Contemporary Art

Star Power: Jay Chou Curated Contemporary Art Auctions Achieve Stellar Results

By Sotheby's
Sotheby's first 'Contemporary Curated: Asia' auction series curated by the Mandopop superstar Jay Chou concluded its evening sale on 18 June with 100% of lots sold, earning it the rare “white glove” designation. Bringing together entertainment and fine art, the sale achieved HK$846 million (US$109 million) and topped nine artist auction records.

The highly-anticipated JAY CHOU x SOTHEBY’S auction series was an unqualified success, marking the groundbreaking collaboration between Sotheby's and musical legend Jay Chou. Propelled by spirited bidding across Sotheby’s salerooms in Hong Kong, New York, and London all 46 lots in the evening sale were snapped up, of which 63% were sold for prices exceeding their high estimates. The top lot was Jean-Michel Basquiat’s iconic Untitled, 1985, which realised HK$290 Million (US$37.3 Million). Joined by the other distinguished works handpicked by Jay, the auction brought in a stunning total of HK$846 million (US$109 million), eclipsing its pre-sale estimate.

Jay Chou pictured with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled . lot sold for 289,316,000 HKD.

Jay Chou, guest curator of the sale, commented: “What a great pleasure to collaborate with the amazing team at Sotheby’s and Enviseam to bring this to life. We are now on our way to achieve my mission of making art accessible to new audiences in unique ways.”

“My dream is to bring together the worlds of art and entertainment to share with even more people the many different ways of understanding and appreciating the art that surrounds us every day.”
– Jay Chou

Other highlights include the sale of Richard Prince’s Runaway Nurse, which set a new auction record for the artist when it sold for HK$94 Million (US$12.1 Million). Records were also set for Loie Hollowell, Peter McDonald, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Yukimasa Ida, and Natee Utarit as well as a record in Asia for Frank Stella, plus auction debuts for Jill Mulleady and a'strict.

Highlighting the event’s role as a vehicle to bring together entertainment and fine art, Jay selected for the auction three sets of bespoke concert costumes from "The Invincible" world tour. These costumes raised HK$2.6 million for Make-A-Wish International.

The stellar sale result is a fitting tribute to Yuki Terase’s final evening sale at the helm of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Department, Asia. During her tenure, Yuki has helped achieve consistent market leadership in the region season after season, bringing her own special innovative curatorial approach to many high-profile collaborations.

“This was truly a thrilling once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between Sotheby’s and Jay Chou that has resulted in multiple successes on many fronts.”
– Yuki Terase, Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Art, Asia

Collectors responded enthusiastically to the innovative sale and the curation by the pop megastar, who demonstrated his taste and vision through a selection of exceptional works from established icons as well as those of emerging artists. While contemporary master commanded top prices, works by young international talents also drew fierce competition. Many lots sold for multiples of their pre-sale estimates and established new auction records. Created for the inaugural Contemporary Curated: Asia, King of Rock by Yukimasa Ida sparked an intense bidding war and sold for a record HK$2.8 million (US$ 357,000) after more than twenty bids.

JAY CHOU x SOTHEBY’S also concluded its online Day Sale on 22 June with great success. The weeklong event offered a feast of more than 100 lots, including works by prominent Western and Asian artists such as Yoshitomo Nara, Yayoi Kusama and KAWS, as well as the most sought-after artists of the moment such as Izumi Kato, Madsaki, and Ayako Rokkaku.

Nathan Drahi, Managing Director, Sotheby’s Asia, said: “We couldn’t be happier with the result of our inaugural Contemporary Curated concept in Asia in partnership with Jay Chou, who has been a formidable curator and whose vision that art is for everyone we fully embrace. This also marks our last evening sale with Yuki as our Head of Contemporary Art, Asia, and I would like to thank Yuki wholeheartedly for her outstanding career spanning the past decade with Sotheby’s and wish her all the best of success.”

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