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Collection Time
Special> Collection Time
UPDATED: September 17, 2008 No.38 SEPT.18, 2008
In Pursuit of Porcelain
Chinese contemporary porcelain art has great investment potential for ordinary collectors

CHINESE FLAVOR: A contemporary porcelain artwork shown at an exhibition in Shanghai

Antique porcelain artifacts have long dominated the porcelain collection market, but the recent emergence of increasing numbers of counterfeit works and exorbitant prices are pushing collectors in a new direction. Enter contemporary porcelain artworks that experts say have a huge potential and less danger of being fake copies.

Market driven

Gao Su, Director of the Department of Porcelain Collection of the China International Association of Collection, said in the Beijing Times that compared with antique porcelain, contemporary porcelain has made many breakthroughs in craft, and because of new technology, some contemporary artworks are even better made than the antiques, both in color and design.

"The biggest problem for antique collectors are the rampant fake works in the market and ordinary collectors have to battle to find the real thing," said Gao.

He said another hurdle for ordinary collectors is the millions-of-yuan price tags attached to antique porcelain.

According to Gao, fake contemporary porcelain is seldom found, and the price is relatively low, which attracts investors.

"Today's first-class artworks might be tomorrow's rare treasures," Gao said.

His comments are borne out by the sales of contemporary porcelain works in auction houses. The market reaction to a spring sale at the China Guardian Auctions, a Beijing-based auction house, was encouraging.

"The successful sale has greatly promoted the status of contemporary porcelain art, and the market has shown the true value of art ceramics," Weng Li, General Manager of the Beijing Hebixing Craftwork Company, told the Beijing Times.

According to Weng, the contemporary porcelain, especially works of famous artists in Jiangxi Province's Jingdezhen, the porcelain capital of China that has a history of 1,700 years, has been gradually accepted by collectors and investors. Some prized pieces have been collected by museums and art institutions in other countries.

"The market value of contemporary porcelain art works is gradually rising by at least 20 percent each year," said Weng. Collectors predict this trend will continue in the next five to 10 years.


Traditional porcelain crafting has very specific areas of design. This allows each craftsman to become highly skilled in his area of expertise. From shaping and firing to painting, every part of the artwork requires a different pair of hands.

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