Phillips Hong Kong sale on May 27th will feature a $5m collection of Chinese Contemporary art entitled Pioneers of Modernism: A Selection from the Scheeres Collection. The lead lot is a Zhang Xiaogang work, Bloodline, Big Family No. 9 (above) that comes to market with an estimate upon request. Another work from this same series sold in China five months ago for $4.4m for a much later work. The record for these Big Family works and the artist is slightly more than $12m achieved in 2014.
Comprising 20 lots estimated in excess of HKD 40 million, the collection include historically significant contemporary Chinese works by celebrated artists such as Zhang Xiaogang, Fang Lijun, Yue Minjun, as well as such modern masters as Richard Lin, Sanyu, Le Pho, among others. The highlights will be unveiled in a touring exhibition across key cities in Asia .
Honouring its debut appearance in the market, Pioneers of Modernism: A Selection from the Scheeres Collection will be presented in a dedicated auction preview in H Queen’s Atrium in Hong Kong from 24 to 27 May 2018 alongside Phillips Hong Kong’s Spring Sale 2018 preview held in Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.
Poly Auction Hong Kong's 2018 Spring Modern and Contemporary Art Auction made more than HK$400 million ($50.96m). Nearly half of that total came from Zao Wou-ki's large-scale Et la terre était sans forme (above), which sold at HK$182,900,000 ($23.3m). That sale sets a new record within Zao's 'oracle-bone' series and is the second highest auction price for Zao.
Sotheby's Spring Hong Kong sales cycle got off to a strong start over the weekend. Hong Kong now has its marquee evening sales event of Modern and Contemporary art that is a mix of Asian blue-chip art and European artists with appeal to Asian buyers. That sale had a combined total of HK$1.04bn ($132m) which puts it on par with major evening sales in London. The sales had a 97% sell-through rate with 64% of the works going for prices over the high estimates.
Demand is clearly strong in Asia. Sotheby's was able to sell all 33 Yayoi Kusama works in the sale. The evening sale of Southeast Asian art was a white-glove sale with no lots failing. Christine Ay Tjoe's Study of First November Doll made a price more than five times the high estimate even if the absolute price was a relatively small $380k.
The day sale of Contemporary Asian art doubled its total low estimate and was 95% sold demonstrating that the demand for Asian Contemporary art goes deep and down the price scale.
Modern Art Evening Sale (31 March) : HK$ 638,377,500/ US$ 81,342,061
Contemporary Art Evening Sale (31 March): HK$ 397,987,500/ US$ 50,711,567
Modern & Cont Southeast Asian Day Sale (1 April): HK$ 47,865,625/ US$ 6,099,038
Contemporary Art Day Sale (1 April) : HK$ 138,268,750/ US$ 17,618,204
Modern Asian Art Day Sale (1 April) : HK$ 60,663,750/ US$ 7,729,775