Seoul Auction House has been trying to break into the Hong Kong market for a few years but still can’t find the right mix of works to attract serious buyers. This Autumn they put up a Koons egg which crashed without a buyer, a Hirst spot painting that sold to the auctioneer’s book and range of other works both Western and Asian, according to the Wall Street Journal’s SceneAsia blog:
The sale, held by Seoul Auction in Hong Kong, tallied 67.3 million Hong Kong dollars (US$8.6 million), less than half the expected HK$195.3 million. Of the 49 works available, 20 remained unsold amid thin bidding and a subdued atmosphere.
“I saw a lot people with paddles, but they didn’t bid, they just watched,” said Soyoung Lee, Seoul Auction’s managing director. “We sold 60%, so it’s not the best, but we had a lot of expensive art. I guess people are not really in the mood to buy.”
It’s notable that Zeng Fanzhi’s Mask Series, No. 15 made HK$10.1m which is almost the identical price ($1.3m) that the work sold for in New York at Sotheby’s in 2007 ($1.27m).
The evening’s top seller was “La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans” by Edgar Degas, a bronze sculpture of a dancer, which fetched HK$13.7 million via phone bid. […] “From Line,” a painting by contemporary Korean artist Lee Ufan, sold for HK$9.8 million.
Art Sale of Koons, Hirst and Others Falls Short (SceneAsia/Wall Street Journal)