top 50 and the Top 100 both hit a record low. To make the Top 50 required US$1.2mn, a decrease of 20% from last year and one-sixth of the highest peak in 2012. To make the Top 100 required just US$135,000, half of last year and less than 20% of the highest peak in 2015.
l The proportion of oil painting artists on the list surpassed Chinese ink artists for the first time in ten years. Oil painters accounted for 52% this year, with 54 artists, 7 more than last year; Chinese ink artists accounted for 43%, with 45 artists, 6 fewer than last year. Many do both, including Zhu Yaokui, Huang Jiannan, Liu Guosong, and Ai Xuan.
l 4 sculptors made the list, the same as last year. 83-year-old Zhu Ming ranked 23rd with a turnover of US$4.2mn, up two places from last year, the only sculptor to make the Top 30. Xiang Jing, 53, ranked 88th with a turnover of US$323,000, the only female sculptor on the Hurun China Art List since records began 14 years ago. The other two sculptors on the list are: 58-year-old Li Zhen (with a turnover of US$2.5mn, ranked 33rd) and 59-year-old Wang Zhan (with a turnover of US$360,000, ranked 84th). Only 8 sculptors have made the Hurun China Art List since records began.
l The number of artists under the age of 50 has now risen for two consecutive years, and this year has increased by 4 to 15. The youngest is the 35-year-old female oil painter Mi Qiaoming, with a turnover of US$1.6mn ranked 45th. 4 made the Top 30: 42-year-old Jia Aili ranked 9th with a turnover of US$10.7mn, 46-year-old Huang Yuxing ranked 14th with a turnover of US$6.2mn, 38-year-old Hao Liang ranked 18th with a turnover of US$4.8mn, and 49-year-old Liu Wei with a turnover of US$2.8mn ranked 28th.
l 3 are over 90 years old, 1 less than last year. The oldest is 101-year-old ink painter Sun Qifeng, with a turnover of US$2.7mn ranked 30th, and Sun Qifeng has been on the list 10 times. The other two are the 97-year-old Huang Yongyu (with a turnover of US$4.8mn, ranked 20th) and the 90-year-old Shen Peng (with a turnover of US$1mn, ranking 53rd).
l The average age is 65 years old, one year younger than last year.
l Beijing is the city where the most artists were born and lived. The list of artists living in Beijing this year is still ahead of other cities with 57, although 2 less than last year; Jiangsu rose to second with 7; Guangdong dropped 3 from last year to 5, falling to third; The number of Tianjin and Shanghai remained unchanged, and tied for third place with Guangdong. Shandong is on the list this year, with 1 artist.
l 13 artists were born in Beijing, the number is the same as last year; Jiangsu ranked second for the third consecutive year, with an increase of 2 to 12 artists from last year; Shanghai rose to third, with 1 increasing from last year to 8 artists; Shandong dropped to fourth, there are 3 fewer than last year, to 6 artists. Shaanxi has increased by 2 this year to 5 artists, ranking 12th from last year to 5th with Guangdong, Liaoning, Sichuan and Chongqing this year. Jiangxi is on the list this year, with 1 artist.
l The Central Academy of Fine Arts has more alumni than any other art institution. This year, 31 artists studied there, an increase of 4 from last year; followed by Nanjing University of the Arts and Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, each with 6 on the list. The fourth place is Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts and China Academy of Art, each with 4.
l Among the auction houses that sold the Top 10 most expensive works of living artists, Yongle Auction became the biggest winner and 6 of them were sold, with a total turnover of nearly US$11mn; China Guardian also sold 2 of them, with a total turnover of US$1.9mn; the other 2 were sold by Beijing Poly and Christie's Hong Kong.
l 52 artists have been on the Hurun China Art List more than 8 or more times, of which, 28 have been on the list 10 times: Cui Ruzhuo, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhou Chunya, Liu Ye, Zhang Xiaogang, Fan Zeng, Liu Wei, Huang Yongyu, Zhu Ming, Jin Shangyi, Luo Zhongli, He Jiaying, Wang Ziwu, Shi Guoliang, Shang Yang, Ai Xuan, Fang Lijun, Wang Mingming, Xu Lele, Shen Peng, Wang Yidong, Fang Chuxiong, Fan Yang, Jia Youfu, Huo Chunyang, Lin Yong, Tian Liming and Liu Dawei.
l Of the Hurun Best-Selling Chinese Artists, a list of the Top 100 artists from Chinese history (featuring both living and dead Chinese artists), Zhang Daqian's turnover fell 12% from last year, but he still topped the list for the seventh time with US$223mn. Chang Yu ranked 2nd with US$199mn. Wu Guanzhong ranked 3rd with US$164mn.
