The 20th Anniversary of Asian Art in London
launched with 400 people at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour (DCCH) East Meets West selling exhibition. The following evening at Sothebys Institute and titled, Modern & Contemporary Asian Art: can London become a global hub. Over 2,000 viewed online, while attendance of 150 at Sothebys Institute itself included author, presenter, financial expert & art collector Alvin Hall, who had flown in from New York to participate.
If AAL isnt already a global hub for contemporary art, its certainly on its way with Kamal Bakhshi exhibiting at the DCCH, selling several Japanese contemporary works for over £10,000.
Taking place during the AAL late night opening weekend, the AAL Gallery Hops in Kensington Church Street, St James & Mayfair were oversubscribed, as was AALs Gala Party attended by over 450 guests in the newly opened Joseph E. Hotung Gallery at the British Museum, which brought the 11 days of AAL 20th Anniversary celebrations to a close.
In an increasingly discerning market, there was a world record at Bonhams, for four rare Ming, (16th/17thc) folding chairs at £5.29m, while an exceptional Japanese lacquer plaque from the Misumi Collection, sold pre-auction. Sothebys exquisite pair of Yongzheng period Famille Rose, sanduocups, made for the Emperor, found a buyer at £1.92m. Christies also saw totals of a similar amount with enthusiastic bidding confirming mounting global interest, with a bronze ritual wine vessel (You) selling four times top estimate at £608,750.
Dealers taking part in both permanent and rental galleries had steady business. Many offered major works including Priestley & Ferraro, whose AAL 2017 Art Award winning Yongle (1403-1424) period, Imperial dragon & lotus bowl stand, carried a seven- figure price tag. It is the only dragon-decorated example, known to exist. Simon Pilling, specialist in Japanese art including contemporary works, sold half his exhibition within the opening days to new clients and Institutions. Indian & Islamic dealer Simon Ray sold 21 major works, with further sales pending. Raquelle Azran, dealer in Vietnamese contemporary fine art, sold a major work on opening night, with further sales to follow & couldn't move for visitors the final evening of her AAL exhibition. Chinese export porcelain specialists Cohen & Cohen, sold well into seven figures, including all their Beijing enamels and their finest Famille Rose vases. Prahlad Bubbars stylish Man Ray portrait of the Maharajah of Indore sold for five figures, as did Francesca Galloways miniature of a caparisoned Elephant, from the Louisa Parlby album, one of a group, which ranged in price from £10,000-50,000. Runjeet Singhs star exhibit a 17th century pierced dagger-blade, also brought a 5-figure sum. Joost van den Bergh showing Indian Stone & Bronze Sculpture said it was his most successful AAL to date! Daniel Eskenazi said: We were very pleased with the response to our exhibition showing Six Dynasties art from the Norman A. Kurland collection. We had extremely positive comments both from existing clients, as well as from first-time visitors. Longtime AAL participant Ben Janssens said, "it really has become an unmissable event for everyone"!