Sotheby's 2017 Autumn Auction was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center from September 30 to October 2. A total of 73 works were placed at auction and a total of 68 works were sold, a turnover of more than 93% and sales totaling HK $ 710,227,500 (about NT $ 2,768.84 million). More than ten artists to create personal auction records, such as: Yun Gee, Hsiao Chin, Li Yuan-Chia, Wan Jen-Geng, Liang Yuanwei, Japanese artists Chiu Uemae and Kenjiro Azuma, and Korean artist Seo-bo Park. This year's fall auction not only surpassed the results of the spring auction, but also had the best results of any Sotheby's auction in the past four years.
The work that sold for the highest price at the Modern and Contemporary Art Evening Sale was Yun Gee's "Wheels: Industrial New York" for about HK $1.53 billion (about NT $4.1 billion), the only contemporary artwork with a price surpassing one billion dollars, becoming Yun Gee's highest selling work to date and surpassing his previous sale record at auction by more than ten times.
In addition, the second highest selling work was by Sanyu, his leopard painting starting at $HK 38 million and selling at a price just above HK $ 79.4 million (about NT $ 38 million) .
In recent years the sales of works by artist Zao Wou-ki have bloomed, and his calligraphic period's work " 09.01.63" sold for HK $ 76 million, with many buyers competing to get a piece by Zao Wou-ki.
Gerhard Richter's "Abstract Painting (679-2)" was the fourth-highest selling work at auction, selling at HK $42.93 million (about NT $ 199.24 million), as one of the top ten highest selling Western works at the evening auction.
Japan's avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama's rare and radiant pink dot-network work "Untitled" was the fifth highest selling work at HK $ 42.28 million (about NT $ 160.92 million); with her dot portrait "Shirley Maclaine" coming in sixth at HK $ 29.91 million (about NT $ 160.65 million).
This auction also had several Chinese artists who did remarkably well, including Wu Guanzhong, selling his work "Old Shanghai" for 24.1 million Hong Kong dollars (about NT $ 94 million) as the seventh-highest sale. Liu Wei's "Born 1989 in Beijing" was the eigth-highest sale at 21.7 million HK dollars (about NT $ 84.63 million), and his painting "Revolutionary Family Series" was the ninth-highest at 15.1 million HK dollars (about NT $ 58.99 million Yuan). South Korean painter Seo-bo Park had the 10th highest sale, selling a work from his well-know Ecriture series, "Ecriture No. 38-75" at 13.3 million HK dollars (about NT $ 51.8).
Surprisingly, Taiwanese artist Li Yuan-Chia's work "Study of Cosmic Point (Ten Works) ended up selling at 1.75 million HK dollars, surpassing its estimated selling price by more than 11 times, an astounding sale.
The Contemporary Art Day Sale also fared well with sales totaling HK $ 81.45 million (about NT $317.65 million). Chinese artist Zhou Chunya's "Peach Blossoms Series 2006: Blue Sky" fetched the highest price at auction at HK $ 5.74 million (about NT $ 23.28 million); the second-highest sale was Yayoi Kusama's "Infinity Flower Petals (AAAB)" at HK $ 4.42 million; the third highest sale was "Yellow Doorway" by the trending US artist KAWS, for 3.82 million HK dollars (about NT $ 14.9 million).
The Modern Art Day Sale was held on the same day, the highest sale taken by Chu Teh-chun's masterpiece painting "Les Secrets Du Printemps" at 5.5 million HK dollars (about NT$ 21.45 million), with the second highest sale being Ju Ming's bronze sculpture "Single Whip" at 3.34 million HK dollars (about NT $13.3 million), and the third highest sale going to abstract painter Zao Wou-ki's work "Untitled" at 2 million HK dollars (about NT $7.8 million).
The Modern and Conetmporary Southeast Asian Day Sale, also on October 1st, had total sales of about 53.29 million HK dollars (about NT $ 27.85 million). This auction continues to expand, including works from Tibet, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and more. The highest sale for the Southeast Asian auction was the work "Provincial Village" by Vietnamese painter Nguyên Gia Trí.
Overall, Sotheby's Modern and Contemporary Art Auctions fetched record high sales. Additionally, for the first time this past spring including Western contemporary art work in their Hong Kong auctions, breaking regional restrictions and diversifying the market. Modern art is the backbone of the Asian Auction market, and it continues to stabilize the market.
(Figure 1) Gerhard Richter, Abstract Painting (679-2), selling price HK $ 49,037,500
1988, oil on canvas, 120 x 100 cm © Sotheby's
(Figure 2) Yun Gee, Wheels: Industrial New York, selling price HK $ 105,287,500, 1932, oil on canvas © Sotheby's
(Figure 3) Yayoi Kusama, Untitled, selling price HK $ 42,287,500 Hong Kong dollars, 1972, oil on canvas,
106.7 x 91.8 cm © Sotheby's
(Figure 4) Sanyu , Leopard, selling price HK $ 79,412,500, 1931, oil on canvas,
93 x 116 cm © Sotheby's