Li Ruiqi, a 28-year-old auction company staff member, has been using her WeChat Channel account since last year to share her daily work experiences and knowledge about collectibles. With more people, particularly the younger generation, eager to learn about history and traditional culture, Li’s subscriber base has continued to grow. Li, who works for China Guardian Auctions Co. Ltd., recently introduced her subscribers to the unique porcelain made during the reign of Emperor Daoguang of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
To showcase the porcelain’s beauty, the auction house held a themed exhibition from late February to early March, featuring porcelain made in the imperial kiln during Emperor Daoguang’s reign. The event caught the attention of antiques-lovers and residents of Beijing alike.
Porcelain-making during Emperor Daoguang’s reign was a significant event in Chinese history. The Emperor promoted traditional Chinese culture and helped to revive the porcelain industry. The imperial kilns produced high-quality porcelain, which became popular both domestically and internationally.
The exhibition not only provided a chance for visitors to appreciate the beauty of the porcelain but also to learn about the intricate and delicate craftsmanship that went into creating these pieces. Visitors could also gain insight into the historical and cultural significance of the items on display.
By sharing her knowledge and hosting events such as this exhibition, Li and her colleagues are helping to promote traditional Chinese culture to a new generation. The younger generation’s interest in collectibles has led to an increase in demand for traditional art and antiques. Auction companies like China Guardian Auctions are at the forefront of preserving and promoting traditional Chinese art and cultural heritage.
Overall, the exhibition was a success, with many visitors expressing appreciation for the beauty and historical significance of the porcelain on display. Through events like this, auction companies are helping to educate and inspire a new generation of art and antique collectors.
Li Ruiqi, a staff member of an auction company, explains that they strive to delve into the cultural significance behind collectibles. By doing so, they can increase their value while also educating the audience about the history and cultural importance of these objects. Rather than just seeing a pretty old item, people will be able to comprehend its historical value.
Not only are young Chinese individuals interested in learning about cultural relics, but professionals like Li Ruiqi are also bringing new life into the collectibles market. They contribute to the preservation and inheritance of traditional culture, making sure that these valuable pieces of history do not get lost.
Shao Tianhong, an art market practitioner from the “post-90s” generation, has a Master’s degree in Chinese art history from a British university. She has been involved in the collectibles auction market since she graduated. According to her, young Chinese today have the opportunity to experience both Chinese and Western cultures, leading to different aesthetic and artistic perceptions compared to previous generations.
Shao spends time researching the history of collectibles to sort out data. She visits online databases or libraries in Beijing to find materials and sometimes feels like she is transported to that specific moment in history. Shao has been deeply touched by her job and has gained an immense amount from it.
These professionals, with their passion and knowledge, bring new perspectives to the collectibles market. By integrating cultural and historical significance with commercial activities, they contribute to the protection and preservation of cultural relics and collectibles. The younger generation, with their open-mindedness and global perspective, have a crucial role to play in the inheritance and promotion of traditional culture.
Gan Xuejun, the president of the Beijing Association of Auctioneers, believes that the auction industry plays a crucial role in promoting and publicizing traditional culture in the market. Through commercial activities, auctioning helps to increase public recognition and attach more importance to the value of cultural relics. As a result, it improves people’s awareness of protecting cultural relics and traditional artworks. Gan also notes that young Chinese are serving as a new force connecting the past with the future in the collectibles auction industry. He believes that their knowledge structure is more comprehensive and that China’s collectibles and artworks market will rely on them to further improve standardization, specialization, and internationalization.
Nowadays, both auctioneers and traditional museums are adopting digital collectibles development to appeal to more youths. They are digitizing their collectibles through original designs and selling them to consumers online. This includes music, animation, games, hand-made figures, and much more. A traditional artworks auction company in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing launched nine digital collectibles of painting and calligraphy cultural relics in 2022, with a total distribution of 45,000 copies. They were sold out in just two minutes, with a total sales volume of 2.7 million yuan (about $393,000).
According to a report issued by the research firm iResearch, China’s digital collectibles market reached 280 million yuan in 2021. This highlights the growing popularity of digital collectibles among Chinese consumers, particularly the younger generation. Auction houses and traditional museums are taking advantage of this trend to showcase their cultural relics in an innovative and engaging way.
Shao Tianhong, another “post-90s” art market practitioner, graduated from a British university and studied Chinese art history for her Master’s degree. Shao has been engaged in the collectibles auction market since graduation. She believes that young Chinese today have more opportunities to experience both Chinese and Western cultures, which has led to differences in their aesthetic and artistic perceptions when compared to previous generations.
Shao spends a lot of her time sorting out historical data for collectibles. Sometimes, she visits online databases or libraries across Beijing to search for materials. “I felt that I really arrived at that very scene in history. From this job, I have gained and been moved so much,” she said. As an auctioneer, Shao is determined to continue her career in the collectibles market or cultural relics protection field. She believes that they, as collectibles auctioneers or museum staff, can record and protect traditional culture in their own unique ways. Shao finds this gives her a great sense of achievement.
In conclusion, the collectibles auction industry is playing an important role in preserving and promoting traditional culture in China. Auctioneers like Li Ruiqi and Shao Tianhong are contributing to the industry’s growth by sharing their knowledge and experiences. Additionally, young Chinese are injecting new vitality into the collectibles market, while also helping to improve standardization, specialization, and internationalization. Auction houses and traditional museums are also adapting to the digital age, providing new opportunities for Chinese consumers to engage with cultural relics in innovative ways.