News & Views

Sotheby’s HK modern & contemporary art evening sales rake in US$132mil

2 April 2018

Touted to be the second highest total for an evening sale of Asian and Western art, Sotheby's Hong Kong just concluded its auction of modern and contemporary art bringing in HK$1.04 billion / US$132 million on March 31.

In a press release, Sotheby’s Asia chairman Patti Wong states, “Tonight’s outstanding results, with strong prices for both Asian and Western art and an exceptional sell-through rate of 97%, is a testament to our efforts to bring fresh and outstanding works to our clients.

Curiosities in HK auction

27 March 2018

Sotheby’s Hong Kong Curiosity IV antiques sale on April 2, "encompasses material from the Cretaceous period 70 million years ago to the present."

In a press release, the auction house adds that the "curiosities" are "from civilisations and cultures that once flourished and have now vanished, from the Okvik civilisation in the Bering Sea to Egypt’s new Kingdom, from the Olmec in Mexico to Kamakura Japan.”

Bidder vs buyer performance breach

27 March 2018

Auctioneers and people selling at auction sometimes have problems with bidders and buyers. Specifically, sometimes a bidder retracts his bid prior to the completion of the sale, and likewise sometimes a buyer refuses to close the deal.

VIDEO: Latiff Mohidin the trailblazer

22 March 2018

Watch the highlight of the opening reception here. Look out for more videos from the exhibition.

Artist, poet and writer Latiff Mohidin, 76, is paving the way for other Southeast Asian artists to be noticed in Europe with the staging of a retrospective show of his Pago Pago works at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

An auction disclaimer I saw in court

22 March 2018

It’s not often that I can disclose specifics from court cases in which we’re involved. However, with permission in this particular case, I’m able today to reveal one particular passage which I argued on the witness stand was preposterous.

The essence of this case was the auctioneer was providing estimates of value on items being put up for auction. One such item was estimated as having a value of $1,000,000. The item subsequently sold for $1,050 ($998,950 less than this estimate — over 99% less)

Rare Picasso Works in HK exhibition & sale

22 March 2018

Panorama: A New Perspective – a selling exhibition featuring over 40 paintings and sculptures by the foremost names in Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art – will open to the public from 29th March to 3rd April, alongside Sotheby’s Spring 2018 Hong Kong Sale Series. 

Sanyu work to debut in HK auction after 60 years in private hands

20 March 2018

Sotheby’s Evening Sales of Modern Art and Contemporary Art offer over 90 lots and have a combined estimate in excess of HK$640 million (US$82million).

The auctions will consist of a line-up of Western Contemporary and Modern Art, as well as an array of rare works by Modern and Contemporary Asian masters.

Leading the Modern Art Evening Sale is a portrait work by Sanyu (1901-1966) entitled Nu endormi, an important oil painting from the pinnacle of the artist’s career.

Upbeat contemporary art market

15 March 2018

There was intense bidding for choice lots at The Edge Auction 2018: Southeast Asian Art, which indicates that despite the weak market, there is still demand for fine art. Held on March 11, the auction saw sales of RM1.48 million with more than half of the 124 lots sold.


The Edge Auction 2018 ended on an upbeat note with a record sale for Malaysian contemporary artist Chong Siew Ying — her Laugh 1 (The Champion) went for RM86,268, including the 10% premium.

Laughter leads at The Edge Auction

12 March 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The Edge Auction 2018: Southeast Asian Art ended with applause and laughter yesterday when Chong Siew Ying’s Laugh 1 (2002; acrylic on canvas) fetched RM78,000 (excluding the 10% buyer’s premium), more than 2½ times above its low estimate of RM29,000.

The exuberant portrait, from Chong’s series of laughing faces, is painted in black-and-white tones against a pink background. It is the first piece from the series, done mostly in Paris where she was based then, to be put up for auction.