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Art Basel’s first Hong Kong art show is a clear sign that Chinese collectors have arrived.

Last year, auction and gallery sales of Chinese art and antiques dropped by almost a quarter, according to the European Fine Art Foundation, signaling buyers have grown more cautious and more sophisticated.

As galleries descend on Hong Kong next week to pitch their favored artists, buyers should remain wary. The art market is a tough place to make money, both because of the fickle nature of collectors and the structure of the market, where pricing is murky and liquidity scarce.

Chris Sabian is a portrait artist with http://www.kutefineart.com and owner of http://www.paragonprints.co.uk