Hurun Art List 2017


The Hurun Research Institute, in association with Artron, today launched the Hurun Art List 2017.

Cui Ruzhuo, 73, Top Chinese Artist Alive with Sales Last Year of US$117m

Zeng Fanzhi sales up 28%, came in second; Fan Zeng sales up 38%, back to third

Ai Weiwei makes list for first time, with sales of US$2.25m

Average sales are lowest of last ten years

232 artists have made the list in the past 10 years, led by 16, who have been on it every year

Leading authority on wealth in China releases 10th anniversary of Hurun Art List


  • Cui Ruzhuo, 73, tops the Hurun Art List for the third consecutive year, with sales up 5% to US$117m. A 2013 piece by Cui became the most expensive Chinese work of art sold at public auction last year, selling for US$37m. In fact, half of the Top 10 most expensive Chinese work by artists alive today sold at public auction last year are by Cui Ruzhuo.

  • Zeng Fanzhi, 53, was second with sales of US$20.5m.Zeng has kept a Top 6 place for each of the ten years of the Hurun Art List.

  • Fan Zeng, 79, up 38% to US$18.8m, up one place to 3.

  • Fastest riser. Wang Huaiqin, 73, saw his sales rise triple to shoot him into sixth spot with US$12.4m, propelling him into the Top 10 for the first time, up from 54 last year.

  • 10 years of the Hurun Art List.  232 artists have made the list in the past 10 years. Of these 12 have since died and 16 have been on the list every  year. Rupert Hoogewerf says, “There have been surprisingly few artists, who have made the list over the past ten years, numbering as little as 232. This shows how the Hurun Art List has really only ranked the crème de le crème of the Chinese contemporary art world.”

  • Average sales are the lowest in the past 10 years. Total sales are the fifth year running down, 8% off last year to US$489.8m, 60% off the high water mark of 2012. Chinese ink decreased 16% yoy, while oil increased 8%. Cut off to the Top 100 decreased 36% to US$820,000.

  • Total Sales of 48 artists declined, 52 increased, of which there were 30 new faces.

  • Chinese ink painters make up half of the list, one less than last year with 53. 4 out of top 10 are Chinese ink painters, down 3. Oil painters made up 47 of the list, up 4. 3 artists dabbled in both Chinese ink and oil.

  • Average works sold 40, down 40%. For Chinese ink painters, the average number of works sold was 66, drops 40%. For oil painters, it was 12, half of last year.

  • 3 sculptors made the list: Zhu Ming, ranked 18 with sales of US$7m from Taiwan, Xu Hongfei, ranked 22 with sales of US$5.5 from Guangdong and Li Zhen ranked 62 with sales of US$1.9 from Sichuan. Only 7 sculptors have made the Hurun Art List over the past decade.

  • 30 new faces, of which 14 made the list for the first time, led by Wang Haili, 58, who shot straight into the Top 10.

  • Average age 64 years, same as last year.

  • Youngest artists. 11 under the age of 50, 2 less than last year. Huang Yuxing, 42, makes the list for first time with US$840,000. Jia Aili remains the youngest artist at 38 with sales of US$1m. 3 of them made the Top 50, 3 less than last year.

  • 4 above 90 years, same as last year, led by Rao Zongyi aged 100, sales with US$5.03m, ranks 24.

  • By Residences, Beijing is the absolute king, with 47 artists living there, followed byGuangdongTianjin grew by 4 to 7, into third place. Jiangsu is the biggest decliner, losing 4 artists to take it into 6th place. Compared with ten years ago, the USA has overtaken France as the preferred place to live for Chinese artists outside of China.

  • Places of origin. Beijing ranks the top spot with 13 artists. Shandong grew by 5 to 11, tied with Guangdong for second place.

  • Female artists. 4 of the Top 100 are female, one more than last year, led by Chen Peiqiu, 95, ranks 23 with sales of US$5.44m. The others are Xu Lele, 62, ranks 67, and Lou Zhenggang, 50, ranks 82 and Yan Ping, 61, who made the list for the first time, ranks 97. 10 female artistshave made the Hurun Art List over the past decade in total.

  • Schools. The China Central Academy of Fine Arts continues to lead with 23 artists.

  • Auction houses. Poly Auction Hong Kong had 4 of the Top 10 most expensive works of art, followed by Sotheby’s Hong Kong with 2, China Guardian, Poly Auction Beijing, China Council, Hangzhou Jiashi with 1 respectively.