(1 June 2021, Shanghai) The Hurun Research Institute today launched the Hurun Most Successful Chinese Living Artists 2021, a ranking of the top 100 Chinese artists alive today based on the sales of their works at public auction in the year ending 31 December 2020. CAFA National Institute of Art and Cultural Policy provided the data. This is the fourteenth year of the Hurun China Art List.
In 2020, after a bleak first half of the year, the Chinese art market recovered in the second half of the year, ending up 2%, according to Art Market Monitor of Artron.
The total turnover of the 100 artists on the Hurun Most Successful Chinese Living Artists 2021 was US$470mn, an increase of 9% over last year. The entry threshold hit a record low of US$135,000, which was a half year-on-year decline. The turnover of six artists exceeded CNY￥100mn, 1 less than last year. A total of 272 artists have been on the Hurun Most Successful Chinese Living Artists for 14 years.
Rupert Hoogewerf, Chairman and Chief Researcher of Hurun Report, said: “Just under a third of the Hurun China Art List are now under the age of 50, suggesting that a new generation of artists are beginning to make their mark.”
“Whilst wealth has increased exponentially in the past decade, the price of Chinese art has not grown. In fact, the cut-off to make the Top 50 or Top 100 was at its lowest ever, perhaps due to the lack of good art coming to market in recent years.”
This is an English language summary of the full Chinese press release which can be found at www.hurun.net. Please note percentage changes of the sales totals is using the Chinese Yuan figures comparing this year and last. For media inquiries please contact our public relations team whose contact details can be found at the end of this report.
Hurun Most Successful Chinese Living Artists 2021
2 of the Top 10 are newcomers, of which Mao Yan, a 53-year-old oil painter who has been on the list seven times, entered the Top 10 for the first time with an increase of 1043%. The average increase of the Top 10 was 164%. The average age is 65, and is 2 years younger than the average age of the Top 10 last year. 8 of the Top 10 are oil painters are the same as last year. 8 of the Top 10 live in Beijing, and the other 2 live in Sichuan and Jiangsu.
Cui Ruzhuo, 77, topped the Hurun China Art List for the 7th year in a row with a turnover of US$113mn. A 2017 piece by Cui became the most expensive work by living artists last year sold by Yongle Auction, selling for US$27.6mn. Cui Ruzhuo's total turnover in 2020 has increased significantly compared with the previous year, an increase of US$64mn, an increase of 132%, which is US$74mn higher than the second place.
Zeng Fanzhi, 57, ranked 2nd with US$39mn, up 5 places. Zeng entered the Top 2 again after two years. He has been nominated for the Hurun China Art List for 14 consecutive years, and he was topped the list in 2014. One of his works was the fourth most expensive work of a living artist last year, and it was sold by Yongle Auction for US$23mn.
Zhou Chunya, 66, ranked 3rd with US$37mn, up 1 place. His total turnover in 2020 has increased by 55% compared to the previous year. Half of his total turnover came from the two most expensive works, which were sold for US$12.5mn and US$6mn respectively. Zhou Chunya has made the list for the 14th consecutive year, topping it in 2013.
Liu Ye, 57, had a turnover of 35% lower than the previous year, to US$31mn, and his ranking dropped by two places to fourth. Liu Ye has been listed on the Hurun China Art List for 14 consecutive years. One of his 2008 works was sold by Sotheby's Hong Kong for US$6mn last year, and a 2001 work was sold by Christie's Hong Kong for US$3mn last year.
Zhang Xiaogang, 63, the turnover increased by 108% over last year to US$28mn, rising three places to 5th. Zhang Xiaogang has been listed in the Hurun China Art List for 14 consecutive years. He was topped the list in 2009. This year is the first time Zhang Xiaogang has returned to the Top 5 since 2009. A 1995 work by Zhang Xiaogang was sold by Christie's Hong Kong for US$12mn last year.
Fan Zeng, 83, ranked 6th with a turnover of US$20mn, down 14% from last year, and fell out of the Top 5 for the first time in 12 years. Fan Zeng has been listed for the 14th consecutive year in the Hurun China Art List, and he was topped the list in 2011 and 2012.
