The importance of the local art market

Vietnam’s Doi Moi (renovation) painting period in the 90s marked great success in both arts and business. But during that time, no one from the art world thought that there could be a real art market in the country as there were few clients.


There are thousands of visual artists, including painters and sculptors, in Vietnam. There’s an art museum system, galleries, art collectors, art lovers, and art education. We have all the fundamental conditions but we were not able to connect these conditions into a solid and beneficial foundation for the formation and development of a local art market.How did the price of work of contemporary Chinese artists go up so rapidly? Because there were Chinese tycoons taking part in world-renowned art auctions and it didn’t just stop there. Art auctions quickly appeared in the big cities of the country, including the Chinese auction house and reputable names such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s.Along with the birth of the new art museum system from both the government and private sectors, the art facilities have become more modern.The system of art fairs and international contemporary art festivals such as biennale, triennale, galleries and experimental art spaces, and regular art auctions shows the openness, transparency and sustainability of the art market. Thus, it has become a long-term and stable investment channel with huge profits, especially for experienced finance tycoons.Why has Singapore with small population quickly become the focus of the art market in South East Asia in particular and in Asia in general? How has the Singapore biennale, launched in 2006, quickly become a reputable biennale attracting millions of visitors. How did the Singapore Art Museum become an important museum in the local art market even though it is only 20 years old?Vietnamese painting prices have declined, with some works of renowned artists selling under the starting price at one local art auction in the second half of 2014. This startled the art world. The fact that the local art market has been frozen since the global economic crisis in 2008 is something serious, so serious that the government had to consider a proposal to develop the local art market.There is an old saying in Vietnam “Turn around and it’s the coast“. Looking at social and economic life at the moment, this is something poignant.After many years of exporting and working for foreign sectors, the local market is full of cheap Chinese products. Now the global economy’s decline has caused many new manufacturing fields to return to the “potential” local market.Vietnamese fine art, no matter how distinctive it is, cannot escape from the inevitable market law. We need to truly develop in our country before having the strength for long-term sustainable development in the national territory.This year’s festival, the second of its kind held in the province, started with an artistic performance of more than 200 local artists, telling visitors about the Thai ethnic group’s legend on the Ban flower and presenting the unique cultural identities of the 19 ethnic groups living in Dien Bien. A wide range of activities, including sport competitions, folk games, a traditional costume show and a cuisine competition are scheduled to be held during the festival, which will last until March 15. Local businesses also showcase their products that bear deep local characteristics. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Mua A Son said that the annual festival aims to introduce the image of Dien Bien to both domestic and foreign visitors, conserve and promote the province’s cultural heritage, and bring into full play its tourism potential to boost socio-economic development.VOV

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