Despite last minute changes in the speaker panel the conference Axis Shifting East organised by Vastari at Asia House to mark the opening of the Asian Art in London was a great success.

Georgina Adam from The Art Newspaper and Financial Times gracefully moderated the talks revolving around pressing issues in the Asian art world.

The first talk covered the rise of private museums in China and the impact of their increasing numbers on the Chinese museum world and the Chinese cultural sector. Cathy Giangrande, art historian and author of a number of books on the subject gave an overview of the situation. Sylvia Xuhua Zhan, Artistic Director at China Culture Connect shared a first-hand experience in dealing with Chinese museum institutions. Lori Luo Yi rounded up with more interesting facts on the people who set up the private museums and the background of the enterprises.

Next one to go was the reoccurring theme of the 400th anniversary of the relations between Japan and the West. Marta Olszewska, art historian and head of business development Asia at Vastari, Aleksandra Görlich, curator from Manggha Museum in Poland and Paul Binnie, contemporary artist spoke about the long cultural and artistic exchange dating back to mid-1500. The way the Japanese saw the Westerners and the way Westerners looked at the Japanese was discussed in chronological order using fascinating examples of artworks.

The last topic discussed was the issue of sanctions on export of art from Iran. The delicate issue was introduced and discussed by Janet Rady, a contemporary Middle Eastern art dealer, Daniel McClean, lawyer specialising in disputed artworks and art recovery and Soheila Sokhanvari, a contemporary Iranian artist.

Attended by over a hundred guests- art dealers, collectors, journalists, museum professionals and scholars- the symposium concluded with a heated discussion and questions from the audience. The event ended with an unofficial networking by drinks and snacks.

Vastari received a huge amount of positive feedback especially for raising awareness of the current trends in the art world. The team is already looking forward to organising more similar events in the future and invite top specialists in their field to help everyone understand the changes the art world is facing.

Please find the full video of the symposium below: