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
Included in Christies' forthcoming auction, "Chinese Contemporary Ink" to be held in Hong Kong on 1 June 2015, Qiu Zhije's work on paper, "Blessed Child", amongst others, has been highlighted as a significant work:
"Dedicated to the artist’s daughter, A Blessed Child is part of a series of works which seek to turn conventional cartography on its head, mapping cultural and historical narratives that reach far beyond the atlas.
Here, Zhije maps the hand, plotting the lines which — according to fortune tellers — can chart a subject’s behaviour, thoughts, sensibilities, experiences, beliefs, and relationships.
Emblazoned on an open palm, the work is stylistically reminiscent of early European maps and Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings. Sketched phrases encapsulate the lofty pretensions of youth (‘reading romantic novels to escape from reality’) or stand as sage truisms (‘fierce critics do not always mean ill’) — the artist juxtaposing traditional beliefs with contemporary expectations of life."
Qiu Zhijie (b. 1969), graduated from the National Academy of Fine Art in Hangzhou in 1992. His artworks appear in various media and formats, including oil painting, photography, video, and installation art. Qiu moved to Beijing in 1994 and has dedicated much of his time to ink paintings and calligraphy since mid-2000s. Although trained in printmaking at school, Qiu studied traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy since childhood and considers ink and brush as his innate tool to formulate his thoughts and ideas.
Last at auction in Hong Kong (November 24, 2014), an ink and ink rubbing work on paper, with the 'monumental' title of 30 Letters to Qiu Jiawa, L10-You Need to be the Spring of the World, L11-Do not Believe in Oaths of Eternity, L12-Do not Let Exaggerated Expressions Become Your Own Burden achieved an equally, monumental price of HKD$6,640,000 against an estimate of HKD $1,800,000 – 2,800,000.
With an estimate of HK$350,000 to $450,000 for A Blessed Child it will be interesting to see the outcom
A simple Chinese vase made over 800 years ago and unveiled in Hong Kong Monday is expected to fetch $10 million when it goes under the hammer next month, Sotheby's said. The plain octagonal piece, tinted a milky blue, was created during the Southern Song Dynasty -- which ruled southern China from 1127-1279 -- and is just 20 centimetres (eight inches) tall. Despite its simplicity it represents the most coveted art of the period, Sotheby's said, since it is part of a rare collection crafted for the imperial court, known as "guan yao" or "official ware".
The vase is from the same collection as a Chinese porcelain bowl created at around the same time, which fetched nearly $37 million at a Sotheby's sale in April 2012. That price was a record for Song Dynasty ceramics. "This for me epitomises what's most sublime in the Chinese artistic tradition, which is simplicity and naturalness of design, powerful yet understated and unselfconsciously beautiful," Sotheby's director and international specialist for Chinese works of art Julian King told AFP.
Hong Kong has emerged as one of the biggest global auction hubs alongside New York and London, fuelled by China's economic boom and demand from Chinese and other Asian collectors. A Ming Dynasty wine cup broke the world auction record for Chinese porcelain in 2014, selling for US$36.05 million in Hong Kong.
The Southern Song Dynasty vase is part of Sotheby's Hong Kong Chinese Works of Art spring sale, which starts on April 7.
Singapore Tatler (on-line)
By AFP/ RELAX NEWS/©AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez