New landmark for art opens in Beijing

By Deng Zhangyu | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-29 08:15

New landmark for art opens in Beijing

People study a carved seal at the Guardian Art Center in downtown Beijing. The nine-floor building will host auctions and exhibitions. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A new art building opened in Beijing on Sept 28, just two blocks away from the Forbidden City. The nine-floor Guardian Art Center is a one-stop art facility that will host auctions and exhibitions. It also has a hotel and secure art storage.

The center, which cost more than 2 billion yuan ($303 million), is hosting the fourth edition of Guardian Fine Art Asia in October, which features about 40 galleries, mainly antique dealers, from home and abroad, and the autumn auction of China's leading auctioneer China Guardian Auctions, to be held in December.

Kou Qin, general manager of Guardian Art Center and director of China Guardian, says the opening of the art center is China Guardian's attempt to diversify its art business to attract museums, art dealers, artists and art lovers, instead of only art buyers.

"It shows our confidence in China's art market and cultural scene. China's economy has kept booming for years, and the government is now calling for improvements in culture and art," says Kou.

China's art market surpassed that of the United States in 2016 to become the biggest in the world with a turnover of $4.9 billion, according to the 2016 Global Art Market Annual Report launched by Artprice.

Kou says that the local government has long supported their construction of the art center, which was designed by German architect Ole Scheeren.

Meanwhile, the art center plans to set up branches in different cities across China, a proposal that has been warmly welcomed by local governments, says Kou. The building of its first branch in Suzhou in Jiangsu province-a city that is famous for its traditional Chinese gardens-just finished construction. And its second branch in the coastal city of Sanya in Hainan province is under construction. In total, Kou says it will probably set up about eight branches.

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