The immense and very sudden success of contemporary Chinese art in Western markets is a phenomenon that Western critics are still struggling to assess. Many link it, not unreasonably, to the economic resurgence of China during the past decade and a half.
This resurgence should not have been unexpected. Up to and perhaps including the period of the Ming emperors, China represented as much as 25% of the whole world economy. The story of art in the United States, in the years immediately after World War II, showed clearly that the art of any economically dominant power is likely to have a massive impact on the culture of other regions.