HONG KONG CONTEMPORARY ART AUCTION
Bonhams Contemporary Art Department held its first auction, Voyages of Discovery, in Hong Kong on Sunday 27 May 2012. All works in the single-owner collection sale, including fifteen paintings by Chinese modern masters Zao Wou-Ki and Chu Teh-Chun, and twelve rare Imperial Chinese artefacts, sold above their estimates.
From the press release,
Sunday 27 May 2012, Hong Kong – In a standing room only sale, frenzied bidding activity occurred within the auction room, by telephone and online. Bonhams Contemporary Art Department’s first dedicated sale in Hong Kong reached the superb total today of HKD90.6 million /USD 11.6 million, more than doubling the pre-sale estimate of HKD26.5 to 37.4 million/ USD3.4 to 4.8 million.
The paintings and works on paper by Zao Wou-Ki and Chu Teh-Chun sold as part of the collection came to a total of HKD63.4 million/ USD8.17 million. They portray a cross-section of the artists’ development through the decades, and illustrate the evolution of their unique styles from the 1960s through to 2006. Born in China and based in Paris for the past five decades, both artists present an important bridge between the traditional calligraphy and painting aesthetics of China and the most innovative art movements of twentieth century Europe. Important works from both artists smashed their high estimates, including Zao Wou-Ki’s ‘La Mer’, 2004, which sold for HKD8.18 million/ over USD1 million, Chu Teh-Chun’s ‘Verte Nature’, 2005-6, which sold for HKD7.2 million/ USD927,416 and Chu Teh-Chun’s ‘Formes Illuminees’, 2006, which sold for HKD5.3 million/ USD682,680.
Closing the sale was Chu Teh-Chun’s ‘Les Feux du Jour Finissant’, 2006, which sold for HKD7.82 million/ USD1 million, further sealing this inaugural sale for Bonhams Contemporary in Asia as a great success.
Commenting on the collection and the excellent results achieved, Anthony McNerney, International Head of the International Bonhams Contemporary Art Department, said, ‘We are thrilled by the exceptional performance of the inaugural sale in Asia of our International Contemporary Art Department. We toured these works around the globe before this sale and we had outstanding interest from an international group of collectors, which came to fruition in a fantastic sale. It was a delight to work with such an exquisite and discerning European collection. We look forward to making the new Contemporary Art Department a success around the world.’
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- Christie’s Hong Kong spring 2012 Asian art auctions: Modern sales outpace contemporary – May 2012 – both Christie’s and Sotheby’s reported strong sales for modern artists like Zao Wou-Ki and Chu Teh-Chun
- Sotheby’s Hong Kong spring 2012 auctions: Modern Asian art still outselling contemporary – April 2012 – another major Hong Kong sale this year in which modern art outpaced contemporary
- New records for Chinese auction houses despite market slowdown – January 2012 – the expansion of mainland Chinese auction houses is sure to influence the Hong Kong market
- Chinese art market confidence remains at “all-time high” – ArtTactic November 2011 report – December 2011 – despite a wave of low-performing sales, ArtTactic reports the Chinese art market outlook remains strong
- Christie’s ‘Faces of New China’ Private Collection Sale underperforms amidst art market slowdown – December 2011 – another sale where contemporary Chinese art failed to live up to expectations
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