Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Misdirection of "Cultural Security"

While officials in China employ rhetoric of "cultural security" as an indication of concern that western pop art and music adversely affects traditional culture in China, contemporary artists in China have made inroads into markets traditionally dominated by western artists.
The headline, "Chinese Artist $507 Million Ousts Picasso as Top Auction Earner," in Bloomberg Businessweek makes a dramatic point, and the article goes on to quote Artprice, which reportedly stated, "The change reflects China's growing strength in the global art market. Of the approximately $11 billion total world revenue for fine art last year, China's share was 39 percent, up from 33 percent the year before..."
The combination of contemporary artists in China gaining ground on western icons of modern art and the increasing market share of China in the international art market gives pause to considering whose "cultural security" is at risk. In view of the above statistics should, in fact, the west be concerned about "cultural security?"

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