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    Global Bidding Drives Asian Contemporary Sales in Hong Kong

    Dozens of new records were set for artists from China, India, Japan, Korea and Taiwan at Christie’s in Hong Kong during the house’s inaugural evening sale of Asian contemporary art (which totaled $40.7 million) and Chinese 20th-century art ($21.7 million) on May 24.

    NEW YORK—Dozens of new records were set for artists from China, India, Japan, Korea and Taiwan at Christie’s in Hong Kong during the house’s inaugural evening sale of Asian contemporary art (which totaled $40.7 million) and Chinese 20th-century art ($21.7 million) on May 24. Including day sales on May 25, the overall total was $104.6 million.

    The evening sale of contemporary art was 94 percent sold by lot and value. The top-selling lot was Zeng Fanzhi’s Mask Series 1996 No. 6, 1996, which sold for $9.7 million, more than three times the high estimate of $3.2 million. It was followed by Yue Minjun’s Gweong-Gweong, 1993, which brought $6.93 million. Also in the top ten were Yue Minjun’s Big Swans, 2003, bought by an Asian private bidder for $2.48 million, and The Sun, 2000, picked up by a European buyer for $1.41 million.

    Eric Chang, Christie’s international director of Asian contemporary art and Chinese 20th-¬century art, noted “growing global interest in Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Korean and Japanese contemporary art.” Chang says he looks forward to “seeing further cross-cultural interest in Asian art from collectors worldwide.”

    Three works by Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang were in the top ten, including Bloodline: Mother and Son, 1993, which sold to an Asian private buyer for $2.27 million; Bloodline: Big Family Series, 1996, sold to a European bidder for $2.1 million; and Baby Boy with Red Face, 1995, which fell for $1.62 million. A record was set for Indian artist Subodh Gupta when Saat Samundar Paar (Across the Seven Seas), 2003, sold for $1.2 million.

    The Asian contemporary-art day sale on May 25 was 90 percent sold by lot and 92 percent sold by value. Three of Yue Minjun’s works were sold at prices well beyond their presale high estimates: Dark Sky, 2003, brought $835,260; Romanticism & Realism Series 2, 2003, brought $792,000; and 99 idol series No. 50 & 63, 1996, took $510,800.

    Garden, circa 1970, by Chinese artist Liao Chi-Ch’un led the Chinese 20th-century evening sale with a price of $4.5 million, followed by Spring in the West Lake, 1934, by Chen Cheng-Po, which sold for $4.36 million.

    There were three works by Zao Wou-Ki in the top ten: 1-4-68, 1968 ($1.84 million), 26-4-62, 1962 ($1.62 million), and 25-5-62, 1962 ($1.55 mil¬lion). Sanyu’s Pink Flowers, circa 1930s, sold for $1.41 million.

    Among the Asian contemporary works for which artist records were set during both the evening and day sales were Mumbai-born Jitish Kallat’s installation Rickshawpolis 9, 2006, which sold for $200,848; Korean artist Hong Kyoung Tack’s Library II, 1995-2001, which fetched $585,554; Makoto Aida’s Monument for Nothing, 2002-4, sold for $688,114; Hisashi Tenmyouya’s RX-78-2 Kabuki-mono 2005 Version, 2005, which brought $616,322; and Tetsuya Ishida’s painting Decided By Myself, 1999, which sold for $705,480. Another record was set for Japanese artist Mr., when his acrylic on canvas V, 2005, was bought for $647,000.