Chinese art's journey from mass-produced propaganda in the Mao era to market darling mirrors China's own momentous changes like few other disciplines. Today, in both art and Chinese society, commerce and politics coexist in a delicate balance, which some call sensible and others, say is selling out. By travelling to the studios of China's art world superstars, hearing their rags-to-riches tales and interviewing the critics, curators and collectors that have been around since its idealistic beginnings, author Claire van den Heever paints a picture of Chinese art's bumpy path to commercial and critical success, and uncovers the secrets it tried to keep along the way.
Claire van den Heever first became interested in China as a young graduate living in London, and decided to travel across Europe and Asia overland to experience life there herself. She spent three years in Shanghai, delving into China's contemporary art scene and getting to grips with Mandarin. She is a freelance writer who contributes to a variety of art, travel and financial publications.