The Great China Sale

Foreign collectors want them. Newly minted local millionaires want them. The rise and rise of the country's modern artists

Zhang Haoming looks like a million dollars. Or, more precisely, half a million, the amount he spent on a recent Saturday afternoon as he strolled around Beijing's funky 798 district, a series of crumbling redbrick factories that house the Chinese capital's largest concentration of art galleries. Appearing at an opening for the painter Yang Shaobin, the 44-year-old millionaire businessman stands out from the crowd of black-clad, ponytailed dealers, critics and artists, more John Travolta than Jasper Johns. His black hair is permed into loose curls that flounce slightly as he walks, his torso covered by a tight, long-sleeved silk shirt decorated with...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!