  • 36 artists have made the list seven times or more in the past 10 years, led by 16, who have been on it every year: Ai Xuan, Zeng Fanzhi, Chen Peiqiu, Fan Zeng, Fang Lijun, He Jiaying, Huang Yongyu, Jin Shangyi, Liu Ye, Luo Zhongli, Wang Mingming, Wang Yidong, Yang Feiyun, Zhang Xiaogang, Zhou Chunya and Zhu Ming.

  • Collectors. There are 2056 individuals, up 179, with US$300m or more, according to the Hurun China Rich List 2016. There are 609 Chinese dollar billionaires, pulling away from the USA for the second year, of which 501 from Mainland China, 72 from Hong Kong, 1 from Macao and 35 from Taiwan, according to the Hurun Global Rich List 2017. Beijing was the billionaire capital of the world, ahead of New York, HK and Shenzhen.

  • 2017 is the tenth anniversary of the Hurun Art List.


(10 March 2017, Shanghai) The Hurun Research Institute, in association with Artron, today launched theHurun Art List 2017, a ranking of the top 100 Chinese artists alive today based on the sales of their works at public auction in the year ending 31 December 2016. Artron, China’s largest compiler of art statistics, provided the data. This is the consecutive tenth year of the Hurun Art List.


Hurun Report Chairman and Chief Researcher Rupert Hoogewerf said, “Whilst there’s plenty of money sloshing around in China, collectors have had a noticeable lack of enthusiasm for contemporary art in the past year. Having said that, I feel there has been a 10% rebound in interest in the past few months, suggesting that the market has bottomed out, and giving it a good platform to grow for the next ten years.”


This is an English language summary of the full Chinese press release which can be found Please note percentage changes of the sales totals is using the Chinese Yuan figures comparing this year and last. For media inquiries please contact our public relations team whose contact details can be found at the end of this report.


Top 10

Whilst the Top 2 remained unchanged, there were 4 new entries into the Top 10 this year.


 Table: Hurun Art List 2017– Top 10



 ArtistSales   US$mChange   yoy %AgeCategory
1 -Cui Ruzhuo1175%73Chinese Ink
2 -Zeng Fanzhi20.528%53Oil
3 ↑Fan Zeng18.838%79Chinese Ink
4 *Liu Wei15.1181%52Oil
5 ↑Huang Jiannan13.28%65Chinese Ink/Oil
6 *Wang Huaiqing12.4332%73Oil
7 *Zhang Xiaogang12.284%59Oil
8 ↑Shang Yang10.95%75Oil
9 -Jiang Guohua9.7-17%63Chinese Ink
10 *Wang Haili9.2-58Oil


Source: Hurun Research Institute with data provided by Artron

↑ Rank increase yoy  ↓ Rank decrease yoy  - No Rank change yoy  * New to Top 10


Cui Ruzhuo, 73, tops the Hurun Art List for the third consecutive year with sales at public auction last year of US$117m. A 2013 piece by Cui was the most expensive Chinese work of art sold at public auction last year, selling for US$37 million. In fact, half of the Top 10 most expensive works of art by a Chinese artist alive today sold at public auction last year are by Cui.


Zeng Fanzhi, 53, retained second place with sales of US$20.5m. He is the most stable artist in a decade of Hurun Art List, which kept the position of Top 6.


Fan Zeng, 79up 38% on last year to US$18.8m, up one place to third. Fan has made the Top 3 every year other than last year, when he was fourth.


TABLE: Youngest artists of the Hurun Art List 2017



 ArtistAgeRank   (Change)Category
1Jia   Aili3889   ↓Oil
2Qiu Xiaofei4096 ↓Oil
3Ren Zhong4134 ↓Chinese Ink
4Wang Guangle4148 ↑Oil
5Huang Yuxing4298 *Oil
6Xie Nanxing4755 ↑Oil
7Yin Chaoyang4765 *Oil
8Wang Xingwei4866 ↑Oil
9Mao Yan4938 ↓Oil
10Fang Xiang5072 ↓Chinese Ink
10Lou Zhenggang5082 *Chinese Ink


Source: Hurun Research Institute with data provided by Artron.

