This season, Christie's Hong Kong held five auctions - Modern and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, Sanyu: Goldfish and hosted the first leg of 20th Century: Hong Kong to New York on 2 December, and Modern and Contemporary Art Morning and Afternoon Sessions on 3 December.
Works sold in Hong Kong realised a total of HK$1.73 billion / US$224.7 million, the highest sale total for any auction house in Asia this year.
Top prices were achieved for Asian masterpieces, led by a new auction record for a painting of animals for Sanyu's Goldfish (1930s-40s) which realised HK$170.2 million/ US$22 million, continuing to demonstrate Christie's market leadership and unparalleled expertise in offering the greatest works by Sanyu at auction.
SANYU (Chang Yu, 1895-1966), Goldfish, 1930s–1940s. Oil on canvas. 73.8 x 50.2 cm (29 x 19 3/4 in). Sold for HK$170,170,000 on 2 December 2020 at Christie’s in Hong Kong
Zhang Xiaogang (b. 1958), Bloodline Series The Big Family No. 2, 1995. Oil on canvas. 180 x 230 cm (70⅞ x 90½ in). Sold for HK$98,035,000 on 2 December 2020 at Christie’s in Hong Kong
The exceptionally strong offering of leading post-war abstract works by international masters formed a key component of the sales. Leading the Evening Sale was 15.01.82 – Triptyque by Zao Wou-Ki, which achieved HK$94.6 million / US$12.2 million.
ZAO WOU-KI (ZHAO WUJI, 1920-2013), 15.01.82 - Triptyque, 1982. oil on canvas (triptych). each: 195 x 130 cm. (76 3/4 x 51 1/8 in.) (3). overall: 195 x 390 cm. (76 3/4 x 153 1/2 in.). Sold for HK$94,600,000 on 2 December 2020 at Christie’s in Hong Kong
In addition, Yoshitomo Nara’s Agent Orange (In the Milky Lake) from 2009, realised HK$65,975,000 / US$8,545,000 in the Hong Kong leg of the innovative 20th Century: Hong Kong to New York sale, alongside Andy Warhol’s Dollar Sign (1981), which sold for HK$50,650,000 / US$6,560,000; and Yayoi Kusama’s 2014 A-PUMPKIN-SPW, which more than doubled its pre-sale high estimate of HK$15,000,000 before selling for HK$38,650,000 / US$5,006,000.
Yoshitomo Nara (B. 1959), Agent Orange (In the Milky Lake), 2009 . acrylic on canvas. 227.5 x 194 cm. (89 5/8 x 76 3/8 in.). Sold for HK$65,975,000 on 2 December 2020 at 20th Century: Hong Kong to New York
The sale also set a cluster of new world auction records, among them Dana Schutz’s Elevator (2017), which sold for HK$50,050,000 / US$6,483,000; Georges Mathieu’s Souvenir de la maison d’Autriche (1978), which achieved HK$17,290,000 / US$2,240,000; Nicolas Party’s Still Life (2014), which sold for HK$10,450,000 / US$1,353,000; and Amoako Boafo’s Baba Diop (2019), which soared above its high estimate of HK$1,500,000 to sell for HK$8,890,000 / US$1,152,104.
Georges Mathieu (1921-2012), Souvenir de la maison d’Autriche (Remembering the House of Austria), 1978. oil on canvas. 250 x 600 cm. (98 3/8 x 236 1/4 in.). Sold for HK$17,290,000 on 2 December 2020 at 20th Century: Hong Kong to New York
Overall, 17 auction records were established including for Les Couturières (Seamstresses at Work) by Nguyen Phan Chanh, which realised HK$11 million / US$1.5 million from the revered Jean-Marc Lefèvre Collection of Vietnamese art offered in the Modern and Contemporary Art Morning Session, testament to Christie's ability to source the very best works from esteemed Southeast Asian collections.
NGUYEN PHAN CHANH (1892-1984), Les Couturières (Seamstresses at Work), 1930 . ink and gouache on silk in its original Gadin frame. 65.5 x 88 cm. (25 3/4 x 34 5/8 in.). Sold for HK$10,930,000 on 3 December 2020 at Christie’s in Hong Kong
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