With more than twenty auctions over five days, Sotheby’s autumn sale series in Hong Kong defied expectations. Fierce bidding from new buyers and experienced collectors alike resulted in several artist records as well as 100%-sold sales, including The Sublime – Wou-Ki Zao, a sale of sixteen works on paper by the artist, and the collection of renowned Japanese dealer Sakamoto Gorō. Other highlights include #TTTOP, a special auction guest-curated by Korean star T.O.P, which is now the highest-value sale of western contemporary art ever held during a major auction series in Hong Kong. With a grand total of HK$22 billion (US$285 million), not to mention six sales on 5 October alone achieving HK$603 million (US$77.2 million), Sotheby’s Hong Kong performance proved the market is alive and thriving. To discover more about the sales and their best-selling lots, click ahead. LAUNCH SLIDESHOW
Rock’n’roll rebellion meets poignant vulnerability in Nara Yoshitomo’s universally celebrated oeuvre, not least in Life is only one! and There is no place like home —two classical Nara pieces that bear two of the artists most signature inscriptions. The quintessential Nara phrase “Life is only one!”, an ambiguous yet striking affirmation that appears frequently in the artist’s oeuvre, was the headlining title of Nara’s major solo retrospective at Asia Society Hong Kong Center last year. “There is no place like home” is also an oft-repeated Nara axiom: juxtaposed against the artist’s iconic sulking and disgruntled child figures, the age-old idiom is subverted into an indignant accusation, proclaiming a personal and universal truth of childhood loneliness and alienation. NARA YOSHIMOTO, LIFE IS ONLY ONE! 2008 OIL ON WOOD 169X254CM ESTIMATE HK$6,000,000 – 8,000,000. © NARA YOSHITOMO
HONG KONG – The musician, rapper, actor and art collector known as T.O.P has been a member of Asia’s reigning K-pop band, BIGBANG, since 2006. Wildly popular in Asia and on the verge of becoming a global sensation, K-pop combines hip-hop, pop and electronic music into a hybrid genre that pushes boundaries in a post-postmodern whirl of musical styles, international fashion trends and synchronised dancing. It is perhaps not coincidental that K-pop’s cultural and geographical mash-up is congruent with T.O.P’s taste in art. Over the past few years, the 28-year-old multi-hyphenate has been steadily acquiring works by such blue-chip names as Gerhard Richter and Rudolf Stingel while also collecting Asian artists, including Takashi Murakami, Kohei Nawa and Park Jina, many of whom are his friends.
Continuing the momentum we saw for Contemporary Korean and Japanese artists during our ground-breaking selling exhibition in March, the spring sale offered a fine selection of works by leading figures from the abstract movements – Park Seobo, Chung Sanghwa and Tanaka Atsuko. All achieved extraordinary results and were sold at multiple times of their previous auction records, demonstrating Sotheby’s vision in showcasing this category at auction.
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