NEW YORK—Sales were booming during Asia Week in New York (March 28-31), as evidenced by packed salerooms and fierce bidding for works ranging from Yuan dynasty (1279-1368) vases to paintings executed within the last five years. The strong spring opening created records in several categories at both Christie’s and Sotheby’s.
Much of the pre-auction buzz centered on Sotheby’s inaugural sale of “Contemporary Art Asia” on March 31. The auction—which featured paintings, sculpture, photographs, videos and installations from China, Japan and Korea—was closely watched as a barometer of demand and interest from Western buyers. Sotheby’s officials were not disappointed: Estimated to bring in $6/8 million, the auction realized $13.22 million. Only a week later, in Hong Kong, Asian art sales at Sotheby’s again turned in stellar results. Once more, the rising demand for Chinese contemporary art, in particular, garnered strong prices and considerable attention.