Metro Vancouver art market expands with top Asian auction house

‘Eagle on Pine Tree’ painting, by renowned 1900s (turn of the Century) artist Qi Baishi. The piece fetched $425,500,000 Chinese yuan ($67.4 million Canadian) in a Guardian auction in fall 2011.




VANCOUVER — One of the top art auction houses in China has set up shop in Vancouver, an attempt to explore the emerging local market — and providing yet another sign of the city’s increasing visibility to Chinese businesses.

Beijing-based China Guardian Auctions Co. Limited, the world’s fourth largest auction house, opened its office in January in Vancouver, the first of its kind in Canada.

This is not China Guardian’s first venture in to Metro Vancouver; last year, it held its first Canadian artwork consignment event in Richmond. Director and vice-president Kou Qin said the event resulted in Guardian accepting $50 million Chinese yuan ($7.9 million Canadian) in artwork for auction.

“We look at Vancouver as market filled with crouching tigers and hidden dragons,” Kou said, noting the regions large Chinese immigrant population may have brought Chinese art collections with them to Canada.

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About Kevan

In 2006, Kevan Seng walked into the Arts when he met artist, Raymond Chow, at a bus stop. A couple days later, Kevan was invited to Raymond’s warehouse gallery. Upon arrival, Kevan noticed that the warehouse gallery was not in a high traffic area and rather, in an industrial part of Richmond. He did not expect much because of the location but as soon as Kevan entered Raymond’s warehouse gallery, he was in awe at the magnificent works of art. As Kevan walked up the stairs, he thought that these works should be in places where people can easily see them. They should be in galleries in New York, Chicago, LA, and more. Once he reached the top of the stairs, he noticed a stack of drawings on the floor. ”Art should not be on the floor”, he thought. As Kevan looked closely, the stack of drawings were of Vancouver’s Chinatown. From there, he created a calendar from Mr. Chow’s chinatown drawings, a four month project that sold through Chapters Indigo in 2007, the 100th anniversary of Chinese Canadian change. The calendar drummed up much publicity being featured on M-Channel news along with in local media such as the Sing Tao Newspaper and the Rice Paper Magazine. From there, much thought was given and after a year of planning, Capulet Art Consulting was born as an agency for artists to show and tell their hidden talent to the public.

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