The most expensive auction item of $6 million was bought from a buyer on the telephone

The London-based auction house Christie’s held four auctions in Hong Kong of Asian 20th-Century & Contemporary Art on November 28-29. The sale attracted international interest, with buyers from 30 countries across 5 continents.

Four sales in total brought in a total of $94.7 million (HK$731 million).

1. A Special Sale of Singapore Art: $4,769,295.
Top sale: Balinese Dance by Cheong Soo Pieng (Singaporean, 1917-1983) for $1,000,753.

2. Asian Contemporary Art Day Sale: $9,697,874.
Top sale: Pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, B. 1929), for $596,304.

3. Asian 20th-Century Art Day Sale: $14,400,570
Top sale: 07.06.88 by Zao Wou-ki (1920-2013) for $658,527.

4. Important Watches: $ 15 million
Top sale: Patek Philippe, ref. 5016, pink gold minute repeating perpetual calendar tourbillon wristwatch, with retrograde date, moon phases, leap year indication and black dial, which sold for $534,100.

“The four sales that took place over the weekend we’ve seen continued strong appetite across all categories and regions, especially in Asian abstract and Southeast Asian Art, with more than 20 new artist records. The sales have grown to become a converging platform for both new and established artists from different categories of Asian 20th-century and contemporary art. There was intense bidding not only for works by masters such as Sanyu, Park Seo-Bo and Cheong Soo Ping; but we also saw keen interest for a range of young and emerging artists, especially from China and Japan,” said Eric Chang, Deputy Chairman and International Director of Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art.

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The top lot of Christie’s evening sale was a 20th-century painting (1940) by Chinese artist Sanyu called “Vase of Chrysanthemums on a Yellow Table”, which fetched $6 million (HK$46 million). According to Bloomberg, the painting was sold to an auctioneer who bid via telephone and was sold for more than three times the auction estimate Christie’s set at HK$15 million.

Five new world auction records were set, including the record for a work by Rudolf Bonnet. Additional records were made by Park Seo-Bo, Toshio Yoshida, Liu Wei and Natee Utarit.

In recent years, Hong Kong has become Asia’s most important auction center. The first Hong Kong sale took place in 1986, and has since become a leading international auction house in the region. Christie’s currently holds sales in Asian 20th-century and contemporary art, Chinese ceramics and works of art, Chinese classical and modern paintings, jewelry and jadeite, watches and fine wine. Christie’s sales in Hong Kong typically take place in May and November.

"By The River" by Chia yu Chian, painted in 1991.
“By The River” by Chia yu Chian, painted in 1991.
CHEONG SOO PIENG (Singaporean, 1917-1983) Balinese Dance Oil on canvas, 134 x 87.5 cm (52 ¾ x 34 ⅜ in.) Painted in 1953.
Cheong Soo Pieng’s “Balinese Dance” sold for $1.4 million.


Sanyu's "Vase of Chrysanthemums on a Yellow Table" sold for HK$46 million
Sanyu’s “Vase of Chrysanthemums on a Yellow Table” sold for HK$46 million

Photos: Bloomberg, Blouinart

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