New apps make art shop­ping eas­ier for new buy­ers

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE | CULTURE - By DENG ZHANGYU dengzhangyu@chi­

Two art apps were launched re­cently in Beijing to at­tract a grow­ing mid­dle-class au­di­ence that have po­ten­tial to buy art ei­ther for their homes or for col­lec­tions. Rather than sim­ply es­tab­lish on­line art­trad­ing plat­forms, the newly re­leased art apps — Ywart and Artcm — use more high-tech ap­proaches and fol­low new trends on the so­cial net­work­ing ser­vices such as live stream­ing.

With a photo of his or her room, a user can put the se­lected art work from the Ywart app in any place in the photo to see whether it matches with his room or not. The app in­cludes an in­ter­ac­tive op­tion to put shows on­line us­ing vir­tual re­al­ity.

Beijing-based Ywart was founded by Zhu Tong, a cu­ra­tor and a for­mer mu­seum di­rec­tor who has cu­rated shows both at home and abroad over the past decade. It brings to­gether es­tab­lished artists in China who want to sell their works, mainly paint­ings and sculp­tures, priced from a few thou­sand to hun­dreds of thou­sand yuan.

Zhu says he wants to help peo­ple to buy high-qual­ity art on­line and project art out from mu­se­ums to peo­ple’s daily lives.

A cu­ra­tor with lots of artist friends, Zhu is con­fi­dent about his prod­uct. His art app in­tro­duces works by hold­ing spe­cial shows on­line and of­fers pro­fes­sional in­tro­duc­tions to each piece. It has works from about 3,000 artists, in­clud­ing es­tab­lished ones like Zhou Chunya, Zhong Biao and Xiang emerg­ing young artists.

With high tech of­fer­ing a bet­ter on­line art-shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence, Zhu’s app has at­tracted lots of celebri­ties, such as pi­anist Li Yundi, TV an­chor Dong Qing and col­lec­tor Wang Zhongjun, who is known for his pur­chases of Vin­cent van Gogh’s works. All three at­tended the lateSeptem­ber launch cer­e­mony to sup­port the app.

In the past two years, lots of art­trad­ing apps have come on­line. Many of them are strug­gling with prob­lems such as low qual­ity works, lack of buy­ers and of­fers of fake works.

JiangXiaochun, founder of Artcm from Nan­jing, East China’s Jiangsu prov­ince, says China has no short­age of art buy­ers and good artists, Jing and but it’s im­por­tant to ed­u­cate art buy­ers.

“With the growth of our econ­omy, so­ci­ety’s aes­thet­ics ur­gently need to be im­proved,” he says.

Artcm works with art agents, gal­leries and art mu­se­ums rather than with in­di­vid­ual artists. It up­dates the lat­est in­for­ma­tion about art ex­hi­bi­tions held by more than 500 agents at home and abroad. Art­works and art items from these agents can be trade­donthe app.

To at­tract young buy­ers, Jiang says his art app will present shows to art lovers via live stream­ing. It will also be stream­ing live vis­its to famed artists’ stu­dios to close the dis­tance be­tween artists and art lovers, of­fer­ing a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of artists’ works.

Jiang hopes all of this will help to ed­u­cate younger buy­ers, es­pe­cially cul­ti­vate and those who have grown up with the in­ter­net.

Wang Kun, 29, who has bought art pieces on­line in re­cent years, says many po­ten­tial buy­ers worry about the au­then­tic­ity of works put on­line. But she can eas­ily get in touch with artists via on­line plat­forms, es­pe­cially emerg­ing artists who are also good at us­ing in­ter­net, to en­sure au­then­tic­ity of the works.

Wang says the ex­pe­ri­ence of buy­ing art on­line is as im­por­tant as the au­then­tic­ity of the works.

“Many of those in­volved in the art mar­ket are tra­di­tional deal­ers. But to ap­peal to young buy­ers like me, they should change their way of get­ting in touch with us and com­mu­ni­cate with us. It’s not sim­ply about set­ting up an on­line trad­ing plat­form,” she adds.

Jiang’s works use or­di­nary ob­jects such as left­over tea leaves.


The Ywart app in­tro­duces artists, such as Zhao Yiqian pic­tured and his works.

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