Press Release

Sotheby’s Hong Kong Spring Series - Modern & Contemporary Art Ahieve HK$1.56 Billion / US$198.8 Million

Hong Kong
Sales Still in Progress, with a Further Three Sales to Go
Stay Tuned for Final Total Next Week
This season we were thrilled to bring to Asia a strong selection of never-before-seen works, and to see them so enthusiastically received. From Picasso to Wu Guanzhong, Chen Yifei and Le Pho, we saw clear demand for both Asian and Western masters, with multiple records set for Vietnamese artworks. It was a special moment to offer the first portrait of Dora Maar by Picasso ever to come to auction in the region - this is undoubtedly an artist who resonates with an audience the world over, but arguably nowhere more so than in Asia.
Felix Kwok, Head of Modern Art, Sotheby’s Asia

While we are also careful to create sales that we know will cater to existing demand, this season in particular we were focused on introducing new artists to this prestigious roster, with works we felt would intrigue and excite in equal measure. As a result, we not only saw great success for established masters like Louise Bourgeois, Yoshitomo Nara and Yayoi Kusama, but also a great deal of enthusiasm for today’s stars such as Anna Weyant and Louise Bonnet in their global auction debuts.
Max Moore, Head of Contemporary Art Sales, Sotheby’s Asia

On the heels of the strong results for the Modern and Contemporary Evening sales on 27 April, the offerings from the Day Sales saw continued competition, with both auctions exceeding their high estimates. Across both days, collectors were quick to pursue a range of works by masters and rising stars from the East and the West. Please find a summary below:


● 90% sell-through rate across four sales

● Over 60% of lots sold exceed their high estimates

● 4 works achieve prices in excess of HK$100 million:
Pablo Picasso’s Dora Maar - HK$169.4m / US$21.6m, sold to a Japanese collector

Louise Bourgeois’ Spider IV: HK$129m / US$16.5m

Yoshitomo Nara’s Oddly Cozy - HK$112m / US$14.3m

Wu Guanzhong’s Plum Blossoms - HK$103.9m / US$13.2m

● Over 20 auction records (see full list below)

● Global participation from almost 40 countries, with strong activity from collectors in Hong Kong

● Almost 60% of bidders participated online

● Fresh to market works in demand, with approximately three quarters of the offerings having never before been offered at auction

● The three Evening Sales attracted over 3.4 million views across Sotheby’s digital and social platforms, with audiences also tuning in across an additional eight platforms in Asia



Second highest price for Pablo Picasso in Asia (HK$169.4m / US$21.6m): Sotheby’s now holds four of the top five prices for the artist in the region

Second Most Valuable Contemporary Art Sales Series Ever Staged at Sotheby’s Asia as Louise Bourgeois’ Spider IV became the most valuable sculpture ever offered in the region: the (almost) seven foot spider realised HK$129.2m / US$16.5m (est. HK$120-150m). The auction also marked the first of Bourgeois’ famous Spider series to come to auction in the region

All five works from the collection of Sir Run Run Shaw sold: Banquet by Chen Yifei achieved HK$54.5m / US$7m, and a further four Southeast Asian paintings comprising works by Cheong Soo Pieng and Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès all sold above their high estimates for a combined total of HK$17.5m / US$2.2m. Overall, Southeast Asian art saw robust demand, with 96% of works sold, and 87% of the lots selling above their high estimates

Sotheby’s continues to lead the market in Vietnamese art: 20 Vietnamese works sold for HK$69.9m / US$8.9m. Highlights included:

Le Thi Luu’s Two Children in Garden which soared to HK$6.3m / US$803,000 - eighteen times its estimate and the second highest auction record for the artist

Le Pho’s Figures in a Garden sold for a record HK$17.92m / US$2.3m - nine times its estimate and establishing the second highest price for a Vietnamese artwork. Sotheby’s now holds the top three prices for Vietnamese artworks

Global demand for emerging artists: hot on the heels of the records set in last night’s Contemporary evening sale, collectors pursued today’s hottest stars in the day sale once more, including:

Jordi Ribes’ Untitled realised a record-breaking HK$1.4m / US$140,195 - more than 9 times its estimate (est. HK$150,000-250,000)

En Iwamura’s Neo-Jomon: Dreaming Girl sold for HK$630,000 / US$63,725 (est. HK$200,000-400,000), over 3 times its estimate, setting an auction record for the artist

○ See below for a full list of records

Increasing appetite for digital art: both the Contemporary Evening and Day sales included a number of digital artworks on which crypto payment was accepted. Key results include:

○ Two works by Jia Aili - in collaboration with Raoul Marks and David Ariew respectively - both of which outperformed top estimate: Valley, Line & Time and The Road Ahead

Robert Alice’s Block 34 (51.895167° N, 1.4805° E) achieved a record HK$5m / US$642,348 (est. 4-6 million / US$515,000-770,000) from his ‘Portraits of a Mind’ series


Modern Evening Auction

Le Pho 

Figures in a garden

HK$17.9m / US$2.3m

Li Huayi 

Forever Young 

HK$12.5m / US$1.6m

Amad Sadali 

Composition with Orange Background

HK$5.3m / US$674,000

André Brasilier 

Grande chevauchée du lac en automne

HK$3.8m / US$481,761


(Artist Record for a work on paper)

Les ombres bleu les monts bleu

HK$3.5m/ US$176,600

Wang Huaiqing 

(Artist Record for a sculpture)

Triple Feet

HK$1.3m / US$160,587

Modern Day Auction

Shi Hu 

The Grand Autumn

HK$2.8m / US$353,300

Liu Guofu 

Cold Mountain No. 6

HK$1.5m / US$192,700

Ho Kan


HK$1.39m / US$176,600

Contemporary Evening Auction

Yoshimoto Nara

(Artist Record for a work on paper)

Only Faces Appear in My Mind

HK$24.6m / US$3.1m

Louise Bonnet

The Ice Skater

HK$5.7m / US$573,525

Tomokazu Matsuyama

Something Came Together

HK$5m / US$642,348

Robert Alice

Block 34 (51.895167° N, 1.4805° E)

from Portraits of a Mind

HK$5m / US$642,348

Anna Weyant


HK$4m / US$513,878

Atsushi Kaga

We are all Spiritually Connected to Each Other (with DHL tape)

HK$2.4m / US$305,115

Chris Huen Sin Kan

Shek O

HK$1.9m / US$240,880

Michael Lau

Gathered Thoughts, Flower Series

HK$1.5m/ US$192,700

Peter McDonald

How it is

HK$1.5m / US$192,700

Contemporary Day Auction

Kengo Takahashi

Re: Pray

HK$4.2m / US$529,937

Jordi Ribes


HK$1.4m / US$140,195

Justin Liam O’Brien 

Each Man Kills The Thing He Loves

HK$819,000 / US$82,842

En Iwamura

Neo-Jomon: Dreaming Girl

HK$630,000 / US$63,725

Tania Marmolejo

The Stranger

HK$441,000 / US$44,608

Szabolcs Bozo


HK$302,400 / US$30,588

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