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Dr. Wei Yang's Blog on Asian Art (2014)

Oct. 10, 2014: If you have a strong will to sell your artwork, you will find the window of opportunities that is right for you and your artwork. Selling Asian artwork for a fair price is never easy. Breaking into an auction house or finding a professional sales agent with no conflict of interest for representation is extremely hard. Considering the different layers of issues (choice of appropriate market, value estimates, commissions & fees, etc) relevant to a successful sale, in my professional opinion, acting as your own sales agent might be better than following the traditional auction path. If I were you, I would first investigate the layout of the art market, find the names and specialities of reputable auction houses, agents or dealers, and contact them for consignment or private sale. Second, I would take advantage of the high technology and market my artwork at active online sales venues for the greatest exposure. Considering a private sale, which is very trendy in the current market, would be my third option. Next, I would have realistic expectations from the sale of my artwork, no matter what sales venue I take. lastly, I would anticipate that a private sale usually results in a lower cash payment, a marketing strategy that would offer me a quick transaction while excusing me for paying buyer's premium and fees charged by auction sale.

Sep. 15, 2014: Selling ivory carvings or object with ivory is almost impossible in the current market. The new regulations on ivory have marked the ivory market with the following features. 1) No ivory can be imported, regardless of its country of origin; 2) No ivory can be exported, except for "bona fide antiques," non-commercial items and certain items allowed under the Endangered Species Act (100 years old); 3) Sales across state lines are banned, except in the case of antiques where "documented evidence of age" is provided; 4) Sales within a state are prohibited, unless a seller can demonstrate that the ivory was lawfully imported prior to 1989 (or prior to 1975 if it is Asian ivory).

March 20, 2014 (New York Times): Today, the trade of ivory objects becomes more and more difficult. Not only ivory owners, but also art professionals (musicians, dealers, etc) are very frustrated by the tightening ivory regulations and rules. New York Times's article on Limits on Ivory Sales reflects the reaction of related parties to the new regulations that "ban Americans from importing and, with narrow exceptions, exporting any item that contains even a sliver of ivory. The rules do not ban private ownership, but they outlaw interstate sales of ivory items, unless they meet what sellers describe as impossible criteria." The magic number is "100 years" that separates the old from the new.

If the situation worsens, what could the ivory owners do with their ivory collection? If ivory objects suddenly become unsalable, how would the market respond to that situation? There are too many unanswered questons. Probably, we need to wait and see what happens next.

Jan. 12, 2014: I have heard too many complaints about selling with auction houses. It is true that getting the attention of Christie's and Sotheby's to your artworks for presentation are exhausting and uncomfortable. First, you don't understand what the auction house wants or needs. Second, you receive vague responses from different agents regarding the salability of your art works. No matter how hard you try to be understanding, the myth of an auction house and the secrecy of consignment are never self explanatory. You are also concerned about the qualifications of the auction agent who responds to your inquiry, or if you can get a good term for consignment, assuming you are lucky. Doubtless to say, so many unanswered questions and uncertainties would make you feel restless and discouraged. Unfortunately, there is no remedy for this auction sales dilemma. As a matter of fact, most auction agents are professionals with integrity working hard to assist you. The reality of dealing with a big volume of inquires like yours might warrant the auction agents a break for their delayed attention. In other words, while working with an auction house, a delayed response is unavoidable unless your property is of the most desirable features. Since, breaking into an auction house like Christie's and Sotheby's is never easy, gearing up your patience and courage, dealing with all discomforts with grace are your ways out. In other words, let's not give up, and let's have faith in people. let's also consider the two practical factors relevant to the sale of artwork. First, a rejection from Christie's and Sotheby's does not mean your art work is worthless. Second, your patience with finding the right auction house or sales agent will be rewarded, since if there is a problem, there is a solution. You just need to knock on the right door.


Dr. Wei Yang's Blog (2013)

Art Value, Market & Appraisal

The most important thing to remember is that no matter what your plan is, understanding what you have or what you need to accompolish is the top priority. Educating yourself about the current art market and possessing sound information are fundamental to the accomplishment of your ultimate goal. Seeking professional advice or commissioning an art appraisal from a qualified art expert is crucial.

Today, either selling or buying a fine art work is more difficult than ever. For sale, almost everybody finds it difficult to initiate a sale in the current art market. A lot of art owners have no clue where to start. Many people begin by contacting famous auction houses for consignment, but very few owners receive a helpful response—sometimes no word at all. Others spend hours and hours on the internet without any concrete results. For purchase, if your budget does not allow you to engage Christie's and Sotheby's services, you need to deal with the uncertain authenticity of art works offered at other market places. You are left alone with all purchaser's responsibilities, ranging from identification, authenticity and value estimate. You may wonder, does the art work I like really worth that much? Do I get a bargin price for what I buy from a regional agent or dealer? Many art seller and buyers end the process flat, since it costs them too much time, energy and emotion. Is it too hard to find a new home for my art work? Where can I find somebody who can guide me through the process? Is my art work worth the time and money I spend on an appraisal? Nobody wants to spend hard-earned money on an art object that is of very limited value or no value. Do these frustrations sound familiar to you? In order to target these practical issues and provide art owners with guidance and options, Asian art specialists of WEI YANG ART are committed to listen to your concerns and offer feasible solutions to your problems at the minimum cost.

WEI YANG ART is a professional Asian Art Consulting and Appraisal Firm located in Princeton, NJ, U.S. We aim to provide our clients with the information they need, the services they desire, and the advice they deserve at the minimum cost. We pledged to follow the regulations and comply with the code of ethics for appraisers in our Asian art consultation and appraisal practice.

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