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Sotheby's Hong Kong Spring Sales see strength in market exceeding pre-sale estimates
the sale was led by the runaway price of HK$21.4 million / US$2.7 million achieved for a rare Balinese-themed work, Bali Life, (est. HK$3.5 – 5.5 million) by Indonesian painter Lee Man Fong. Photo: Sotheby's.
HONG KONG.- Sotheby's Hong Kong Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings 2013 Spring Sale commanded HK$113 million / US$14.5 million more than doubling the pre-sale estimate (HK$42 million / US$5.3 million), the second highest auction total for the category. Top lot of the sale was Lee Man Fong’s Balinese-themed Modern Masterpiece Bali Life which sold for HK$21.4 million / US$2.7 million (Est: HK$3.5 – 5.5 million / US$452,000 – 710,000)

Commenting on the sale, MOK Kim Chuan, Sotheby’s Head of Southeast Asian Paintings department, said: “Following on from the best-ever results achieved for our Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian art sales in October 2012, today’s sale saw continued strength in this market and gave us our second-highest total in the category. Bidding today came not only from collectors across Southeast Asia, but also from the rest of the region and around the world, confirming this category as a growing sector to watch.

“While the sale was led by the runaway price of HK$21.4 million / US$2.7 million achieved for a rare Balinese-themed work, Bali Life, (est. HK$3.5 – 5.5 million) by Indonesian painter Lee Man Fong, there were notable records set, especially for Indo-European artist Willem Dooijiewaard, whose Woman Selling Fruits, estimated at HK$480,000 – 680,000, brought HK$4.36 million / US$558,974.

“Filipino artists continue to assert themselves in this market and today we saw a record set for Filipino artist Fernando Zobel, whose Hattecvm, estimated at HK$780,000 – 1.2 million, sold for HK$8.2 million / US$1.1 million and also a top price among Contemporary works of HK$3.28 million / US$420,513 paid for much sought-after Filipino artist Ronald Ventura’s Eye Land, which far surpassed its pre-sale estimate of HK$750,000 – 950,000. A new record was established for the artist for Ang Kiu Kok, whose Thinking Man (est. HK$240,000 – 320,000) sold for HK$1.6 million / US$205,128.”

On the fourth day of Sotheby's Hong Kong Spring Sale 2013 of 20th Century Chinese Art totalled HK$204.6 million / US$26.2 million exceeding pre-sale estimates of HK$145 million / US$18.5 million. Six works achieved more than HK$10 million / US$1.28 million Notable prices achieved for two important works by Zao Wou-Ki: Top lot of the sale: 10.03.83 - rare diptych debuting at auction sold for HK$37 million / US$4.75 million (Est. HK$25 - 32 million / US$3.2 – 4.1 million) 10.12.59 fetched HK$18 million / US$2.3 million more than doubling estimate (Est. HK$6 – 8 million / US$770,000 – 1.04 million). Wang Yidong’s Teasing The Newlyweds debuting at auction sold for HK$19 million / US$2.4 million (Est. HK$16 million / US$2.07 million)

Sylvie Chen, Head of Sotheby’s 20th Century Chinese Art Department, said: ‘’In today’s packed saleroom, in which more than 400 bidders – mostly Asian private, but also many international, collectors – had registered to bid in advance, there was keen competition for 20th Century Chinese Art which ranged from abstraction to realism. In all, six works sold for more than HK$10 million / US$1.28 million. The top price of the day was achieved by an exceptionally rare diptych from the pinnacle of Zao Wou-Ki’s artistic career in the 1980s, 10.03.83, which brought HK$37 million / US$4.8 million, above its high estimate of HK$32 million, and the same artist’s 10.12.59 more than doubled its estimate of HK$6 – 8 million / US$770,000 – 1.04 million to achieve HK$18 million / US$2.3 million. Another abstract masterpiece, a snow scene inspired by Chu Teh-Chun’s passion for the magnificence of the Alps, 25 Décembre 1985, brought HK$23.6 million / US$3 million (Est. HK$15 – 20 million / US$1.9 – 2.6 million). There was also eager competition for realist works including desirable landscapes by Wu Guangzhong, and most notably for Wang Yidong’s Teasing the Newlyweds, an early group-portrait painting centered on the theme of Chinese marriage, which brought HK$19.2 million / US$2.5 million (Est. HK$12 – 16 million / US$ 1.5 – 2 million), as well as the cover lot, Ai Xuan’s moving portrait, Longing, that brought HK$12 million / US$1.5 million (Est. HK$8.8 – 12 million / US$1.1 – 1.5 million). Following the success of the 100%-sold special series of works by David Wu Ject-Key in Autumn 2012, this season’s specially curated series of works by Hon-Chew Hee, another Chinese artist who developed his career in the United States, were also completely sold, which reflects the collecting community’s appreciation of our selection of rare and notable works of modern Chinese art.”

Sotheby's Hong Kong Fine Chinese Paintings Spring Sale 2013 achieved HK$ 361 million/ US$ 46.3 million more than doubling the pre-sale estimate (HK$130 million / US$16.6 million). Five lots sold above HK$10 million / US$1.3 million. Zhang Daqian’s The Drunken Dance fetched HK$ 23 million / US$ 3 million (Estimate: HK$7–9million / US$ 900,000 –1.2 million)

Ding Yanyong’s Crane in the Wait for Flight Achieves HK$9.04 million / US$1.2 million (Est: HK$1.6 –2.2 million / US$210,000 –280,000)- Setting the Auction Record For the Artist

Commenting on the sale, C.K. Cheung, Head of Sotheby's Fine Chinese Paintings Department, said: “Today’s sale of Fine Chinese Paintings during our 40th Anniversary in Hong Kong saw outstanding competition from established Asian private collectors for works by Zhang Daqian, Fu Baoshi, Lin Fengmian and others, many of whose works sold for multiples of the estimates. One of the largest works ever painted by Ding Yanyong, Crane in the Wait for Flight, which had been sold at Sotheby’s legendary 1998 Special Sale of Paintings and Calligraphy by Ding Yanyong, set an auction record for the artist when it quadrupled its high estimate to bring HK$9,040,000 / US$1.2 million. Another important piece, Jiang Zhaohe’s Harmony of Strings, also achieved an excellent price of HK$7.48 million / US$958,974 (Est: HK$1.2 –1.8 million).

Highly acclaimed 20th century works by Chinese ink artists did well, including Lü Shoukun’s Victoria Harbour after Rain estimated HK$400,000-600,000, which sold for HK$4.24 million / US$543,590, and Tang Zheming’s Autumn Landscape After Du Fu’s Poem, a magnificent work spanning a length of nine feet, estimated HK$200,000-300,000, which sold for HK$1.36 million / US$174,360. Immaculate fan paintings from renowned Shanghai collector Qian Jintang by three masters of the genre -WuChangshuo, Zhao Zhiqian and Ren Yi -also sold well.”





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April 7, 2013

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