Bloomberg‘s Le-Min Lim is impressed by Zao Wou-ki’s success in Hong Kong this weekend but doesn’t think Chinese Contemporary painters are going to be able to match the Paris-based modern master:
The abstract paintings by China-born, Paris-based Zao (1921-) sparked a frenzy of bidding each time they came on the block, often pushing prices to several times estimates at Christie’s International’s auction of modern and contemporary Asian art. Zao’s works fetched a combined HK$332.3 million ($43 million) during the marathon two-day sale of about 1,000 lots, part of a larger six-day series comprising 2,000 lots. […]
Paintings by other Chinese masters such as Lin Fengmian (1900-1991) and Chu Teh-chun (1920-) also beat estimates. Still, there was less evidence of a rebound in Chinese contemporary-art prices such as that seen at Sotheby’s April auction, said dealers. Paintings by top artists such as Zhang Xiaogang, Xu Bing, Zeng Fanzhi and Yue Mingjun rarely sold for more than HK$3 million. At the peak of contemporary-art prices in May 2008, Zeng’s oil painting of Red Guards fetched HK$75.4 million, while large-scale works averaged HK$5 million or more.