Sotheby’s Hong Kong – Autumn 2015
The autumn sales series at Sotheby’s Hong Kong got under way on 4 October with the flagship Modern and Contemporary Asian Art Evening Sale. The event was carefully calibrated to achieve strong results but still surpassed expectations: the total came to just under HK$596 million, eclipsing a generous pre-sale estimate of HK$420 million. The evening sale offered a snapshot of the state of play in the wider market: paintings by 20th century Chinese masters still command hefty prices, but among the top lots there is increased variety in artists, genres and countries of origin. Kusama Yayoi’s 1960 oil-on-canvas No. Red B was anticipated to attract keen interest, being an early work and one of the largest from the hugely influential artist’s Infinity Net series. It was pursued by five eager bidders from an estimate of HK$30/40 million to a winning HK$54.52 million (lot 1062). The runner-up was Wu Guangzhong’s Peach Blossoms, which hailed directly from the collection of Huang Jixing, Wu’s mentor. It sold for HK$44.44 million (lot 1033; estimate HK$30/40 million). It should be noted that all of the offered lots by Japanese and Korean artists sold, and indeed Japanese art would prove to be a major highlight of the weekend.