Nearly every part of community life around the world has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing, shutdowns, quarantines, and temporary changes to laws have drastically altered the way in which people around the world work and live. Personal freedoms have been restricted, public health has been compromised, and economies have been hobbled. Multiple industries across the globe have been paralyzed as only essential services such as healthcare and food production continue to function. When it comes to cultural and social businesses, the majority are barely functioning, if at all.
John Dodelande is a business executive who has also become a Chinese art collector and expert. This has given him a perspective that has been uniquely in tune with the effects of the crisis on international business overall and on the art world in particular. In the course of his travels before the crisis, he had the opportunity to meet a range of exceptional artists. After realizing that Chinese contemporary art was not widely familiar to the West, Dodelande built an innovative database that serves as a tool for art lovers to access prominent Chinese artists, allowing these artists’ talents to be shown all over the world. As social distancing becomes the new norm, this could be of particular use when seeking to promote art to interested audiences.
Contemporary Chinese Art Amidst Coronavirus
Despite having been the country to have the first cases of the novel coronavirus, China has already started to bounce back from emergency lockdown measures. Although the pandemic is far from over, some of the rules are easing, and cultural and social events are slowly resuming. However, even as art galleries, museums, and auction houses are reopening, social distancing will remain part of life for everyone around the world for the near future, as recommended by global health experts. This means drastically reduced footfall and further reductions in sales. The Power Station of Art, for example, only allows 500 patrons a day, and a 1.5-meter distance must be observed at all times. Can this challenge be overcome?
How to Revive the Market, Despite Covid-19
John Dodelande suggests that an excellent way to promote the art world is through virtual galleries, museums, and auction houses. Viewing art online is a viable option that can be implemented by most art companies in China. Dodelande further suggested that the social, personal, and economic turmoil caused by the pandemic may even spark a surge in creativity by contemporary Chinese artists. Many stories from the crisis have highlighted values such as altruism and kindness that could inspire a new wave of art forms. It is crucial that collectors continue to buy art to support artists in these uncertain and stressful times, and Dodelande urges patrons of the arts to remain supportive and involved.