Sotheby’s announced that it has firmly established Sotheby’s Beijing as a marketplace for selling contemporary art. The auction house, the first international fine art auction house able to conduct business in mainland China, Sunday marked the successful conclusion of Sotheby’s Beijing Art Week, a landmark series of sales and events designed to cater to the tastes of Chinese collectors interested in modern and contemporary art from their own country, while exposing them to masterpieces of Western art. The week reached its high point when a new record price was set at auction for Chinese modern master Zao Wou-Ki, whose 1958 Abstraction sold for RMB89.7 million / US$14.7 million.
Sotheby’s Beijing Art Week ended on a high note as the Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art auction brought RMB227 million / $37.3 million and was attended by over 750 people, many of whom were new clients. Sotheby’s now holds the top six records for works by Zao Wou-Ki, but this landmark evening sale also saw new artist records set for Li Guijun, Chen Fei, Duan Jianwei, Liu Renjie and Ma Ke.
Sotheby’s brought art, furniture and jewels with a total value of $212 million to China’s capital for Beijing Art Week. In conjunction with the auction and selling exhibitions of Western art, furniture and jewels, Sotheby’s also offered educational programs which were highly-attended, a testament to the growing desire for increased knowledge of art and the art market.
Photo: Zao Wou-Ki’s Abstraction from the Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago sold for RMB89,680,000 / US$14,718,771. Photo: Sotheby’s.