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Sotheby's Hong Kong Autumn Sales to Offer Lots Estimated in Excess of US$100 Million
Cai Guo-Qiang (b.1957), Money Net No.3, gunpowder and ink on paper, 2002, 400 x 600 cm. Est.: HK$4.7-5.5 million.
HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s Hong Kong Autumn Sales 2009 will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 3 to 8 October 2009. This sales series will offer over 2,300 lots of Modern and Contemporary Chinese and Southeast Asian Art, traditional Chinese paintings, fine Chinese ceramics and works of art as well as jewellery, watches and wine with a total estimate in excess of HK$780 million / US$100 million. Selected highlights will be showcased during travelling exhibitions across Asia and in New York in August and September, followed by a public exhibition in Hong Kong from 3 to 7 October 2009.

Mr. Kevin Ching, Chief Executive Officer, Sotheby’s Asia, said, “Sotheby’s Hong Kong shall continue its commitment to offer only the very best to Asia and the rest of the world. The forthcoming and thoughtfully curated October sales are set to satisfy the distinctive and diverse taste of our discerning clients and collectors. We are particularly delighted to bring to market a number of outstanding private collections with impeccable provenance. They include fine wines from two outstanding private collections, a private collection of Imperial works of art from the Qianlong reign, as well as exceptional modern Chinese ink paintings and contemporary Chinese art. Collectively our offerings, many of exceptional quality and rarity, shall enthrall the market and collectors alike.”

AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS

Fine Chinese Paintings – 5 October
- estimated total: over HK$67 million; total lots: over 250

Li Keran (1907-1989)
Tranquil Landscape
ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll
1984
92 x 55 cm.
Est.: HK$3-4.5 million

Tranquil Landscape was selected by the artist for his participation in the Contemporary Chinese Paintings exhibition organised by The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1986. In this painting, Li’s delicate and natural brushstrokes almost succeed in bringing the velvety flowing waterfall and the misty forest to life.

Qi Baishi (1864-1957)
Scratching Zhong Kui’s Back
ink and colour on paper, framed
1936
94 x 43.7 cm.
Est.: HK$2.5-3.5 million

This work has its origins in a folk tale, featuring a mischievous little devil who scratches the back of its master, Zhong Kui. Shown with characteristic unconstrained brushwork, the devil is portrayed trying in vain to reach the right spot; the experience is so unsatisfying for the anxious Zhong Kui that his beard is sent flying. The humourous inscription is exaggerated, yet it is intended to inspire: it is never easy to scratch another’s itch, just as it is not easy to serve your master.

Wu Guanzhong (b.1919)
Old City of Chongqing
ink and colour on paper, framed
1989
96.5 x 107 cm.
Est.: HK$2.2-3 million

Wu started creating his captivating works that depict the scenes of mountain villages in Chongqing in the mid-1970s. Old City of Chongqing, executed in 1989, is his largest work of square dimension amongst this series, capturing the picturesque scenery of an old city in Chongqing along the Yangtze River.

Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings – 6 October
- estimated total: in excess of HK$22 million; total lots: approximately 120

Lee Man Fong (1913-1988)
Magnificent Horses
oil on masonite board
Spring 1966
117 x 235 cm.
Est.: HK$1.5–2.5 million

Imbued with poetic elegance and vividness, Magnificent Horses is one of the largest and most important works by Lee to appear at auction. It is also the largest horse picture created by the artist, and is amongst the last few major works that Lee completed before his migration from Indonesia to Singapore.

Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès (1880-1958)
Two Women on the Beach, Tahiti
oil on canvas
circa 1929-1930
101 x 121 cm.
Est.: HK$1.4-2 million

One of the superb creations by the artist during his visit to Tahiti. The work depicts two women wrapped in their bright pink sarongs resting beneath a coconut tree by the sea. Le Mayeur’s obsession with sunlight is seldom stated with such clarity and passion as it is in this work.

