Asian collectors today are willing to pay a substantial amount for quality photography works. Ishii said he now has many collectors from Asia, and he has sold Japanese photography to new collectors from Taiwan and Shanghai for JPY 1 million to JPY 20 million (approximately US$10,000 to US$200,000). Tagore said the average price for a photography work at his gallery is between US$30,000 to US$50,000, and works by international artists such as Salgado and Burtynsky can command much higher prices in the region. “I don’t see any distinction between how much Asian and Western clients are willing to pay,” said the dealer.
For her part, Levasseur de la Motte said that while some in Asia are indeed willing to pay up to US$30,000 to US$40,000 for a photograph, works at Photo17 will span from around US$1,000 to US$20,000. “We want to target young collectors,” she said.
Fine Art Asia’s Hei said that positive response from the fair’s new photography section this year has led his team to expand the section in 2017. Nonetheless, Hei wants to see the trend continue before committing fully to the medium, “Whether we have this category as a standalone fair in future will depend on the results in the coming few years,” he said.