Christie’s Hong Kong held their spring auctions from 26 to 30 May 2012, including two major auctions that contained Asian contemporary art. While several works sold above their estimates, sales of Asian modern art far outpaced contemporary.

Zeng Fanzhi, 'Fly', 2000, oil on canvas. Sold at the Christie's spring Asian Twentieth Century & Contemporary Art Sale for HKD39,860,000 (USD5,160,136). Image courtesy Christie's Images Ltd.

The evening sale: Zeng Fanzhi leads

Christie’s held its spring Asian Twentieth Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale in Hong Kong on 26 May 2012. While most of the 45 lots and the top selling works were from Chinese modern masters like Sanyu, Zao Wou-Ki and Chu Teh-Chun, a few contemporary artists cracked the top spots. The top-selling contemporary artist was Zeng Fanzhi, two works by whom sold for around double their estimate. The top ten contemporary works are listed in the table below.

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41 of the 45 lots sold for a selling rate of 91 percent. The total value of the auction sales came to approximately HKD362,000,000 (USD46,625,600), around a third of which was contemporary art. According to Eric Chang, International Director of Asian Twentieth Century & Contemporary Art at Christie’s, “The robust results of the sale are, among other factors, due in part to Christie’s integration of Southeast Asian Contemporary and Modern Art into the overall Asian category, creating a wider pan-Asian platform.” He noted that this spring’s auction set the world auction record for Indonesian modern master Affandi, whose work At the Cockfight sold for HKD5,540,000 (USD713,552). The complete list of realised works can be found on the Christie’s website.

Affandi, 'At the Cockfight', 1964, oil on canvas. Sold at the Christie's spring Asian Twentieth Century & Contemporary Art Sale for HKD5,540,000 (USD717,189), a record-breaking price nearly four times the initial estimate. Image courtesy Christie's Images Ltd.

Day sales: China, Japan dominate top ten

On Sunday 27 May 2012, Christie’s also held its Asian Twentieth Century Art and Asian Contemporary Art day sales, which exclusively contained modern and contemporary works, respectively. The top ten highest-selling single works from the Asian Contemporary Art auction are listed in the table below.

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The Asian Contemporary Art sale netted a total of HKD97,223,500 (USD12,586,200) for 211 successful lots, compared to the Asian Twentieth Century Art auction’s HKD170,495,250 (USD22,071,700) from 185 realised lots. In the initial press release, Christie’s stated there were over 560 works in the three auctions, which would place the average sell-through rate for the two Sunday auctions at under 80 percent.


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Related Topics: art market watch – auctions, art in Hong Kong, classic/contemporary

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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