Anyone who knows me personally knows I religiously read my horoscope, not only from one source but maybe from several lol. Obviously each year I look to see what ancient Chinese Zodiac wisdom has to say on what the year will bring.
I love the year of the pig! The last time it was the year of the pig I was living in London studying for my Masters and remember well celebrating the New Year with Pekin duck in Chinatown among fellow students. It was a year of exploring art galleries, attending contemporary art auctions fiercely and traveling to as many European art fairs as my schedule would allow. Needless to say, it was a year of knowledge, travel and enjoying the wild contemporary art market to its fullest. Anyone remember Peter Doig’s “Canoe” painting selling at Sotheby’s for $11.3M in London back in February 2007? I can still hear the auction room gasp, then an pplause as the artwork sold for 500% its original price. Ah yes, Sir. Charles Saatchi banked that year as well as many others who unloaded artworks from their collection. That was a crazy auction week in London.
The Pig is an animal that walks to the beat of its own drum with no need to follow nor with any specific loyalties, the pig is regarded as foolish, lazy and ugly in traditional Chinese culture, as a matter of surface observations.
Since 2007 the artist Peter Doig has had even higher record auction prices. The world of art and design collecting has rapidly changed. We've seen collectible design introduced into many art fairs, new design fairs of their own pop-up and design galleries are now much more common. Art and design are sold more online than they ever have been. Smartphones allow collectors to quick searches on pricing, provenance and bidding in on online auctions. 2019’s economy might be a drag from 2018's instability, and there is no slowing down the rapid changes in the world, so what will the Pig bring for us? Docile and tamed the pig has over time lost its strikingly violent nature as is that of its distant cousin, the wild boar. Nonetheless, the pig marches fearlessly onward adapting to the test of time. Bravery describes the spirit of the pig in ancient Chinese culture.
How do we make sense of the Year of the Pig at The Empty Apartment? Here are 5 trends we are predicting for the year and how to prepare for them if you are collecting art and design for your own home.
1. Houses will be cleaned out. In order to make room for the new year, the Chinese first clean their space of any bad luck. Bad luck could be a pile of old books or an IKEA dining table, which is taking up room for an upgrade. Those looking to upgrade will, and those looking to sell an investment piece should do so as well, it’s a win win.
2. Authenticity, emotional attachment, and history will be embraced above all. You'll see maximalists coming to the spotlight. Patterns, textures, and color will overflow but don't overlook provenance, quality, and craftsmanship. History and story will help you judge. Ask questions and listen carefully. Those thoughtful purchases will be cherished for many years to come.
3. Individual voices will be found by cutting out the noise. We've been too fooled by others in the past, followed paid tastemakers or markets. Today we have algorithms placing products in front of us, this year more people will cut through it. Travel more, wander more, get lost and find yourself in that little local craft market. More new explorers will create their own style. It doesn't have to be pretty just authentic.
4. Fortune will favor the bold. I can't tell you how many times I've come across a piece that might not be what's hot on the market but find it's just what a client is seeking. Rarity is a risky business, going against the current and investing in the unknown is not an easy pill to swallow but more bold collectors are seeking just that.
5. Those who seek, shall find. Curiosity will favor collectors and creatives alike this year. Whether it's finding the right platform to sell an item or discovering a design collectible from a specific era, there is a website and a place to find it and those who look just might find gold. The pig's snout is a searching machine that is on a mission, truffles anyone?
Here is a traditional Chinese New Year’s Blessing for any art and design collector for this year :
萬事如意, maan si jyu ji, which means “everything goes well as you wish”.
Happy Year of the Pig!