Asia Has Officially Fallen for Contemporary Art: Postwar Sales Have Doubled as Collectors Chase the Hottest Names in Hong Kong

artnet News | Tim Schneider

With over $223 million in sales at Christie’s and nearly $30 million at Phillips’s eastern outpost, this May was a tremendous month for auctions of art in Hong Kong. But as tends to happen, the sheer volume and magnitude of the sales cycle made it difficult to pluck meaningful realities out of the whirlwind of dollar signs. For instance, Christie’s fortunes were hitched to postwar greats like Zao Wou-ki, whose 14.12.59 (1959) sold for $22.6 million, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose Untitled (Orange Sports Figure) (1982) delivered nearly $9.4 million. (All figures include premiums.) But they also owed to strong performances from an older generation, led by 20th-century ink painter Zhang Daqian’s Viewing the Waterfall (1963) ($8.4 million). Identifying which era was most responsible for the bullish results offers valuable clues about where the market in this fast-growing region is heading. Were bidders in Hong Kong continuing past trends or bucking them?…read more

Image: A woman looks at Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara’s In the Pinky Lake during a media preview of Christie’s Hong Kong Spring Sales in Hong Kong on March 30, 2018. Photo: PHILIP FONG/AFP/Getty Images.