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Jul 09 2019

Pace Beijing Closed Amid China-US Trade War

by Cassie Liu

Pace Gallery has closed its Beijing space (pictured) due to unfavorable economic conditions in mainland China. Image via Jedi Lu’s Flickr.

Pace Gallery has shuttered its 2,000-square-meter space in Beijing’s 798 Art District amid worsening economic constraints in mainland China. Pace founder Arne Glimcher cited the ongoing trade dispute between China and the United States, and unfavorable tax policies introduced under Chinese president Xi Jinping as among the factors for the Beijing outpost’s closure. 

Glimcher told Artnews: “It’s impossible to do business in mainland China right now and it has been for a while . . . The last straw is [US president Donald J.] Trump’s duty on Chinese artists coming into this country and Xi Jinping’s duty on Americans coming into China.” He added that Chinese tax policies targeting luxury spending have also made art purchases in China more expensive, incentivizing Chinese collectors to buy abroad.

Pace opened its Beijing space in 2008, becoming one of the first US galleries to enter the mainland Chinese market. In its 11 years of operation, Pace Beijing was directed by curator Leng Lin, with a program of four to five solo and group shows annually. Exhibited artists included American postminimalist Richard Tuttle, Korean performance pioneer Lee Kun-Yong, and Beijing-based sculptor and installation artist Yin Xiuzhen, among others.

Remarking on the cultural fallout of decisions by both Chinese and US leadership amid worsening economic and political relations, Glimcher stated, “I think it is really unfortunate that the culture has to be sacrificed by these administrations who don’t understand its value or its role in society.” 

According to Artnews, Pace may consider expanding its business in Hong Kong, where it currently has two locations.

Cassie Liu is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.

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