Jing Daily goes after the meme of the week that Chinese buyers have abandoned Chinese Contemporary art based upon the results of Sotheby’s Contemporary Asian Art sale on Oct. 3rd that made US$29m, just slightly above the low estimate. Their take, it was the Japanese and the Koreans who failed at auction:
Despite disappointing bidding for works by Japanese and Korean artists, Chinese buying pushed this auction to the highest total for a various-owner sale in this category for Sotheby’s Hong Kong. Driven primarily by Chinese demand for blue-chip works by top Chinese artists, […] a quick glance at the breakdown of works sold in the auction shows a significant progression in the buying habits of Hong Kong and mainland Chinese buyers. With unexpectedly low interest among bidders for the contemporary Japanese and Korean works up for auction, Chinese lots had to hold up the entire sale. Taking that into consideration, and breaking Chinese lots up between top-quality pieces and those by lesser-known artists, blue-chip Chinese artists — those preferred and actively sought after by new Chinese collectors — were 92 percent sold by value. This hardly indicates any cracks in demand among wealthy Chinese collectors.