Got USD50m to spare and want to buy that Hirst or Gauguin as an investment? Think again.

If you are an art investor, which artist would give you the best bang for your buck?

Picasso? Not a bad choice; world’s number 4 at art auctions last year, based on total sales price.

Warhol? Good taste; world’s number 3 last year.

Monet? Mondrian? Rothko? And how about a Renoir or, how can we forget, a Van Gogh?

Nah, you’d be way better off with a Warhol and Picasso in terms of their paintings helping you buy that Learjet you’ve always wanted.

But, if you are really savvy and fancy yourself a true art aficionado (and not those crass nouveau riche types who can’t tell a Monet from a Manet), you would have traded in a Zhang Daqian or a Qi Baishi. “Who??” you exclaim?

According to this report (click ‘here‘), paintings by Zhang and Qi were numbers 1 and 2 in accumulated auction prices last year, at USD506m and USD445m respectively. Picasso came in fourth at a paltry USD311m.

Well, if you are not familiar with Zhang and Qi, google them. Interestingly, Zhang met Picasso in France in 1956 in an encounter named as one of the most significant East-meets-West moments in art.

Well, it was bound to happen. China is expected to take over USA as the world’s largest economy in a few decades. China is the world’s factory and also largest consumer of certain raw materials. While demand for cars in the rest of the world are falling, manufacturers can’t seem to supply them to Chinese buyers fast enough. And yes, Chinese artists have finally pipped Western ones, at least in terms of sales-volumes.

Boo-ya, Western-centric views of the art!

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