HONG KONG – The sale was a confident display for the pan-Asian platform of Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art that Christie’s has built. In total, 11 new world auction records for the artists were set and the sale was Christie’s 2nd highest total for an evening sale in Asia.
The auction opened with enthusiastic bidding from both the floor and overseas collectors vying for Southeast Asian modern and contemporary works. From the start, new records were set for Singapore artist Cheong Soo Pieng (1917-1983) with his Making Up depiction of a Chinese opera artist. The momentum continued with Victorio Edades’s (1895-1985) American Football Player and Nguyen Phan Chanh’s (1892-1984) La vendeuse de betel (The Betel Nut Seller). Le Pho’s (1907-2001) View from the Hilltop set a new world record for both the artist and any work of Vietnamese 20th century and contemporary art at auction.
To date, the sale was one of the strongest showings we have had for Asian art across geographies, from Southeast to North Asia. Japanese Gutai works from Asian’s first avant-garde movement and Korean artists had exceptional results. In addition, since its inclusion in this category three years ago, Southeast Asian works have also grown from strength to strength and have truly expanded beyond their geographic boundaries to gain acceptance from a wider audience. 20th century Chinese masters like Sanyu continue to be highly sought after. It is encouraging to see that great Asian art continues to resonate with art lovers everywhere, with interest growing among a younger generation of collectors,” said Eric Chang, Deputy Chairman of Christies Asia and International Director of Christie’s Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art Department.