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Sotheby’s Asian Art sales top US$100 million in Hong Kong

The Sotheby’s April series of Modern and Contemporary Asian Art sales have so far realized more than US$100 million during two frantic days in Hong Kong.
The weekend saw six auctions bring a combined total of HK$793,778,125 (US$101,766,426), across the categories of Modern Asian Art, Contemporary Asian Art and Southeast Asian Art, setting numerous world record prices along the way.

The leading lot of the weekend was Wang Huaiqing’s 1999 work ‘Feet 2 (diptych)’, which soared past its top estimate to sell for a record HK$54.52 million (US$7 million), topping the Evening sale on April 3.

Further notable sales included Xu Beihong’s ‘The Sleeping Venus’ which achieved HK$46.68 million (US$5.98 million); Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita’s ‘Nu au chat’ which sold for HK$39.4 million (US$5.1 million); and Liu Wei’s ‘The Revolutionary Family Series (triptych)’ which realized a new artist record of HK$38.84 million (US$5 million).

The sale also featured the specially-curated session ‘ Brushwork – From Asia to The World’, which offered 20 abstract works by contemporary Asian, European, and American artists and achieved HK$62.5 million (US$8 million), with a sell-through rate of 100%.

"Market sentiment for modern Asian art remains strong, with ten works selling for more than HK$10 million driven by the category’s committed collector base," commented a Christie’s spokesperson.

"The success is a testament to Sotheby’s pioneering vision in introducing both Asian and Western post-war abstract art to collectors in the region, reinforcing our leadership in the contemporary art market in Asia."

The Evening and Day sales of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art achieved a combined total of HK$144,253,750 (US$18,494,071), exceeding all expectations and setting further auction artist records.

The centrepiece of the sale was the private collection of the late Mr. Ali Sadikin, former governor of Jakarta in Indonesia. Featuring rare and fresh-to-the-market artworks, many gifted directly by the artists themselves, the collection was led by Hendra Gunawan’s ‘Ali Sadikin Pada Masa Perang Kemerdekaan’ (Ali Sadikin during the Independence Struggle), which achieved a new record price for the artist of HK$33.24 million (US$4.3 million).

The auction series will conclude with further sales in Hong Kong on April 5 and 6.

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