Last week, Sotheby’s announced the departure of Vinci Chang, head of Sotheby’s Asia modern art department. Felix Kwok, Head of Modern Asia Art Sales at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, will assume the position.
Chang joined Sotheby’s in 2013 as a consultant responsible for business development in Asia, and was appointed as head of the 20th Chinese art department (now the contemporary Asian art department) the following year. Prior to that, she served as head of the Asian 20th century and contemporary art department at Christie’s in Hong Kong from 2006 to 2012, following her initial stint as a specialist in the 20th Century Chinese art department.
During her six-year tenure at Sotheby’s, Chang led the department through staggering growth, setting new milestones for modern artists including Zao Wou-Ki, Sanyu and Chu Teh-Chun. The news follows an impressive run of sales in Hong Kong last week. Sotheby’s modern art evening sale brought in a total HKD 754 million ($97.3 million), an increase of 23.5 percent over the October 2019 sale total of $78.8 million, led by the $24 million sale of Sanyu’s 1950s floral still life.
In recent years under Chang’s direction, the modern sales in Hong Kong have reached new heights. Top results include the largest Zao Wou-Ki in history, Juin-Octobre 1985, selling for HKD 510 million ($65.8 million) in 2018. In 2019, Sanyu’s Nu fetched HKD 197 million ($25.4 million) and broke the artist’s auction record. In 2020, Chu Teh-Chun’s Les éléments confédérés sold for HKD 113 million ($14.5 million), setting a new benchmark for the artist.
Vinci Chang’s successor Felix Kwok joined Sotheby’s in 2012. During his time with the auction house, he has curated several themed evening sale segments including, “Movimento Punto”, “Asian Spirit: A Global Mission” and “Modern Rangers and Modern Vision.” According to Sotheby’s website, he has also helped bring in Western blue-chip artists to Sotheby’s Hong Kong evening sales, including works by Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky, Bernard Buffet and Georges Mathieu.