I do know a bit about Asia, from having lived as an expatriate in Tokyo, Japan, India and Hong Kong for a total of 4 years. It’s well know that any traveler may put their bags down on a busy sidewalk in Tokyo and walk away, with many thousands of people streaming past, and the bags will go untouched. In Tokyo, I recall seeing a small leather purse up on a stone wall each day as I walked to a small grocery nearby the house I lived in. After a few days of seeing the purse there I became curious and had a look inside, surprised to find that it contained a quantity of cash! I even counted it. There was the equivalent of about $100USD in Japanese yen. Then I put the purse back on the wall. Locals commonly commented that “the person who dropped it may come back looking for it”–and that’s why no one touches purses or bags left on sidewalks. For an American to see that in a major urban area was quite amazing.
Of course there is a certain amount of crime in any county, but often in Asia it is organized crime and easily avoided. In China, I repeatedly encountered instances of superstition against cheating anyone in business. Small business owners considered it bad luck to cheat or steal from customers.
So what does that have to do with art galleries?
I have heard American artist state that they are fearful of shipping their art to foreign art galleries due to possible expenses from legal hassles. Based on my experiences, I would trust most Asian art galleries to sell my art should they be so inclined.
As part of my personal research, I have compiled
a list of Asian art galleries for American and European artists thinking about getting into the Asian art market.
You won’t need a knowledge of Asian languages or need to employ a translator. Even in 2013, many Americans seem to think that they will find it difficult to approach Asian art galleries due to a language barrier. But the over 200 art galleries in China that are on my list, link to websites in both English and Chinese–some sites are also in additional languages such as Japanese, Korean, and German.
The list of China art galleries consists primarily of galleries in the large cities of Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai. A few of these galleries in Mainland China also have additional galley locations in Taipei, Taiwan, and Seoul, S. Korea.
Yes, the list contains elegant galleries such as Chambers Fine Art in an architectural space designed by architect Ai Wei Wei. Chambers Fine Art was established in New York in 2000, and is one of the leading galleries in the United States and China, along with famous James Cohen Gallery with locations in New York City and Shanghai, China.
But also, the list contains such galleries as–
State of the Art Gallery in Hong Kong, a somewhat lesser known that has a very Western image.
And the grass-roots effort in an apartment complex turned art gallery at the C & G Apartment Art Gallery
in Hong Kong, that is open to exchanges and collaborations with artists and art organizations.
There are many others. So that artists seeking a fit for their work may access a broad range of opportunities I’ve include the a wide variety of art galleries on the list.
I am still adding Japanese art galleries to the list, and currently have 58 art galleries primarily located in Tokyo. If you are looking for art consultants in Asia, find our additional list of art consultants here. If you would like to license your art with Asian companies or find an Artist Agent, check this list.