Liu Xiaodong, 58, the turnover increased by 35%, ranking seventh with US$13.4mn, up three places from last year. Nearly 90% of his total turnover came from a 2004 work sold by Yongle Auction. Liu Xiaodong has been listed in the Hurun China Art List for 13 times. The highest ranking was in 2009 and he was ranked 6th.
Zhu Yaokui, 89, had a turnover of 11% lower than last year and ranked 8th with US$11mn, up one place from last year. This year is the third consecutive year that Zhu Yaokui has been listed in the Hurun China Art List, and his ranking has risen continuously.
Jia Aili, 42, total turnover increased by 182% over last year, ranking ninth with US$10.7mn, up 18 places from last year. This is the first time that Jia Aili has entered the Top 10. A 2010 work by Jia Aili was sold by Yongle Auction for US$3.1mn last year, and a 2006 work was sold by Beijing Poly for US$3mn last year.
Mao Yan, 53, total turnover increased by 1043% over last year, ranked 10th with US$8.4mn, up 62 places over last year. This is the first time that Mao Yan has entered the Top 10.
52 artists have been listed on the Hurun China Art List more than 8 times (including 8 times). Among them, 28 artists have been on the list in the past ten years. They are: Cui Ruzhuo, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhou Chunya, Liu Ye, Zhang Xiaogang, Fan Zeng, Liu Wei, Huang Yongyu, Zhu Ming, Jin Shangyi, Luo Zhongli, He Jiaying, Wang Ziwu, Shi Guoliang, Shang Yang, Ai Xuan, Fang Lijun, Wang Mingming, Xu Lele, Shen Peng, Wang Yidong, Fang Chuxiong, Fan Yang, Jia Youfu, Huo Chunyang, Lin Yong, Tian Liming and Liu Dawei. The other 24 artists who have been on the list more than 8 times (including 8 times) are: Liu Xiaodong, Mao Yan, Feng Dazhong, Chen Danqing, Huang Jiannan, He Duoling, Yue Minjun, Sun Qifeng, Liu Guosong, Cai Guoqiang, Shi Qi, Ren Zhong, Wang Guangyi, Xu Bing, Wang Yong, Yu Jigao, Wang Xijing, Yin Chaoyang, Leng Jun, Feng Yuan, Xue Liang, Ding Yi, Yang Feiyun and Jiang Hongwei.
The CAFA National Institute of Art and Cultural Policy was established on May 25, 2009. It is a national-level art and cultural policy research institution jointly established by the Ministry of Culture of the People ’s Republic of China and the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and belongs to the Central Academy of Fine Arts. The Ministry of Culture provides project and financial support, and the Institute undertakes art and cultural policy projects entrusted by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China, China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, as well as provinces, cities, and autonomous regions. At present, the Institute has two base brands, namely the "National Art Market Research Base" awarded by the Ministry of Culture and the "Chinese Literature and Art Public Opinion Research Base" awarded by the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles.
The main research functions and projects of the Institute include: preliminary research on national art and cultural policies and regulations; research on the global art market; research on the implementation of arts and cultural industries projects; planning and implementation of large-scale projects of national foreign cultural strategy; research on art industrial parks; promoting the research of the Chinese Art Finance Research Center; research on the improvement of currency image and design; research on public art and urban development; research on art licensing and art derivatives industry; research and training on museum and art museum management; research on Chinese art evaluation system, communication system and funding system.
Founded in 2015, Hurun Art Foundation is a media platform which focus on Chinese contemporary art. Depending on the combination of Hurun Report and Hurun China Art List , we provide a full range of promotion channels for contemporary artists, including magazine, website and exhibitions. We have discovered that contemporary artists are the most promising ones among all types of artists in China, in terms of their active thoughts and broad vision. They also are very diligent, and they have great passion about art. We are responsible and feel obliged to build a wider platform, in order to help promote them and their outstanding works. For this purpose, we interviewed Chinese artists who are active in the United States and Switzerland; we signed long-term and strategic cooperation agreement with artists in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu; we keep promoting one or two contemporary artists every month on Hurun Report Magazine by analyzing their works and providing some insights. Our purpose is to help the wealth elites of China to learn more about the value of Chinese contemporary art, thus we connect art and wealth.
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