Sotheby’s continues its virtual initiative with a new series of themed auctions with the launch of “Contemporary Showcase” series, a spin on the fast-paced pop-up retail format. Scheduled to take place between this Spring and the upcoming Summer seasons, each sale in the Showcase series will host only a few works aligned to a curatorial theme, with bidding open for up to one week.
The 1933 Another World, a neon work by Tracey Emin, a member of the Young British Artists movement of the 1990s stars in the sale of only five accompanying works in the first synonymous auction slated with an estimate of $500,000-700,000 HKD. Emin is famous for her diaristic and unapologetic style; the neon signs recall her early years growing up in Margate, a Southern U.K. beach town host to Dreamland, a historic amusement park and tourist attraction. The work bears Emin’s signature confessional phrase in neon recreated from her handwriting.
Another World is among the highest priced works to surface in an online sale— its recognizability and conceptual edge are key elements for top-tier offerings in the online format, replacing the usual dominance of painting in live sales. Sotheby’s reported the digital initiative is in register with the high engagement cultivated in its growing digital sales program. To date, Sotheby’s confirmed a total of 30 online auctions across its global sale centers bringing in a high total of HK$380+ million (US$50+ million) in 2020. The house boasted a clear rise in its Sotheby’s Hong Kong sale, reaching HK$10 million reaching 300% its original pre-sale low estimate.
“During this unprecedented time, Asian collectors have enthusiastically participated in our online sales programme, driving record results that demonstrate the resilience of the Contemporary Art market. We are extremely gratified by the support of our clients, as demonstrated by our recently concluded Contemporary Art Online auction – the largest edition realized in Sotheby’s Hong Kong’s history” said Yuki Terase, Head of Contemporary Art, Asia of Sotheby’s.