Sotheby’s is the only international auction house with a specialist department dedicated to modern Asian art. The Modern Asian Art Department presents expertly curated sales of oil paintings, sculptures, watercolours, drawings, prints and photographs, bringing collectors the finest works of art by leading modern Asian artists.
The genre encompasses the first and second generations of Chinese artists who engaged in both modern Western art together with the modernist movement in Chinese art. These artists include Lin Fengmian, Wu Dayu, Sanyu, Wu Guanzhong, Zao Wou-Ki and Chu Teh-Chun, and Realist artists such as Xu Beihong, Chen Yifei, Wang Yidong and Ai Xuan.
In response to the remarkable expansion of the Asian art market sales in this category, in the autumn of 2008, Sotheby’s launched a dedicated auction for modern Asian art in Hong Kong and since then have seen sale results grow exponentially. Indeed in spring 2017, the first special sale of Long Chin-San - the pioneering figure in Chinese photography ‘Moments of Flash’ achieved 100% sold and setting a new artist record. In autumn, Yun Gee’s Wheels: Industrial New York was sold for HK$105 million/ US$13.5 million in Hong Kong, setting a world auction record for the artist. Sotheby’s also holds seven of the top ten prices for the artist Zao Wou-Ki at auction.
The Hong Kong Autumn Sales 2017 also saw the fourth consecutive ‘white glove’ themed section curated by the department with ‘Movimento Punto: A Post-War Legacy’. In the same sales period, ‘Foujita: Image of Elegance’ also drew an enthusiastic response from collectors. These successful results stand as testament to Sotheby’s commitment to curating sales which offer exciting collecting opportunities for buyers of Modern Asian Art.