China Guardian’s August auction of contemporary art in Hong Kong brings in $ 1 million

Yayoi KUSAMA, Infinity Nets, 1993

The second-largest in China (and 4th in the world) auction house on August 8 in the center of Hong Kong held a mixed auction for the first time in its history.

The To Youth: Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art auction showed an impressive result: 94% of lots sold and $ 1 million, double the pre-auction estimate. At the same time, 54% of the lots sold went into new hands more expensive than the upper bound of the estimate.

The auction went beyond the standard flagship spring and fall auction model. It combined elements of the online and offline auction for the first time. It was a curated auction of contemporary art, first-name classics, and photography. Outstanding trading results were the result of hard work and support from clients. Over a hundred telephone bidders from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and the United States participated in the auction. Past trades clearly show that the market remains strong. This is how Vita Chen, General Manager and Chief Specialist of the Department of Contemporary Art and Art of Asia of the 20th century of the auction house, commented on the results of the auction.

In addition to high overall results, the last auction set several individual auction records. So, the work of Yayoi Kusama from the series Endless Networks, which was sold for $ 242 thousand, became the most expensive work of this size and series, sold at open auction. A kind of record for the number of bets per lot was set by a photo of Daido Moriyama. The bargaining for the work lasted 42 long steps, as a result of which the photo went to the new owner 7 times higher than the estimate. This result looks especially impressive considering that this is the first time the photograph has been presented at an auction of this kind.

Recall that at the end of 2019, according to Artprice, China Guardian ranked fourth in terms of sales among the world’s auction houses with revenue of $ 587.8 million. The third place is taken by its Chinese competitor Poly Group ($ 617 million), Sotheby’s is in second place ($ 3.58 billion), and Christie’s is in the lead ($ 3.64 billion). Favorite by domestic collectors and journalists, Phillips took fifth place ($ 583.8 million).


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