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Just a few days ago we start spoke about the incredible expansion in Beijing and the relation of this process with contemporary art. Now, bad news are coming from the capital art district in Beijing 798. Indeed, after more than 10 years, Pace Gallery has closed its expansive 22,000-square-foot space. But why? 

Peace gallery with the 2008 opening, was one of the first galleries that have chosen to invest in China, by marking in some way the beginning of a trend that has seen important other competitors as Lisson, Perrotin, Gagosian, David Zwirner, De Carlo, White Cube and recently Almine Rech. During these years, Pace has proposed European, American and Asian artists at his headquarters in Beijing. The gallery also represents some of the most popular Chinese artists at the moment, namely Zhang Xiaogang, Zhang Huan, Qiu Xiaofei and Yin Xiuzhen.

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The presence of these realities in China has confirmed how the cultural and (above all) commercial interest of the international art system is now projected to the East, by finding here new stimulating territories to explore. And this does not only apply to galleries, but also to museums and institutions. 

 

Arne and Marc Glimcher. Photo courtesy Pace Gallery.

 

So, the true motivation that pushed the duo Arne and Marc Glimcher (Pace founders) is the current commercial war between China and USA. The latest customs duty imposed by Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, as declared by Arne Glimcher:  "Are making impossible to do business in mainland China right now and it has been for a while (...) Since Xi has come to power, people are afraid to conspicuously show their wealth and the mainland Chinese are not buying in China (..) If they are, they [are] buying for their apartments in other places in the world and they come to Hong Kong anyway". (Artnews

This closure it seems has struck most of all luxury goods. The United States President Donald Trump has toyed with imposing tariffs on any luxury good that comes in from the mainland, and China has imposed a 38 per cent tariff on any luxury item purchased on the mainland under President Xi Jinping. So, for now, Glimcher still plans to maintain an office and an observation room in Beijing and the gallery will also continue to manage its space in Hong Kong, which is not subject to the same taxes, business and commercial constraints as mainland China.

Cover image: Pace Gallery Beijing (China). Photo by Larry Speck

 

Stay Tuned to Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.

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