↑ Rank increase yoy  ↓ Rank decrease yoy  * New to the list


              Where they live                                                                           Where they were born


 LocationNo.   of Indiv.Change   yoy  LocationNo.   of Indiv.Change   yoy
1 -Beijing473 1 -Beijing13-2
2 -Guangdong11-2 2↑Guangdong110
3↑Tianjin74 2↑Shandong115
4↓Jiangsu6-4 4↓Jiangsu8-4
5↓Shanghai5-2 5↓Shanghai7-2
6 -USA41 5 -Chongqing70
6↓Sichuan40 7 -Henan50
8↑Shanxi32 8↑Hebei41
9↑France21 8↑Heilongjiang41
9↑Hubei21 8↑Shanxi41
9 -Hong Kong20 8↑Tianjin43
12↓Ningxia10 12↑Hunan31
12 *Shandong11 12↓Liaoning3-2
12↓Taiwan1-2 12↑Sichuan31
12↓Yunnan10 15↑Anhui21
12↓Zhejiang1-1 15↓Hubei20
12↓Chongqing10 15↑Inner Mongolia21
     19↓Hong Kong10

Source: Hurun Research

↑ Rank increase yoy  ↓ Rank decrease yoy * New Entry - No Rank change yoy 


TABLE: Fastest-Growing Artists from the Hurun Art List 2017 


 ArtistSales   change yoy %CategoryRankLocation
1Wang   Huaiqing332%Oil6Beijing
2Xu Hongfei272%Sculpture22Guangdong
3Jin Shangyi225%Oil11Beijing
4Liu Wei181%Oil4Beijing
5Zhang Xiaogang84%Oil7Beijing


Source: Hurun Research Institute with data provided by Artron.


Number of Chinese Ink Painters versus Oil Painters

The years ago, oil painters dominated with three quarters of the list. Then it swung the other way with ink painters dominating with 70% of the list.  Today it is almost half half. 

Source: Hurun Research Institute with data provided by Artron




 No.   of Artists on ListAv.   Sales US$mTop   50 Av. Sales US$mTop   50 Cut-off US$mTop   100 Cut-off US$mOil   vs inkAv.   AgeTop   ArtistSales   of Top Artist US$ m
2008509.99.92.4/39 vs 1057Wu Guanzhong49
2009508.28.22.1/36 vs 958Zhang Xiaogang44
2010505.15.11.3/26 vs 2065Zhao Wuji35
20115012122.9/25 vs 2264Fan Zeng57
201210014.624.98.32.741 vs 5763Fan Zeng149
201310011.619.96.72.532 vs 6766Zhou Chunya75
20141001219.66.12.532 vs 6966Zeng Fanzhi84
20151001116.87.13.327 vs 7465Cui Ruzhuo76
20161005. vs 5464Cui Ruzhuo120
20171004. vs 5364Cui Ruzhuo117



