Zeng Fanzhi’s The Leopard Auctioned to Benfit The Nature Conservancy

The Leopard by renowned Chinese contemporary artist Zeng Fanzhi (born 1964), sold for HK$36 million/US$4.63 million at Christie’s Evening Sale of Asian Contemporary Art on 28 May 2011, with proceeds going to support The Nature Conservancy, a non-profit environmental organization. The buyer, Chinese entrepreneur Zhao Zhijun will display The Leopard at his private museum at Beijing.

François Curiel, President of Christie’s Asia, the auctioneer for Zeng Fanzhi’s Leopard said, “With more than 10 hands in the air at the opening bid of HK$4 million, buyers quickly brought the price up to HK$20 million; two determined collectors fought for the picture until Chinese entrepreneur Zhao Zhijun won it for HK$36 million /US$4.63 million. Art brought together international Chinese artist Zeng Fanzhi (born 1964), François Pinault Foundation from Europe, Shanghai’s Rockbund Art Museum from China and Christie’s. This resulted in a unique Zeng Fanzhi exhibition and a charity auction of the Leopard, which benefited the Nature Conservancy, a non-profit environmental organization working to protect lands and waters.”

Mr. Zhao Zhijun said, “Zeng Fanzhi’s act of generosity is tremendously moving. I, like him, also wish to contribute in my own way to help protect the environment.”

The Leopard is a work that formed part of Zeng Fanzhi’s solo exhibition ‘Being’, sponsored by The François Pinault Foundation, organized by the Rockbund Art Museum and Christie’s at the time of its Hong Kong Spring sales. The exhibition, held at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre from 27 to 30 May is a non-selling exhibition of works from the artist’s latest Nature series.

Image: The Leopard, signed in Chinese; signed ‘Zeng Fanzhi’ in Pinyin; dated ‘2010’ (lower right), oil on canvas, 280 x 180 cm. (110 1/4 x 70 7/8 in.) Painted in 2010. Estimate: HK$6,000,000 – 8,000,000. US$769,200 – 1,025,600

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium.

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