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Hangzhou Expat
IzzyEllie

Portrait Art Market/Marketing

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Hi Hello lovely Hangzhou-ers!

  It's been a while! I moved back to the States about three years ago and launched my portrait art business. I am doing well here in the states (signed to agency, etc.) but am wanting to somehow expand to do work in China, as I'm incredibly missing my second home, Hangzhou.

I was was hoping to find some way to get commissions in China, to pay at least for my airfare to come back to Hangzhou, once a year, and meet with clients to do the initial prep work for portrait paintings (shooting the reference photos, doing oil sketchs from life, etc.) I basically want to justify and fund a visit back yearly. 

Does anyone have any idea of what the art market is like in Hangzhou? What is the art gallery scene is like? Do any of the galleries represent foreigners or non-modern artists? I looked at a couple of galleries in Hangzhou online and all the artist were Chinese and all the art looked very nouveau, modernist and my work is brushy contemporary realism, along the lines of John Singer Sargent...

I was also curious if anyone had any ideas of a good marketing strategy or what the reception might be for commissioning portraits in China? Most people in the States that get portraits done either want to get their kids painted or it's some wealthy family's tradition to get them done of all the family members. Neither of which I saw people doing in China... 

I was thinking maybe if I marketed portrait paintings as something to get done for your wedding that it might fit better with the culture. I know the Chinese wedding scene involves huge elaborate photo shoots and video shoots and basically just throwing huge piles of money at anything that's wedding related.

Would love to hear anyone's thoughts on my ideas! Whether you think there's no market for it and it would tank or you think there might be a way to make it work. Or how it could work! Or anything you know about local art galleries! I would love to hear any and all ideas!

This was really long.. sorry.. 

Thank you! I love that there's this community to ask this to!

Izzy

(I'm throwing in a couple pictures of my work, in case it helps)

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