Our Observations

Is there a new generation of art collectors and do they collect differently?

12 June 2021

Is there a new generation of art collectors and do they collect differently?

According to Larry's List's 'The Next Gen Art Collectors' report the answer to this double-pronged question is YES AND YES.

Based on direct exchange, research, data collection and data mining, they compiled some insights about collectors under 40 across the world.

It's interesting to look at their key observations:

  • In line with previous observations on the overall collector scene, New York, London, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong are major art hubs for next generation collectors.

  • We witnessed a strong force of young collectors from Asia, particularly China, Korea and Indonesia.

  • We did not identify any young collectors who exclusively focus on digital art or multi-media; painting and sculptures are still the preferred media to collect.

  • Along with the new generation of collectors, there is a new generation of artists emerging.

  • The next generation of collectors is much faster to make their preferences, interests and, ultimately, their collections accessible to a wider public, often through digital sharing but also through opening spaces or museums, particularly in Asia.

  • A significant number of these collectors use their power in the art scene to promote (local) emerging artists and to push for greater inclusion and representation within the industry.

  • Collecting is perceived as only one method of possible engagement with the art scene. In a number of cases, it goes along with curatorial projects and artist-in-residency programmes.

  • Instagram continues to be the dominant medium for communication and engagement. Often being digital natives, the online presence of Next Gen collectors does not come as a surprise.

  • Although social media is being embraced, we did not yet come across any young art collectors present on TikTok.

  • While a number of these young collectors continue a generational collecting tradition, many have taken up the practice without any previous family history of art collecting.

  • Collectors have always been keeping their collections dynamic through upgrading, rebuilding and refocusing. This is neither new nor unique to the younger generation of collectors. What is new is that their activities today are more transparent than in earlier times.

  • While there are regional favourites of artists, a number of artists also have a global appeal, especially for millennial collectors. Notably, a number of such artists themselves are present and active in the digital space and on social media.

  • Collecting art has a strong lifestyle component.

As CEO of Artfundi, I’m excited by these insights for two reasons, firstly, it corroborates a trend we are noticing about increased desire to make collections accessible, and secondly it bodes well for art, that more work will remain visible, even after it is removed from the market by private acquisition. 

It presents an exciting opportunity, which I am passionate about enabling as much as possible. 

I’m asking, "how can we make it easier for collectors to archive and share their various types of works, and how can we help more young people become collectors?”

The Artfundi software platform suits this young collector because it combines collection management with website, curating and easy collaboration. And also because it allows for both traditional and NFT collecting.

If you’re interested in exploring this topic with me, feel free to contact me directly on tamzin @ artfundi.tech