The auction catering to China’s elite collectors

In China, rocketing spending power and a renewed interest in heritage has created the world’s largest art market. Jason Lai takes a front seat at one of the country’s largest auctions.

As spending power in China has shot up in the past decade, its residents are discovering a renewed interest in their past culture and heritage.

Although the country has only recently opened its doors to foreign auction houses, it has become the largest art market in the world.

At one of China’s largest auction houses, China Guardian, single pieces can go for tens of millions of dollars. Jason Lai goes behind the scenes to find the art in the artefacts.

If you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter called "If You Only Read 6 Things This Week". A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Culture, Capital and Travel, delivered to your inbox every Friday.

To comment on this story or anything else you have seen on BBC Capital, please head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter.