Bloomberg narrates the scene at Christie’s Hong Kong Sale where Zeng Fanzhi and Zao Wou-ki re-established their primacy among contemporary painters and Liu Ye was remarkably absent from the proceedings:
Around packed rows of white seats, ushers gave up trying to keep aisles clear of standing observers that spilled six deep outside the entrances, while 48 Christie’s staff aided telephone bidders. Two of those phone bidders outlasted the sea of dark suits and black dresses in the room to lift Sanyu’s “Potted Chrysanthemum in a Blue and White Jardiniere” to an artist record HK$53.3 million.
[…] By contrast, the other lot with a HK$35 million presale estimate, Cai Guo Qiang’s 32- meter wide “Search for Extraterrestrials” in Chinese ink, smoke and gunpowder on paper, failed to sell after hammering down at HK$30 million, below the reserve price.
[…] Liu’s “The Meeting Hall,” one of the first lots of the afternoon session, set a record for the artist of HK$2.8 million, more than 10 times its estimate. […]
Yesterday’s 8 1/2-hour sale of more than 400 lots brought the total for the Asian contemporary and 20th century Chinese art to HK$512.4 million, 32 percent higher than a year ago.