Catherine Asquith Art Advisory
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