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    Chinese Buyers Compete For Top Works at Hong Kong Sales

    Christie’s Hong Kong autumn sales (Nov. 25–30) realized a combined total of HK$2.85 billion ($366 million) across 12 sales of paintings, wine, jewelry, watches and works of art.

    NEW YORK—Christie’s Hong Kong autumn sales (Nov. 25–30) realized a combined total of HK$2.85 billion ($366 million) across 12 sales of paintings, wine, jewelry, watches and works of art. Fine art and related works totaled HK$1.5 billion ($189.8 million). Last year’s comparable total for fine art (ANL, 12/28/10) was HK$512.4 million ($65.9 million).

    François Curiel, president of Christie’s Asia said, “our 50th sale season in Hong Kong saw great participation from Asia (87 percent), with 73 percent of the buyers coming from Greater China.”

    The evening sales on Nov. 26, which included Asian 20th-century and contemporary art, and a private collection sale, “Faces of New China: An Important Private Collection,” totaled HK$397 million ($51 million).

    Five of Zao Wou-Ki’s paintings led the evening and exceeded their presale estimates. Both Cerf volant et oiseaux, 1955, and 22.7.64 sold for HK$35.4 million ($4.6 million) compared with an estimate of HK$10 million/15 million and HK$15 million/20 million, respectively.

    A more recent work by Japanese artist Aya Takano also saw intense demand from bidders; You Want to Get Out of Here, Don’t You?, 2007, sold for a record HK$3.4 million ($435,683). At the private collection sale, The Massacre at Chios, 1994, by Yue Minjun, sold for HK$32.6 million ($4.2 million).

    Eric Chang, Christie’s international director of contemporary art in Hong Kong, said: “Overall we are pleased to see an uptake in cross-cultural buying by international collectors.”

    The day sales of Asian contemporary and 20th-century art totaled HK$307.5 million ($39.4 million) with 76 percent selling by lot and 90 percent by value.

    Sales of fine Chinese modern paintings totaled HK$595 million ($76.3 million) and fine Chinese classical paintings and calligraphy totaled HK$183 million ($23.5 million). Lotus, a set of modern scrolls by Cui Ruzhuo, dated “early summer, xinmao year (2011),” realized HK$123.9 million ($15.9 million), far exceeding its estimate and setting a new auction record for the artist.