I Nyoman Masriadi (b.1973)
The Man from Bantul "The Monster"
mixed media on canvas
2000
200 x 150 cm.
Est.: HK$600,000-900,000

Boxing is one of the most pervasive and personal themes in Masriadi’s paintings. This work features his signature muscled figures in a boxing ring, narrating a tale of tragedy and comedy between winners and losers. A work of fine wit and supreme quality, this painting also stands out for the artist’s courage to push limitations and to create his own distinctive artistic language.

20th Century Chinese Art – 6 October
- estimated total: over HK$58 million; total lots: approximately 50

Sanyu (Chang Yu) (1901-1966)
Lotus et Poissons Rouges (Lotus and Red Fish)
oil on isorel
circa mid 1950s
116.8 x 179 cm.
Est.: HK$15-25 million

Executed in the mid 1950s, Lotus et Poissons Rouges is not only a magnificent work from the peak of Sanyu’s career, but also the largest painting by the artist ever to appear at auction. Completely fresh to the market, this incredibly rare masterpiece has been unseen by the public for over 50 years. It depicts flowers, landscape and small fish in the water in a rich and bountiful composition.

Zhu Ming (Ju Ming) (b. 1938)
Taichi Series – Taichi Arch**
bronze
2000
279 x 420 x 156 cm.
Est.: HK$7.5–10 million

Zhu Ming’s sculptures illustrate the rhythmic movement and vitality of Taichi. This superb example is imbued with balance and harmony, demonstrating force and beauty simultaneously. Zhu masters the subtle nuances of his subject and material: as he carves, the sheer weight of the material is transformed into the smooth motions of Taichi, creating vivid and lively postures.

Contemporary Asian Art – 6 October
- estimated total: over HK$95 million; total lots: over 180

Cai Guo-Qiang (b.1957)
Money Net No.3
gunpowder and ink on paper
2002
400 x 600 cm.
Est.: HK$4.7-5.5 million

Money Net No.3 is a documentation of Project No. 51–Explosion: Money Net, performed by Cai at London’s Royal Academy of Arts at the opening of The Galleries Show in 2002, in which a sculpture of a drawstring purse, over seven metres high and constructed from wires of gunpowder fuses, was burnt into ashes. This performance was later recorded on paper as the present work. The spontaneous burn marks with subtle tonal variations is reminiscent of classical Chinese ink and brush paintings.

Yan Pei-Ming (b.1960)
Self Portrait as a Skull (Autoportrait en crâne) (Triptych)
oil on canvas
2006
150 x 150 cm. each
Est.: HK$2.5-3.5 million

Death has been a subject matter that has intrigued Yan Pei-Ming in recent years, particularly since his father passed away. This powerful triptych, drenched in a sanguinary red, is composed with a ponderous hand charged with the fear of death. The work succeeds in revealing the artist's fear of and insights on death; the skulls are symbolic of the artist's direct confrontation, as a result of a realization that evasion is impossible.

Ryuki Yamamoto (b. 1976)
Bullied by Justice (Diptych)
acrylic on canvas
2008
171.6 x 333.2 cm.
Est.: HK$800,000-1.2 million

Ryuki Yamamoto’s signature photorealist self-portrait juxtaposes a legion of American superheroes in this monumental painting. The bizarre composition and the ironic visual contrast indicate the tenuous dynamics between Japan and the West.

Li Songsong (b. 1973)
The Decameron
oil on canvas
2004
170 x 210 cm.
Est.: HK$800,000-1.2 million

Li Songsong explores the tension between old photos, upon which his paintings are based, and his reinterpretation of the political events captured. Inspired by 14th century Italian writer Giovanni Boccacio’s novel of the same title, Li cut a photo of the National People’s Congress in 2004 into ten pieces and reassembled this political event in a reincarnation of The Decameron in order to rethink and reinterpret this historical event.


Sotheby's | Li Keran | Qi Baishi | Wu Guanzhong | Lee Man Fong | I Nyoman Masriadi |


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