Enid Tsui has a very good analysis of Sotheby’s Hong Kong sale curated by Choi Seung-hyun, a Korean pop star with 5.8m followers on Instagram. Her central question is whether the strategy of adding a celebrity to the sale as a marketing gimmick was useful or, even, meaningful to the $17.5m sale’s success.
Gimmick aside, and for those who take an active interest in the art market, the T.O.P. sale was worth paying attention to simply because it is so rare for a Hong Kong auction to feature such a broad range of artwork. […] The results from the sale seem to say that there’s healthy, if not wildly enthusiastic demand for Western art in this part of the world. The Richter, the Haring and works by Rudolf Stingel, Tauba Auerbach and Jonas Wood all went to Asian private buyers.
Tsui seems convinced that it is the breaking down of collecting silos, a trend the auction houses are pushing in their London and New York sales, that accounts for the music star’s sales pop.
The sale was also a conduit in the other direction as the demand for Korean contemporary art in Asia showed signs of cooling mostly because the Korean auction houses have increased their sales frequency in Hong Kong. But an American buyer was able to pick up a 1985 Park Seo-bo Ecriture No. 222-85 for a $900k which was below the low estimate.
Gimmickry aside, Sotheby’s #TTTOP sale was a thing of beauty (South China Morning Post)