Asia’s Young and Wealthy Revolutionize Art Collection Trends

Asian millennials are significantly influencing the art market, driving growth and shifting trends. Their increased participation in auctions, particularly through digital platforms, reflects a growing interest in diverse art forms, reshaping global art dynamics.

There is a rise of art collection among young and wealthy Asians. Millennials and Gen Zers are increasingly spending on art, with median expenditures reaching significant amounts in 2023. The online art market is growing, with auction houses investing more in digital spaces to attract these younger collectors.

The types of art favored include:

  • sculptures
  • installations
  • photography
  • film
  • digital art
  • prints
  • with a noted interest in figurative work
  • surrealist landscapes
  • and art that reflects cultural roots

Auction houses report a considerable increase in Asian buyers, especially millennials. The online art sales are expected to grow substantially by 2030.

So what does all this mean and why am I talking about it? It’s because of the potential influence of these young Asian art collectors on the global art market’s trends and values. While many highlight their growing participation and preferences, nobody it talking about or delve into how their choices are shaping the broader art world.

For instance, their focus on digital art, figurative work, and culturally rooted pieces could be significantly impacting what types of art are gaining prominence and value on the global stage, potentially leading to a shift in the traditional art market dynamics.

One of my favorites is Yaasuo and his cows. Although painted in 1923 in my opinion still looks so modern as if it was painted just yesterday.

Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s favorite early subject was the cow. He later recollected that “he felt very near to the cow” because he “was born, judging by the Japanese calendar, in a ‘cow year.’” He must have been especially pleased to have been invited by his patron Hamilton Easter Field to study and paint at the summer art colony of Ogunquit, Maine, surrounded by coastal farms.

Millennials and Gen Zers are spending significant amounts on art. The median expenditure on art and antiques for millennials was $59,785, and for Gen Zers, it was $56,000 during the first half of 2023.1

The online art market is experiencing rapid growth, with auction houses adapting to reach younger collectors through digital platforms.

Asian buyers, particularly millennials, are indeed contributing to a considerable increase in auction house participation. This growing engagement from young Asian collectors is a significant factor in the evolving dynamics of the art market, as they bring new preferences and purchasing power to the forefront of modern art.


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