What did yesterday and today’s Sotheby’s sales in Hong Kong signify? Here’s Reuters‘ take on the sales:
“The market is there. Today is very strong,” said Anthony Lin, a fine arts dealer and a former head of rival auction house Christie’s in Asia who attended the day’s sales. “Obviously they (Sotheby’s) didn’t take risks or they couldn’t find any large works by any of the top artists. But in general it’s pretty impressive in this market,” he added.
While only 80 percent of the lots were sold in the 20th Century Chinese art sale, dealers said demand for premium lots was stronger, especially from mainland Chinese buyers. “A lot of people were bidding like crazy,” said Hugh Moss, a veteran collector and dealer of Chinese art and ceramics who attended the Sotheby’s sales: “It goes against all recent trends,” added Moss who bid, but failed to buy three paintings.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg asked whether Chinese photography wasn’t in peril because of the recent Larry Warsh deal with the Getty:
Collectors’ interest in Chinese contemporary art will be gauged today, when Sotheby’s in Hong Kong auctions 155 lots of contemporary Asian art estimated at about HK$61 million ($7.9 million).
Photography will be among the works for sale, including a Wang chromogenic triptych print, “Incarnation,” estimated to fetch between $8,300 and $10,800.
It sold for a price right between the high and low estimate. And this Tsang, Tsu Choi work based in photography and calligraphy sold for 10 times its low estimate. Even on the upper end of the Chinese Contemporary market there was real strength with the often maligned Yue Minjun still pulling in not only strong prices but also sales like Archeology which sold for just about three times the high estimate.