Interview with IPU Culture Chairman Liu Mingsong: How should art market break the ice amid coronavirus crisis?

April 07 00:00 2020

Due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus, the epidemic not only seriously endangered the world’s public health safety and the lives and health of people in various countries, but also caused a serious hit to the global economy, and the art industry was inevitably in a dilemma.

March to April should be the most active art season according to convention, but with the rapid spread of the coronavirus, many original plans had to call for a temporary stop. News from various offline art exhibitions followed: Hong Kong 2020 Art Basel announced the cancellation, Art Central announced the cancellation of the 2020 exhibition, Taipei Code Asia Art Fair was postponed to 2021, Christie’s announced the March auction extension …

Liu Mingsong, chairman of IPU Culture, who has been preparing for the 2020 Silk Journey To ArtWorld Tour Exhibition, told reporters that he has recently received calls from artists at home and abroad, focusing on how to establish a healthy and stable international art consumption market, how to innovate consumer experience in the traditional art market , what will be changed in the future with the development of the art market, etc. especially caring about the arrangement of IPU Culture’s international art exchange and tour activities this year.

Liu Mingsong, chairman of
IPU Culture

“What is art? Some people may think that art cannot solve food, clothing and shelter. But when life is not smooth and full of suffering and depression, art may be the light you use to illuminate the darkness inside. With light, there is Hope. “Liu Mingsong believes that when the coronavirus epidemic storm swept, many people’s hearts were lonely and fearful. When human beings pay for their ever-expanding desires, they may not be mentally prepared to bear all of them. At this time, it is necessary for art to bring comfort to the soul and help people find opportunities to rebuild their spiritual lives.

Liu Mingsong said, “Art is a language without borders, and it doesn’t even need to be deliberately learned. Xinghua in Jiangsu, China and Rosario in Argentina are two places farthest on the planet. If one day tow young men who came from Xinghua and Rosario stood side by side in front of the portrait of Mona Lisa in the Louvre in France, they could understand all the ideas of each other without saying a word. This is the communication of art. It ’s also my career.”

Silk Journey To Art World Tour Exhibition (Singapore)

IPU Culture aims to build an open platform for global art exchange and integration. Since its establishment. At present, IPU Culture has 150 contracted artists, 90% of whom are overseas artists, so its cultural exchange activities have been greatly affected these days. Even facing such great pressure now, Liu Mingsong still believes that not only should the international exchanges of IPU culture not stop,but it should also give full play to its inherent advantages as a communication platform.

When such a gray rhino incident occurs, the fixed thinking must be changed, and the situation must be broken through innovation. At the beginning of the epidemic, Liu Mingsong felt that the art market would face huge uncertainty. How to do international “art exchange”? How to use network tools for cultural and artistic exchanges? How to use the new media platform to make more people feel the beauty of art? After constant thinking, IPU Culture has begun to layout the online and offline “going together” strategy since February.

No pace, no miles. Liu Mingsong believes that the original art management and communication model must be reformed and innovated, if people want to find vitality in the sluggish market, the key point is to pinpoint and tap market demand, then find good business models. “IPU Culture has never stopped trying various forms of artistic communication. Although we were unable to meet some international partners during this time, we have always communicated and communicated at work through email and instant messaging tools. Since the scheduled offline art exchange activities were forced to be suspended,IPU Culture planned a series of online promotion activities, and carried out online and offline integrated publicity and work display for its artists. In 2020, IPU Culture will enhance the convenience of ‘Online Exhibitions’, using both offline and offline methods to resist market risks. “Liu Mingsong said. At present, all work of IPU Culture is progressing methodically.

Liu Mingsong told reporter that 45.5% of arts industry institutions and practitioners have begun to accelerate the shift from offline operations to online services. He believes that the online and offline two-way layout of the art market is already the trend, and the online business of the art market may have explosive growth this year.

According to statistics from Art Basel / UBS research institutions, the online retail industry in the art market is expected to continue to grow by more than 85% over the next four years, and its total market share will increase from 14% to 22%. The study also found that online sales of the art market lags behind other markets, accounting for only 9% of the market share, but 61% of high net worth collectors say they have already used online exhibitions as a starting point for art purchase. 

“This coronavirus epidemic has given us more reflection on the global art market, and meanwhile it has also given us the opportunity to strengthen infrastructure construction. High-tech is developing so fast today, we have begun to explore the use of hightech, big data, blockchain, etc. to solve problems such as copyright, integrity, and information asymmetry. In addition, we will strengthen aesthetic education and art consumption, so that more people around the world can feel the artistic life and the art of life. “Liu Mingsong said it so deeply just before finishing this interview.

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Company Name: Beijing IPU Cultural Co. Ltd.
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Country: China