Sotheby’s Hong Kong Modern and Contemporary Art auctions on 31 March closed with the second highest total for a Sotheby’s Hong Kong evening sale, while the two days saw a total of 16 auction records.
The evening acution saw 100% of Western Modern and Contemporary Works sold, with 97% of all lots sold and 64% exceeding the high estimates. There was an exceptional sell-through rate of 95% in the contemporary art day sale, reaching more than double its total estimate.
Sotheby’s Hong Kong Spring 2018 Modern And Contemporary Art Sale Series totalled HKD1.28 billion (USD164 million) over two days on 31 March and 1 April 2018, setting 16 new auction records for artists across categories.
Sotheby’s Hong Kong Evening Sales of Modern Art and Contemporary Art on 31 March 2018 saw a solid performance with great percentage of lots sold and new records set for artists.
The sales brought a total of HKD1.04 billion (USD132 million) (estimate HKD643 – 929million), the second highest total for a Sotheby’s Hong Kong Evening Sale. Eight new artist records were set, including for Vu Cao Dam, Hsiao Chin, Jane Lee, Park Seobo, Uemae Chiyu, Yu Youhan, José-María Cano, and an ink on paper record for Chu Teh-Chun.
The top lot of the evening was Zao Wou-ki’s 1962 painting 26.04.62, which sold for HKD85.3million (USD10.9million) to an Asian private collector. The price fetched by this artwork in the modern art section surpassed by more than two times the top lot of the contemporary sale, Robert Rauschenberg’s Cartoon (1962), which sold for HKD38.9 million (USD4.9 million).
Hsiao Chin’s La forza della meditazione saw an intense internationa bidding battlet with over 30 bids before selling for HKD7,560,000, setting a new auction record for the artist for the third time in one year. Sotheby’s currently holds six of the top ten auction records for the artist. Pan Yuliang’s Baigneuse sold for HKD27,684,500 (USD3,527,559), more than 4.5 times its pre-sale estimate. Sotheby’s now holds three of the top five auction records for the artist. All Southeast Asian Modern works sold, with the top lot, Walter Spies’ Berge und Teich (Mountains And Pond) achieving HKD25,320,000 (USD3,226,274).
In the contemporary section, all 12 works by Western artists were sold, while the sale witnessed a solid performance by Chinese contemporaries, with five out of the seven works on offer selling above their high estimates. The sale of Chinese works of art was led by Liu Wei’s Revolutionary Family Series: Travel Time (Diptych), sold for HKD35,587,500 (USD4,534,559) – more than double its estimate. Yu Youhan’s Abstract 1988-1 achieved HKD15,720,000 (USD2,003,042), five times its estimate and setting a new artist record.
All eight Japanese contemporary works also sold, with a new artist record set for Uemae Chiyu. Kusama Yayoi’s Red-Nets No. 2.A.3. sold 1.5 times its estimate for HKD35,587,500 (USD4,534,559) to a private buyer, while Shiraga Kazuo’s Chiansei Kinhyoshi sold for HKD27,684,500 (USD3,527,559), more than double its estimate. Southeast Asian contemporary works 100 percent sold.
In the closing press release, Patti Wong, Chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, was quoted as commenting:
Tonight’s outstanding results, with strong prices for both Asian and Western art and an exceptional sell-through rate of 97%, is a testament to our efforts to bring fresh and outstanding works to our clients. We saw deep demand for quality works, with a series of extended bidding contests, resulting in 64% of the works exceeding the high estimates this evening and setting many new records. We are delighted that one year since we debuted Western art in our Evening Sale, once again we saw all of the works on offer finding buyers.
The Day Sales on 1 April – Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art, Contemporary Art, and Modern Asian Art – were all as successful as the evening sale.
“From Movimento Punto To Post-War Asian Art” and “Loman’s Collection of Chinese Post-War Art”, the two curated sections of the Modern Asian Art Day Sale, were 100 percent sold. Two new auction records for artists were set during the sale, including Pia Pizzo’s Prima dell’inizio sold for HKD56,250 and Tsai Hsia-Ling’s Malerei sold for HKD37,500. The top lot of the sale was, like for the evening sale, a Zao Wou-ki, Notre-Dame de Paris (1953), sold to an Asian private for HKD9,720,000 (USD1,238,522).
In contemporary art, new auction records were set for Gokita Tomoo with Night In Tunisia, sold for HKD2,125,000, and Hernan Bas with With Stupid sold for HKD2,125,000. In the top ten lots were seven Yayoi Kusama works and two Yoshitomo Nara. The top lot was Kusama’s 1983 canvas Lemon Juice sold HKD7,560,000 (USD963,295) to an Asian private collector.
Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian art did well over the day sale, after it sold 100 percent in the evening sale. Sale prices were robust and the sale saw an increase in Vietnamese collectors participation. Five Vietnamese artists were in the top ten lots, including Nguyen Van Ty, whose Ladies in a Garden ranked fourth in the top ten and sold for HKD1,375,000 (USD175,202), setting a new auction record for the artist. The top selling lot of the sale was Indonesian Christine Ay Tjoe’s 2010 oil on canvas Study of First November Doll, sold to an Asian private collector for HKD3,000,000 (USD382,260).
Other records set during this sale were Suzlee Ibrahim’s Wall Series; Masterpiece II sold for HKD237,500 (doubling the previous record), Le Thi Luu’s Children Picking Flowers sold for HKD1,625,000 (near three times the previous record), and Alix Aymé’s Paysage (Landscape)sold for HKD937,500, near four times the previous record.
C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia
Estimates do not include Buyer’s Premium. Prices achieved include the hammer price plus Buyer’s Premium. HKD to USD figures are based on daily exchange rates: please check Sotheby’s website for up-to-date USD prices.
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