Our new Beijing space opened with an exhibition of works by Picasso and a series of Art Forums, before the Shanghai autumn sales and a four-day programme on international contemporary art, together with Yale Center Beijing, rounded off a busy month
October 2016 proved to be a landmark month in Christie’s history as the company continued its expansion in China, opening a brand-new flagship space in Beijing. The inauguration was marked with a series of special events, including a VIP dinner at the British Residency hosted by Dame Barbara Woodward, British Ambassador to China, a special exhibition of works by Picasso that explored his influence on Chinese artists, and an Art Forum which saw Jussi Pylkkänen, Christie’s Global President, discussing the genius of Picasso with the artist and scholar Pan Gongkai.
‘Our new Beijing space marks an important milestone in our 250-year mission to connect art and collectors,’ said Christie’s Chief Executive Officer, Patricia Barbizet, at the opening. ‘We look forward to further exchanges with the art community and contributing to the diverse Chinese cultural landscape.’
Following on from the opening of Christie’s Shanghai at the historic Ampire Building in 2014, the new office and exhibition space on Beijing’s Jinbao Street occupies three floors and is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, making it an interactive venue for exhibitions, lectures and art forums.
The new venue’s first three Art Forums saw Rosemary Scott, Christie’s International Academic Director of Asian Art, and Tan Bo, a senior specialist in Impressionist & Modern Art, engage an audience of clients and collectors with talks on forming an art collection, 250 years of Chinese art at Christie’s and the life and market of Pablo Picasso.
After the grand opening of our office in Beijing the focus moved to Shanghai with Christie’s autumn sales, featuring two cross-category auctions — First Open | Shanghai and 20th Century & Contemporary Art — both designed to meet the varying demands of the growing Chinese market.
The First Open | Shanghai sale offered collectors a curated selection of more than 80 artworks by Asian and Western Modern & Contemporary artists, as well as a superb group of pieces by Asian contemporary designers. The sale totalled CNY14,187,600, around $2,100,000, with the top lot being Flowers by Wang Yin, which sold for CNY960,000 / $143,000.
The evening auction of 20th Century & Contemporary Art offered an exceptional selection of art from the West and the East, spanning categories such as Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art, Chinese Contemporary Ink, Impressionist and Modern Art, and Post-War and Contemporary Art. The total realized was CNY57,264,000, around $8,400,000, with the sale headed by Zeng Fanzhi’s Untitled 06-1, which sold for CNY5,400,000 / $807,000.
A busy month for Christie’s in China drew to a close with Mapping the International Art World, a joint programme launched by Christie’s Education and Yale Center Beijing. Focusing on the international contemporary art scene, the four-day programme incorporated lectures, discussions, visits and debates, as well as a mock auction. Forty-five people joined the class from all over China, including art enthusiasts, collectors and young professionals interested in developing careers in the art business.
Speakers included Cai Jinqing, Chairman of Christie’s China, Stephen Lash, Yale alumnus and Chairman Emeritus of Christie’s Americas, Elaine Kwok, Director of Christie’s Education Asia, as well as other industry leaders such as artist Zhan Wang, Philip Tinari, Director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, and Lin Han, Founder of M WOODS art museum.
‘As a world-leading art business, Christie’s is proud of its remarkable 250-year legacy,’ commented Rebecca Wei, President, Christie’s Asia. ‘Relying on its strengths and expertise, Christie’s is dedicated to its role as a cultural ambassador, facilitating cultural exchanges between the East and the West.’