Christie’s Asian 20th Century & Contemporary Art Autumn Auctions 2011 proudly presents: Faces of New China The Evening Sale of an Important Private Collection

Hong Kong

Christie’s Asian 20th Century & Contemporary Art

Autumn Auctions 2011 proudly presents

Faces of New China:

The Evening Sale of an Important Private Collection

 

Faces of New China: An Important Private Collection (Evening Sale)

Saturday, 26 Nov, 7pm, Sale 2898

James Christie Room, Grand Hall,

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Hong Kong – Leading global auction house Christie’s proudly presents the Autumn Evening Sale Faces of New China: An Important Private Collection, which leads the 2011 Hong Kong Autumn season of Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art sales from 26 to 27 November. Presented as a stand-alone sale within the prestigious Evening Sale and with a total estimate in excess of HK$150,000,000, this single owner collection comprises 14 iconic works by preeminent contemporary Chinese artists including Zhang Xiaogang, Yue Minjun, Cai Guoqiang, Liu Ye and Tang Zhigang. Representing the pinnacle of the earliest years of Chinese avant-garde art, these exquisite pieces epitomize the period when the artists established their creative paths and idiosyncratic styles, vividly showcasing the conceptual origins of one of the most astonishing cultural and aesthetic shifts in recent art history.

Cai Guoqiang

A cornerstone of the collection are the three monumental gunpowder drawings from the artist Cai Guoqiang, selected from his masterwork “Drawings for the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation”. The three works, Imagining the Universe, UFO and Ode to Joy, embody the core motifs of Cai’s art and the aesthetic concepts he has developed over the past 20 years. This series in particular is one of his most cited works, recognized for its epoch-making significance and immense value.

The work appeals to a broad audience, and their disparate responses to the piece highlight the ways in which Chinese artists have extended their own cultural traditions in new and innovative ways into the present era, while at the same breathing a breath of fresh air into contemporary art discourse. Asian critics see in Cai's work traces of Asian cultural heritage, while Western critics find his work as a sweeping exegesis and recapitulation of Modern Western artistic concepts. With his originality, sophistication and unique fusion of the traditional with the contemporary, his work suggests the unique positioning of Asian Contemporary Art in the contemporary art scene.

Chinese avant-garde art for the “New China” generation

Each work from “Faces of New China” helps elucidate the core aspects of Chinese avant-garde art. Through the unique modes of representation, self-portraiture and portraiture developed by these artists, they have visualized not only an epoch and the changes within it, but also the lived experience of individuals in a manner that reflects the life and mind of the “New China” generation. As these artists scrutinized the place of the individual against a particular historical background, they have made a collective self-portrait, one that mirrors the mentality of a generation living ordinarily as individuals and, at the same time, existing under the expeditious metamorphosis of their country as a whole.

 

These works represent the characteristics of China in a particular space and time, thereby becoming the faces of an era. For these artists, portraiture became a genre through which to explore both traditional Chinese aesthetical forms, while also being equally reactive to modern Western styles of expression. Drawing from diverse strains of tradition and modernity, these intrepid artists hunt for unique expressive forms that are at once roots firmly in the Chinese culture and responses to a new era.

 

Their works, then, reveal the appeal of Chinese contemporary art internationally. The works of these artists – variously delicate, haunting, satirical and explosive – offer us direct insight into an extraordinary epoch, as well as the ways in which these artists discovered new terrain between the traditions of Western and Eastern art.

 

Christie’s Hong Kong has been the leading promoter and auctioneer of Asian modern and contemporary art since the category’s inception. We have been honoured to be entrusted, over the years, by private collectors, estates, and museums with their rare and desirable treasures. These include the collection of Yageo Foundation in 2004; the collection of Oliver Stone, a distinguished Hollywood director, in 2008; the historic Zao Wou-ki canvases, sold to benefit the acquisition fund of Harvard University’s Fogg Art Museum in 2009; the private collection of Howard and Patricia Farber and the Estate of John Bransten, both sold earlier in 2011. This year, “Faces of New China: An Important Private Collection” continues this great legacy.

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IMAGES can be downloaded here:

http://cshk.myftp.org/2011%20Fall%20Christie's%20Hong%20Kong%20Auctions/A20CA/IMAGES/2898_Faces%20of%20the%20New%20China/

 

 

 

Selected highlights will be on view in the following cities prior to the sales: 

Date

Location

Venue

9-15 September

New York

Christie’s New York, Rockefeller Center

2-3 October

Hong Kong

Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Hotel, 1 Harbour Road, Hong Kong

20-22 October

Paris

Christie’s Paris

22-23 October

Singapore

Artspace@Helu-trans

24-25 October

27-28 October

Beijing

Shanghai

Grand Hall, St. Regis Hotel

JW’s Ballroom, JW Marriott Shanghai Tomorrow Square

19-20 November

Taipei

Fubon Life Assurance Building

24-26 November

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

 

About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world's leading art business had global auction and private sales in the first half of 2011 that totaled £2.0 billion/$3.2 billion. In 2010 it achieved global auction and private sales of £3.3 billion/$5.0 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's conducted the greatest auctions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and today remains a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers over 450 sales annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s has 53 offices in 32 countries and 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Zurich, Dubai and Hong Kong. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in emerging and new markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.  

 

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits.

About Christie’s

Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s also has a long and successful history conducting Private Sales for clients and online sales are offered year-round across all categories. Christie’s global presence is spread across a network of international salerooms and 61 representatives and offices. Christies.com provides detailed articles and videos on the objects offered for sale alongside the latest advances in digital viewing tools to make Christie’s accessible to all.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.