Zhang Xiaogang’s “Forever Lasting Love” set a record price for a work of Chinese Contemporary art at auction yesterday during the Ullens sale at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong. Chinese Contemporary art was once sold in New York because the buyers were in the West, not China. Then the auction houses moved their sales to Hong Kong in recognition that the future of Asian art market would be, not surprisingly, in Asia.
Bloomberg spoke to a few of the potential buyers on the ground in Hong Kong:
“Prices of Chinese artists will continue to rise,” Gu Zhenqing, 47, who has been buying contemporary works for 10 years, said in an interview at the sale. “I’m confident that the price of a work by a Chinese artist will exceed the 100 million yuan ($15.3 million) mark this year. That could be Zhang Xiaogang, Zeng Fanzhi or someone else.” […]
“Art prices are still within a rational range,” said Ge Yaping, 42, a Chinese bidder from Nanjing, who bought a piece by Zhang Xiaogang. “Prices will continue to trend upward because of China’s economy.”
Today’s strong sales not only of Chinese artists but also Japanese, Indonesian, Vietnamese and artists from the Philippines would seem to have firmly established the idea of pan-Asian collecting. However, Cathy Yan reports on the WSJ’s SceneAsia blog that the buyer of the second most-valuable Zhang painting was not from the region:
[W]orks by Zhang Xiaogang were the stars of the sale. “Forever Lasting Love” — a three-panel painting from 1988 that is one of the artist’s earliest works — was part of the seminal 1989 exhibit in Beijing’s National Art Gallery, “China/Avante-Garde.” And the second top-selling lot of the sale, fetching HK$23 million from a private American collector, was a painting from Mr. Zhang’s popular Bloodline Series
Ullens Collection Sets a Record (SceneAsia/Wall Street Journal)