Although the contemporary art system has experienced relevant changes in Mainland China over the past decades, only recently it gained an international reputation. Within this context, art fairs played a strategic role in developing relationships with players of the global art world. The aim of this paper is to analyze this internationalization process by focusing on two dimensional measures: the composition of galleries attending art fairs and their network embeddedness. Using Social Network Analysis (SNA) to explore contemporary art fairs in Mainland China over the period 2007–2019, we show the transition from local to international hub, suggesting the importance of art fairs as a potential soft power vehicle.
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