Contemporary Art

Contemporary Art Breaks New Ground in Hong Kong

By Sotheby's

A full day of Contemporary Art auctions concluded at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on 1 April, culminating in the highest totaling series of Contemporary sales ever staged in Asia.

A total of HKD 802 million / USD 102 million was realised across three sales, which together achieved a total of 10 new artist records.

In the Evening Sale, female artists stole the show. Kusama Yayoi’s Interminable Net #4, 1959 achieved HKD 62.4 million / USD 8 million, eclipsing the artist’s previous auction record from 2014.

Kept in private collections for decades, the work is an extremely rare museum-quality piece from the most radical and transformative period of the legendary artist’s career.

The Evening Sale also realised a new auction record for Ethipian-born female artist Julie Mehretu. Her piece Black Ground (deep light), the artist’s auction debut in Asia, was fiercely contested amongst numerous bidders and finally sold for HKD 44.2 million / USD 5.6 million.

Other auction records achieved across the Contemporary Art Evening and Day Sales include records for Hao Liang, Duan Jianyu, Murakami Saburo, Huang Yuxing, Madsaki, Austin Lee and Yang Haegue.

The Day Sale was the largest ever Contemporary Art Day Sale in Asia’s history. The top lot was Zhou Chunya’s Little Path to Dragon Spring Mountain, which sold for HK$9.8 million / US$1.2 million (est. HK$3-5 million).

Last but not least, the much-anticipated NIGOLDENEYE® Vol. 1 auction resulted in Sotheby’s third white-glove collaboration with cultural entrepreneur NIGO®, whose pioneering vision continues to bridge worlds and inspire creative minds across generations.

The top lot of the auction, KAWS’s THE KAWS ALBUM, ignited a frenzy of bids, eventually selling for HKD 116 million / USD 14.8 million, many multiples over its estimate and establishing a new auction record for the artist.

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