Hurun Art List 201



RankRank   ChangeArtistSales   US$'000Change   yoy %AgeCategory
1-Cui Ruzhuo117,0005%73Chinese Ink
2-Zeng Fanzhi20,50028%53Oil
3↑1Fan Zeng18,80038%79Chinese Ink
4↑19Liu Wei15,100181%52Oil
5↑2Huang Jiannan13,2008%65Chinese Ink/Oil
6↑48Wang Huaiqing12,400332%73Oil
7↑10Zhang Xiaogang12,20084%59Oil
8↑2Shang Yang10,9005%75Oil
9-Jiang Guohua9,700-17%63Chinese Ink
10NewWang Haili9,200-58Oil
11↑45Jin Shangyi9,200225%83Oil
12↓4Huang Yongyu8,900-24%93Chinese Ink
13↑12Liu Xiaodong8,75066%54Oil
14NewYan Baozhen8,670-62Chinese Ink
15↓2Zhou Chunya7,540-8%62Oil
16↓5Xu Qingsong7,360-28%65Chinese Ink
17NewQiu Hanqiao7,110-59Chinese Ink
18↓12Zhu Ming7,010-47%79Sculpture
19NewLeng Jun5,920-54Oil
20↓6Fang Chuxiong5,750-26%67Chinese Ink
21↓18He Jiaying5,730-60%60Chinese Ink
22↑68Xu Hongfei5,530272%54Sculpture
23↓7Chen Peiqiu5,440-26%95Chinese Ink
24↑7Rao Zongyi5,0308%100Chinese Ink
25↓7Zhou Yansheng4,680-26%75Chinese Ink
26↓4Guan Weijun4,470-20%61Oil
27↑15Ji Zhongliang4,44021%54Chinese Ink
28NewLiu Dan4,150-64Chinese Ink
29↑18Xue Liang3,60012%61Chinese Ink
30↓25Liu Guosong3,490-74%85Chinese Ink/Oil
31↓11Fang Lijun3,460-39%54Oil
32NewYue Minjun3,450-55Oil
33↓21Liu Dawei3,450-60%72Chinese Ink
34↓1Ren Zhong3,440-19%41Chinese Ink
35↑3Shi Guoliang3,190-20%61Chinese Ink
36NewYuan Qingyi3,190-58Oil
37↓16Lin Yong3,070-46%75Chinese Ink
38↓12Mao Yan3,070-41%49Oil
39↓11Sun Qifeng3,000-37%97Chinese Ink
40↑8Li Jinkun2,870-9%59Chinese Ink
41-Wang Mingming2,840-27%65Chinese Ink
42↑10Ding Yi2,770-8%55Oil
43↑2Xu Lei2,760-18%54Chinese Ink
44↑9Xing Dong2,700-6%55Chinese Ink
45NewGeng Jianyi2,630-55Oil
46↓3Zhou Shaohua2,380-32%88Chinese Ink
47↑18Chen Yongqiang2,3409%69Chinese Ink
48↑3Wang Guangle2,310-24%41Oil
49↓22Yu Youhan2,310-53%74Oil
50↑14Liu Wenxi2,3007%84Chinese Ink
51↑17Wang Guangyi2,29014%60Oil
52NewAi Weiwei2,250-60Oil
53↑13He Duoling2,2407%69Oil
54↑20Li Huayi2,15011%69Chinese Ink
55↑42Xie Nanxing2,07052%47Oil
56↑22Li Xuegong2,06013%55Chinese Ink
57↓25Shen Peng2,060-56%86Chinese Ink
58NewWang Yancheng2,000-57Oil
59↓23Fan Yang2,000-51%62Chinese Ink
60-Liu Ye1,940-19%53Oil
61↓24Wang Ziwu1,910-53%81Chinese Ink
62NewLi Zhen1,900-54Sculpture
63↓1Mao Xuhui1,850-16%61Oil
64↑27Chen Danqing1,69013%64Oil
65NewYin Chaoyang1,680-47Oil
66↑5Wang Xingwei1,640-18%48Oil
67↓8Xu Lele1,630-34%62Chinese Ink
68↓11Xu Bing1,600-43%62Oil
69↓30Ai Xuan1,510-62%70Chinese Ink/Oil
70↓26Jia Youfu1,430-58%75Chinese Ink
71NewLi Jin1,410-59Chinese Ink
72↓22Fang Xiang1,350-56%50Chinese Ink
73↓4Hong Ling1,320-34%62Oil
74↓39Yang Feiyun1,300-68%63Oil
75NewLi Shan1,280-75Oil
76NewYu Xiaofu1,280-67Oil
77NewWang Xijing1,260-71Chinese Ink
78↓44Luo Zhongli1,240-70%69Oil
79↓16Lin Fengsu1,240-43%78Chinese Ink
80NewZhang Xinquan1,230-55Oil
81↓20Pang Maokun1,210-47%54Oil
82NewLou Zhenggang1,200-50Chinese Ink
83NewChao Ge1,180-60Oil
84↓54Yu Jigao1,170-75%85Chinese Ink
85NewJia Haoyi1,060-79Chinese Ink
86NewFeng Yuan1,040-65Chinese Ink
87NewShi Enzhao1,010-70Chinese Ink
88↓33Tian Liming1,000-65%62Chinese Ink
89↓65Jia Aili1,000-81%38Oil
90↓6Huo Chunyang960-40%71Chinese Ink
91NewLi Guijun950-53Oil
92↓11Wang Yidong950-44%62Oil
93NewNie Weigu940-60Chinese Ink
94NewLi Xaoxuan910-58Chinese Ink
95NewHan Meilin900-81Chinese Ink
96↓4Qiu Xiaofei870-40%40Oil
97NewYan Ping850-61Oil
98NewHuang Yuxing840-42Oil
99NewLyu Weichao830-53Chinese Ink
100NewXiao Han820-72Chinese Ink


Source: Hurun Research


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since 1999


Established as a research unit in 1999, Hurun Report Inc. has grown into a leading media group targeted at China and India high net worth individuals. Its flagship is the Hurun China Rich List and, since 2012, the Hurun Global Rich List. Headquartered in Shanghai, Hurun Report has offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Sanya, London, Los Angeles, Chicago and Cochin, Kerala, in India.


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